Key Species (key + species)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Choosing natural enemies for conservation biological control: use of the prey detectability half-life to rank key predators of Colorado potato beetle

Matthew H. Greenstone
Abstract Determining relative strengths of trophic links is critical for ranking predators for conservation biological control. Molecular gut-content analysis enables ranking by incidence of prey remains in the gut, but differential digestive rates bias such rankings toward predators with slower rates. This bias can be reduced by indexing each predator's half-life to that of the middle-most half-life in a predator complex. We demonstrate this with data from key species in the predator complex of Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), comprising adults and immatures of four taxonomically diverse species. These animals display order-of-magnitude variation in detectability half-life for the cytochrome oxidase I DNA sequence of a single CPB egg: from 7.0 h in larval Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to 84.4 h in nymphal Perillus bioculatus (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). The raw species-specific incidence of L. decemlineata DNA in the guts of 351 field-collected predators ranged from 11 to 95%, ranking them as follows: C. maculata adults < Lebia grandis Hentz (Coleoptera: Carabidae) adults < Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) adults < P. maculiventris nymphs < P. bioculatus adults < P. bioculatus nymphs. Half-life adjustment reorders the rankings: C. maculata adults < P. bioculatus adults < P. bioculatus nymphs < P. maculiventris nymphs < L. grandis adults < P. maculiventris adults. These changes in status demonstrate the value of half-life-adjusted molecular gut-content data for ranking predators. This is the first study to measure prey detectability half-lives for the key arthropod predators of a major insect pest, and to use them to evaluate the relative impact of all adults and immatures in this predator complex. [source]

The presence of morphologically intermediate papilla syndrome in United Kingdom populations of sand goby (Pomatoschistus spp.): Endocrine disruption?

Mark F. Kirby
Abstract The sand goby (Pomatoschistus spp.) is a small estuarine fish. Its abundance, life history, and sedentary nature lead to its adoption as a key species in the U.K. Endocrine Disruption in the Marine Environment (EDMAR) Program. This study investigated the presence of classic markers of estrogenic exposure by determining vitellogenin (VTG) and zona radiata protein (ZRP) mRNA levels and ovotestis in estuarine-caught male gobies and investigated morphological changes in the urogenital papilla (UGP). Laboratory exposures to estrogens were also conducted to ascertain the responses of these markers. Wild-caught male fish showed no evidence of ovotestis, VTG, or ZRP mRNA induction. Laboratory exposures suggested that sensitivity of the goby to VTG/ZRP mRNA induction was similar to flounder. The UGP inspection of wild-caught specimens revealed evidence of feminization of male papillae, a condition denoted as morphologically intermediate papilla syndrome (MIPS). Morphologically intermediate papilla syndrome was more prevalent at estrogenically contaminated sites. Juvenile goby experimentally exposed to 17,-estradiol for 11 to 32 weeks exhibited signs of the MIPS condition, showing that it was inducible by estrogenic exposure and could therefore be a form of estrogenic endocrine disruption. The estuaries where the MIPS condition was most prevalent (>50% at certain sites) were the Tees, Mersey, and Clyde. The potential of the MIPS condition to significantly interfere with reproductive performance is discussed as well as its use as a monitoring tool for endocrine disruption in the estuarine environment. [source]

Trophic role of Atlantic cod in the ecosystem

Jason S. Link
Abstract As the world's oceans continue to undergo drastic changes, understanding the role of key species therein will become increasingly important. To explore the role of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua Gadidae) in the ecosystem, we reviewed biological interactions between cod and its prey, predators and competitors within six ecosystems taken from a broad geographic range: three are cod-capelin (Mallotus villosus Osmeridae) systems towards cod's northern Atlantic limit (Barents Sea, Iceland and Newfoundland,Labrador), two are more diverse systems towards the southern end of the range (North Sea and Georges Bank,Gulf of Maine), and one is a species-poor system with an unusual physical and biotic environment (Baltic Sea). We attempt a synthesis of the role of cod in these six ecosystems and speculate on how it might change in response to a variety of influences, particularly climate change, in a fashion that may apply to a wide range of species. We find cod prey, predators and competitors functionally similar in all six ecosystems. Conversely, we estimate different magnitudes for the role of cod in an ecosystem, with consequently different effects on cod, their prey and predator populations. Fishing has generally diminished the ecological role of cod. What remains unclear is how additional climate variability will alter cod stocks, and thus its role in the ecosystem. [source]

Optimising codend configuration in a multispecies demersal trawl fishery

Abstract, The relative efficiencies and selectivities of conventional and modified codends were examined in a demersal trawl fishery targeting several species, including eastern king prawns, Penaeus plebejus (Hess), whiting, Sillago spp. and cephalopods. The modifications to codends included: (i) reducing the circumference; (ii) increasing the mesh size in conventional diamond-mesh designs; and (iii) orientating meshes on the bar so that they were square shaped. The codends were tested against a fine-meshed control in paired comparisons onboard three commercial trawlers. The conventional codend comprised 41-mm diamond-shaped mesh attached to an anterior extension section at a ratio of 150 to 100 meshes and was demonstrated to be non-selective for the targeted species. Reducing codend circumference to 100 meshes and increasing the size of mesh to 45 mm both improved selection for eastern king prawns, but the lateral mesh openings were estimated to be insufficient to allow juveniles of the other key species to escape. By contrast, codends made from 35- and 41-mm mesh hung on the bar improved the size selection for eastern king prawns and selected stout whiting, Sillago robusta (Stead) (the smallest commercial-sized fish) across narrow selection ranges and at 50% sizes of retention (L50s) that were closely correlated to the transverse morphology of fish and the maximum mesh opening. With the exception of a reduction in catches of octopus, Octopus spp., by the 41-square codend, there were no other impacts on commercial catches by the square-mesh designs. It was concluded that diamond-mesh codends are inappropriate for use throughout this multispecies fishery and that a modified design comprising at least 35-mm mesh hung on the bar is required to minimise the fishing mortality of unwanted sizes of the key target species. The results are discussed in terms of the utility of these types of modifications for closely regulating selection in penaeid-shrimp trawls. [source]

The marine copepod, Pseudocalanus elongatus, as a mediator between climate variability and fisheries in the Central Baltic Sea

C. Möllmann
Abstract Pseudocalanus elongatus is a key species in the pelagic zone of the deep basins of the Central Baltic Sea. The copepod serves as a major food organism for larval as well as for adult, pelagic planktivorous fish. Large interannual fluctuations in the standing stock of P. elongatus have been attributed to significant changes in the hydrographic environment over the last two decades. In particular, the decreasing salinity in the Baltic deep basins, a result of a change in atmospheric forcing leading to an increase in rainfall since the 1980s and of a lack of pulses of saline water intrusions from the North Sea, was found to affect reproduction and maturation of the copepod. In parallel, dramatic changes in the weight-at-age of herring, one of the most important commercial fishes of the Baltic Sea, have been observed since the late 1980s. Using time-series on herring stomach contents, as well as length and weight, we provide evidence for a chain of events relating variability in climate, salinity and P. elongatus abundance to changes in diet and condition of herring in the Central Baltic Sea. [source]

Effect of temperature on development and growth of the raptorial cladoceran Leptodora kindtii under laboratory conditions

Jacobus Vijverberg
Summary 1. Leptodora is a key species in many temperate freshwater systems, but so far its role in the food web could not be properly evaluated because detailed information about its secondary production was lacking. As we wanted to estimate the secondary production of Leptodora, we measured its development and growth rates in the laboratory. 2. Employing improved methods to estimate growth and instar durations, we cultured Leptodora kindtii in the laboratory at four constant temperatures (15, 17.5, 20 and 25 °C). Growth in length and development times of eggs and instar stages were assessed. 3. Growth rates at 15, 17.5 and 20 °C were similar, but at 25 °C growth was distinctly faster. At 17.5 °C we observed seven juvenile instar stages before the first adult instar stage was reached. [source]

Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?

GCB BIOENERGY, Issue 1 2009
Abstract We assessed the potential impacts of land-use changes resulting from a change in the current biofuel policy on biodiversity in Europe. We evaluated the possible impact of both arable and woody biofuel crops on changes in distribution of 313 species pertaining to different taxonomic groups. Using species-specific information on habitat suitability as well as land use simulations for three different biofuel policy options, we downscaled available species distribution data from the original resolution of 50 to 1 km. The downscaled maps were then applied to analyse potential changes in habitat size and species composition at different spatial levels. Our results indicate that more species might suffer from habitat losses rather than benefit from a doubled biofuel target, while abolishing the biofuel target would mainly have positive effects. However, the possible impacts vary spatially and depend on the biofuel crop choice, with woody crops being less detrimental than arable crops. Our results give an indication for policy and decision makers of what might happen to biodiversity under a changed biofuel policy in the European Union. The presented approach is considered to be innovative as to date no comparable policy impact assessment has been applied to such a large set of key species at the European scale. [source]

Predicting potential impacts of climate change on the geographical distribution of enchytraeids: a meta-analysis approach

Abstract The expectation that atmospheric warming will be most pronounced at higher latitudes means that Arctic and montane systems, with predominantly organic soils, will be particularly influenced by climate change. One group of soil fauna, the enchytraeids, is commonly the major soil faunal component in specific biomes, frequently exceeding above-ground fauna in biomass terms. These organisms have a crucial role in carbon turnover in organic rich soils and seem particularly sensitive to temperature changes. In order to predict the impacts of climate change on this important group of soil organisms we reviewed data from 44 published papers using a combination of conventional statistical techniques and meta-analysis. We focused on the effects of abiotic factors on total numbers of enchytraeids (a total of 611 observations) and, more specifically, concentrated on total numbers, vertical distribution and age groupings of the well-studied species Cognettia sphagnetorum (228 observations). The results highlight the importance of climatic factors, together with vegetation and soil type in determining global enchytraeid distribution; in particular, cold and wet environments with mild summers are consistently linked to greater densities of enchytraeids. Based on the upper temperature distribution limits reported in the literature, and identified from our meta-analyses, we also examined the probable future geographical limits of enchytraeid distribution in response to predicted global temperature changes using the HadCM3 model climate output for the period between 2010 and 2100. Based on the existing data we identify that a maximum mean annual temperature threshold of 16 °C could be a critical limit for present distribution of field populations, above which their presence would decline markedly, with certain key species, such as C. sphagnetorum, being totally lost from specific regions. We discuss the potential implications for carbon turnover in these organic soils where these organisms currently dominate and, consequently, their future role as C sink/source in response to climate change. [source]

Information needs to support environmental impact assessment of the effects of European marine offshore wind farms on birds

IBIS, Issue 2006
European legislation requires Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) of national offshore wind farm (OWF) programmes and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for individual projects likely to affect birds. SEAs require extensive mapping of waterbird densities to define breeding and feeding areas of importance and sensitivity. Use of extensive large scale weather, military, and air traffic control surveillance radar is recommended, to define areas, routes and behaviour of migrating birds, and to determine avian migration corridors in three dimensions. EIAs for individual OWFs should define the key avian species present; as well as assess the hazards presented to birds in terms of avoidance behaviour, habitat change and collision risk. Such measures, however, are less helpful in assessing cumulative impacts. Using aerial survey, physical habitat loss, modification, or gain and effective habitat loss through avoidance behaviour can be measured using bird densities as a proxy measure of habitat availability. The energetic consequences of avoidance responses and habitat change should be modelled to estimate fitness costs and predict impacts at the population level. Our present ability to model collision risk remains poor due to lack of data on species-specific avoidance responses. There is therefore an urgent need to gather data on avoidance responses; energetic consequences of habitat modification and avoidance flights and demographic sensitivity of key species, most affected by OWFs. This analysis stresses the importance of common data collection protocols, sharing of information and experience, and accessibility of results at the international level to better improve our predictive abilities. [source]

Differences in reproductive timing among sponges sharing habitat and thermal regime

Ana Riesgo
Abstract. The reproductive cycles of four Mediterranean demosponges (Axinella damicornis, Corticium candelabrum, Raspaciona aculeata, and Chondrosia reniformis) were investigated during 2 consecutive years. Three of the species had annual gametogenic cycles characterized by a single peak of gamete production, but members of C. candelabrum showed continuous oocyte production during the 2 years. The relationship between gametogenic dynamics and seawater temperature varied substantially among species, contrary to the widespread belief that gamete production is associated with seasonal water warming. The annual temperature increase (in June) concurred with oocyte production only in C. reniformis, although maximum temperatures were simultaneous with the production of both oocytes in R. aculeata and sperm in C. reniformis. In contrast, the annual temperature decline in October was associated with both oogenesis in A. damicornis and spermatogenesis in R. aculeata. Spermatogenesis in A. damicornis started after a 5-month period of low-temperature values (December,April in 2004 and November,March in 2005). Likewise, in C. candelabrum, spermatogenesis started after a 3-month period of low-temperature values (November,February), a period concomitant with a slow increase in oocyte production. These findings reveal that sponge species that cooccur and share similar thermal regimes may differ substantially in their timing of gamete production. If we are to predict the future effects of climate change on marine benthic communities, there is an urgent need to improve our knowledge of the species-specific relationship between timing of gametogenesis and temperature, at least for those sponges that are key species in benthic communities. [source]

Effect of selective logging on forest structure and nutrient cycling in a seasonally dry Brazilian Atlantic forest

Dora Maria Villela
Abstract Aim, The Brazilian Atlantic forest covers c. 10% of its original extent, and some areas are still being logged. Although several ecological studies in Atlantic forest have been published over the past two to three decades, there has been little research on forest dynamics and there is a particular lack of information on the effects of disturbance. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of selective logging on forest structure, floristic composition soil nutrients, litterfall and litter layer in a seasonally dry Atlantic forest. Location, The Mata do Carvão is located in the Guaxindiba Ecological Reserve in São Francisco do ltabapoana district (21°24, S, 41°04, W), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Methods, Four plots (50 × 50 m) were set up in 1995 in each of two stands: unlogged and logged. In each plot, all trees , 10 cm d.b.h. were enumerated, identified and measured. Vouchers were lodged at UENF Herbarium. Five surface soil samples were collected in each plot in the dry season (in October 1995). Litterfall was collected in eight traps (0.50 m2) in each plot over a year from 14 November 1995 to 11 November 1996. The litter layer was sampled in eight quadrats (0.25 m2) in each plot in the dry and wet seasons. Soils were air-dried, sieved, and chemically analysed. The litter was dried (80 °C), sorted into six fractions, weighed and bulked samples analysed for nutrients. Results, Forest stands did not differ in stem density and total basal area, with a total of 1137 individuals sampled in 1996 (564 unlogged and 573 logged), and a total basal area of 15 m2 (unlogged) and 13.0 m2 (logged). However, unlogged stands had more large trees (, 30 cm in d.b.h.) and greater mean canopy height. Among the families, Rutaceae and Leguminosae were the most abundant families in both sites, although the Rutaceae had a higher density in unlogged and Leguminosae in the logged stand. The species diversity index was similar between stands. Late-successional species, such as Metrodorea nigra var. brevifolia and Paratecoma peroba, were less abundant in the logged stand. Selective logging did not affect nutrient concentrations in the soil or in the litter. However, quantities of the nutrients in the total litterfall and in the leaf litterfall and litter layer were higher in unlogged than in logged stands, mainly as a result of fallen M. nigra leaves. Metrodorea nigra was considered a key species in the nutrients dynamics in Carvão forest. Main conclusions, Despite the fact that effects on tree diversity and soil nutrients were not clear, selective logging in this Atlantic forest altered canopy structure, increased the relative abundance of some early-secondary species and decreased the litter input and stock of nutrients. Detailed information on the influence of logging on the distribution and structure of plant populations and in nutrient processes is fundamental for a sustainable logging system to be developed. [source]

Response of waterbird species to fluctuating water levels in tropical coastal wetlands

Francis Gbogbo
Abstract Recent upsurges in the incidence of dam construction over rivers for farming and hydro electric power in the West African sub-region is a known promoter of fluctuating water levels on tropical coastal wetlands. Waterbirds, being one of the dominant fauna on wetlands, are key species that can be affected by fluctuating water levels. Waterbird census and water level monitoring at four coastal wetlands in Ghana revealed that different guilds (species assemblages) of waterbirds responded differently to fluctuating water levels. The populations density of birds in guilds 1 (ducks and cormorants), 3 (tactile surface foraging waders), 4 (pelagic foraging waders) and 5 (stalking herons and egrets) significantly (P < 0.05) increased linearly with decreasing water levels. The population density of birds in guilds 2 (visual surface foraging waders) and 7 (fishing terns) responded significantly (P < 0.05) in a second order polynomial function with optimum numbers occurring when water levels were neither too high nor too low. As far as farming and energy requirement are met from these dams, it is important that the ecological needs of waterbirds on wetlands are incorporated into the management of these dams so as to maintain appropriate water levels beneficial to waterbird populations. Résumé En Afrique de l'Ouest, la multiplication récente des constructions de barrages sur des cours d'eau pour les exploitations agricoles et la fourniture d'électricité est un facteur connu des fluctuations du niveau d'eau dans les zones humides côtières tropicales. Les oiseaux d'eau, éléments dominants de la faune des zones humides, sont des espèces clés qui peuvent être touchées par la fluctuation du niveau de l'eau. Les recensements des oiseaux d'eau et le suivi du niveau de l'eau dans quatre zones humides côtières du Ghana ont révélé que des guildes (assemblages d'espèces) différentes répondaient différemment à la fluctuation du niveau de l'eau. La densité de population des oiseaux dans les guildes 1 (canards et cormorans), 3 (échassiers se nourrissant en surface grâce aux corpuscules tactiles du bec), 4 (échassiers se nourrissant en profondeur) et 5 (hérons et aigrettes qui pêchent à l'affût) augmentait significativement (P < 0,05) de façon linéaire lorsque le niveau de l'eau baissait. La population des oiseaux des guildes 2 (échassiers chassant à vue à la surface) et 7 (sternes pêcheuses) répondait significativement (P < 0,05) dans une fonction polynômiale du 2d degré, les nombres optimum s'observant lorsque le niveau de l'eau n'est ni trop haut ni trop bas. À partir du moment où les exigences de l'agriculture et de l'énergie sont satisfaites grâce à ces barrages, il est important que les besoins écologiques des oiseaux d'eau des zones humides soient intégrés dans la gestion de ces barrages de façon à maintenir des niveaux d'eau favorables aux populations d'oiseaux d'eau. [source]

Variations of diet composition of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus L.) in Europe

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 3-4 2001
Claudia Gebert
ABSTRACT To define the food resources of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus L.) in Europe and to detect the principal sources of variations in their diet, we reviewed field studies based on stomach content analysis. The study areas were classified into three main habitat groups (mixed-coniferous forest, mixed-deciduous forest, moorland), the food items into 13 plant categories, and we used five seasonal classes (winter, spring, summer, autumn, hunting season) for analysing the data set. For statistical analyses we used correspondence analysis and analysis of variance. Red Deer eat a varied diet comprising at least 145 plant species. The main sources of diet variation were due to habitat, leading us to identify three habitat types characterized by the consumption of a few key species. Clear seasonal variation was observed only for the seed and fruit items which were used mainly during the hunting season. Our results confirm that Red Deer can be classified among the intermediate feeders, with a mixed diet of grass & sedges (29%) and concentrate food items (63%). However, they also show Red Deer to be primarily a concentrate feeder (max. 75%) with no significant seasonal variation between the quantities of grass or sedges and concentrate food in the diet. In the light of these results, we discuss potential competition with other sympatric ungulates (wild and domestic). We suggest that it may be useful to take into account key food resources in modelling population dynamics and in taking management decisions. [source]

Impact of ice ages on circumpolar molecular diversity: insights from an ecological key species

Abstract We address the impact of the ice age cycles on intraspecific cpDNA diversity, for the first time on the full circumboreal-circumarctic scale. The bird-dispersed bog bilberry (or arctic blueberry, Vaccinium uliginosum) is a key component of northern ecosystems and is here used to assess diversity in previously glaciated vs. unglaciated areas and the importance of Beringia as a refugium and source for interglacial expansion. Eighteen chloroplast DNA haplotypes were observed in and among 122 populations, grouping into three main lineages which probably diverged before, and thus were affected more or less independently by, all major glaciations. The boreal ,Amphi-Atlantic lineage' included one haplotype occurring throughout northern Europe and one occurring in eastern North America, suggesting expansion from at least two bottlenecked, glacial refugium populations. The boreal ,Beringian lineage' included seven haplotypes restricted to Beringia and the Pacific coast of USA. The ,Arctic-Alpine lineage' included nine haplotypes, one of them fully circumpolar. This lineage was unexpectedly diverse, also in previously glaciated areas, suggesting that it thrived on the vast tundras during the ice ages and recolonized deglaciated terrain over long distances. Its largest area of persistence during glaciations was probably situated in the north, stretching from Beringia and far into Eurasia, and it probably also survived the last glaciation in southern mountain ranges. Although Beringia apparently was important for the initial divergence and expansion of V. uliginosum as well as for continuous survival of both the Beringian and Arctic-Alpine lineages during all ice ages, this region played a minor role as a source for later interglacial expansions. [source]

Insecticidal activity of the enantiomers of fipronil

Harald B Teicher
Abstract The two enantiomers of the insecticide fipronil were made by preparative HPLC. The insecticidal activities of the racemic mixture and the two enantiomers against selected agricultural or household pests (cotton stainer, Dysdercus cingulatus F; grain weevil, Sitophilus granarius L and house fly, Musca domestica L) were determined. There was no significant difference in acute or residual activity between the racemic mixture and the enantiomers of fipronil, indicating that there is no preferred chiral form of the compound in these key species of important insects. This observation clearly suggests that there is no major scope for marketing the insecticide in a one-enantiomer form. Copyright © 2003 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Ultraviolet-B Radiation Effects on the Structure and Function of Lower Trophic Levels of the Marine Planktonic Food Web

Gustavo A. Ferreyra
ABSTRACT The impact of UV-B radiation (UVBR; 280,320 nm) on lower levels of a natural plankton assemblage (bacteria, phytoplankton and microzooplankton) from the St. Lawrence Estuary was studied during 9 days using several immersed outdoor mesocosms. Two exposure treatments were used in triplicate mesocosms: natural UVBR (N treatment, considered as the control treatment) and lamp-enhanced UVBR (H treatment, simulating 60% depletion of the ozone layer). A phytoplankton bloom developed after day 3, but no significant differences were found between treatments during the entire experiment for phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll a and cell carbon) nor for phytoplankton cell abundances from flow cytometry and optical microscopy of three phytoplankton size classes (picoplankton, nanoplankton and microplankton). In contrast, bacterial abundances showed significantly higher values in the H treatment, attributed to a decrease in predation pressure due to a dramatic reduction in ciliate biomass (, 70,80%) in the H treatment relative to the N treatment. The most abundant ciliate species were Strombidinium sp., Prorodon ovum and Tintinnopsis sp.; all showed significantly lower abundances under the H treatment. P. ovum was the less-affected species (50% reduction in the H treatment compared with that of the N control), contrasting with ,90% for the other ones. Total specific phytoplanktonic and bacterial production were not affected by enhanced UVBR. However, both the ratio of primary to bacterial biomass and production decreased markedly under the H treatment. In contrast, the ratio of phytoplankton to bacterial plus ciliate carbon biomass showed an opposite trend than the previous results, with higher values in the H treatment at the end of the experiment. These results are explained by the changes in the ciliate biomass and suggest that UVBR can alter the structure of the lower levels of the planktonic community by selectively affecting key species. On the other hand, linearity between particulate organic carbon (POC) and estimated planktonic carbon was lost during the postbloom period in both treatments. On the basis of previous studies, our results can be attributed to the aggregation of carbon released by cells to the water column in the form of transparent exopolymer particles (TEPs) under nutrient limiting conditions. Unexpectedly, POC during such a period was higher in the H treatment than in controls. We hypothesize a decrease in the ingestion of TEPs by ciliates, in coincidence with increased DOC release by phytoplankton cells under enhanced UVBR. The consequences of such results for the carbon cycle in the ocean are discussed. [source]

Developmental anatomy of seedlings of Indodalzellia gracilis (Podostemaceae)

PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 5 2010
S. Koi
Abstract In Tristichoideae, aquatic angiosperms in the family Podostemaceae, Terniopsis, Tristicha, Indotristicha and Cussetia have creeping roots with flanking (sub)cylindrical shoots, while Dalzellia is rootless and has crustose shoots. Indodalzellia gracilis, sister to a clade of Dalzellia zeylanica and Indotristicha ramosissima, has subcrustose shoots on the side of creeping roots, suggesting that I. gracilis may be a key species to reveal how saltational evolution of the body plan occurred in these three species. We investigated developmental morphology of I. gracilis seedlings grown in culture, using scanning electron microscopy and semi-thin serial sections. As in D. zeylanica, the plumular apical meristem in the seedling gives rise to two shoot apical meristems, which develop into horizontal subcrustose shoots with dorsal and marginal leaves. Neither radicle nor adventitious root is produced from the hypocotyl, but an adventitious root arises endogenously from the juvenile shoot and from some shoots of adult plants. These results, together with the phylogenetic relationships, suggest that the Indodalzellia seedling evolved by loss of the adventitious root derived from the hypocotyl, appearance of shoots in the axil of cotyledons, and appearance of adventitious roots from adventitious shoots. The difference in place of origin of the root between Indodalzellia and I. ramosissima suggests differing evolutionary origin of the root in Tristichoideae. [source]

Status of freshwater fish around the Korean Demilitarized Zone and its implications for conservation

Min-Ho Jang
Abstract 1.The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which divides the Korean peninsula, currently serves as a sanctuary for diverse biological resources, owing to limited development and human activities. The fish fauna of the DMZ areas, including the Civilian Control Zone (CCZ) and Military Facility Protection Area (MFPA), was investigated by quarterly sampling at 53 sites from August 2001 to May 2004. 2.In total, 10,946 fish were collected and classified into 99 species and 26 families. Zacco platypus (relative abundance, RA 18.6%) was the dominant species, while other key species were Rhynchocypris steindachneri (16.0%), Pungitius sinensis (12.5%) and Zacco temmincki (8.5%). 3.Thirty species were found to be Korean endemics, representing seven families. Eight Korean vulnerable species and two Korean natural monument species were recorded. Three exotic fish species (Carassius cuvieri, Micropterus salmoides and Lepomis macrochirus) were collected at 13 study sites, all but one of which are outside the CCZ. There were significant relationships between altitude and fish species richness (r2=0.448, P<0.001) and the number of endemic fish species (r2=0.487, P<0.001). 4.Owing to very limited human interference, the DMZ could provide good benchmark sites to enable ecological restoration on other rivers and streams for maintenance of natural freshwater fish biodiversity. It is suggested that a natural park is instituted around the DMZ areas for ecological protection and as a symbol of peaceful coexistence between South and North Korea. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

My favorite animal, Trichoplax adhaerens

BIOESSAYS, Issue 12 2005
Bernd Schierwater
Trichoplax adhaerens is more simply organized than any other living metazoan. This tiny marine animal looks like a irregular "hairy plate" ("tricho plax") with a simple upper and lower epithelium and some loose cells in between. After its original description by F.E. Schulze 1883, it attracted particular attention as a potential candidate representing the basic and ancestral state of metazoan organization. The lack of any kind of symmetry, organs, nerve cells, muscle cells, basal lamina and extracellular matrix originally left little doubt about the basal position of T. adhaerens. Nevertheless, the interest of zoologists and evolutionary biologists suddenly vanished for more than half a century when Trichoplax was claimed to be an aberrant hydrozoan planula larva. Recently, Trichoplax has been rediscovered as a key species for unraveling early metazoan evolution. For example, research on regulatory genes and whole genome sequencing promise insights into the genetics underlying the origin and development of basal metazoan phyla. Trichoplax offers unique potential for understanding the minimal requirements of metazoan animal organization. BioEssays 27:1294,1302, 2005. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]