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Although lichens are a common feature in Wyoming, there has been no attempt to compile a statewide list of species since 1900. A number of surveys have been conducted in the state, especially in Yellowstone National Park and other federally managed parks and forests, though little attention has been given to lower-elevation regions of the state. The literature search conducted for this project yielded nearly 800 species names, which number was reduced to 608 currently accepted taxa. Collection locations and references are provided for each taxon, as are global ranks (conservation status, from NatureServe.org), and a brief discussion of some of the interesting results.
During the last few decades, detailed studies of bats have been conducted in many parts of Nebraska, but comprehensive surveys were lacking in the Wildcat Hills and other western regions of the state. The Wildcat Hills represent a unique and isolated area of rugged buttes, ridges, and canyons dominated by ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa) in central parts of Nebraska's panhandle. This area also contains landscapes with some of the highest wind speeds in the state, making it conducive for future wind-energy development. To better understand the natural history of bats and to promote conservation efforts in the region, we report on the distribution of bats and their habitats, as well as on their relative abundance, seasonal activity, and reproduction in the Wildcat Hills and surrounding areas. From August 1997 to July 2011, we captured 968 bats representing 7 species, and we also examined museum specimens previously collected by other researchers from the region. For 5 species, we extend the known period of nonhibernating activity in the state, and we provide evidence of reproducing populations for 7 species in the region based on presence of lactating females. New reproductive information for bats in Nebraska also includes timing of pregnancy and lactation, as well as presence of volant young. For migratory species during autumn migration, hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) and eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) began moving through the region earlier (late July/early August) than silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans). Documentation of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) in riparian areas and buildings along the North Platte River represents a range extension for this species from the Pine Ridge in northwestern Nebraska. Knowledge gained from our long-term study will assist resource managers and biologists in efforts to protect and manage bats as these bats face unprecedented challenges in the future with development of additional wind-energy facilities and likely westward spread of white-nose syndrome in North America.
Documentation of the biodiversity of eukaryotic algae from desert systems is sparse. Our objective was to characterize microalgae from soil samples collected throughout Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA. Morphological, life-cycle, and DNA sequence data were collected for 100 microalgal isolates distributed over 18 sites in Joshua Tree National Park. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA data separated the green algae into 15 major clades—10 in the class Chlorophyceae and 5 in the class Trebouxiophyceae—containing 2 or more lineages plus 9 lineages represented by a single isolate. Five isolates belonging to the class Xanthophyceae and 2 isolates belonging to Eustigmatophyceae were also identified. Some green algal isolates could be placed with confidence in known genera including Bracteacoccus, Chlorosarcinopsis, Myrmecia, Neochlorosarcina, Scenedesmus, and Stichococcus, whereas several green isolates could not be assigned to known genera based on morphological or molecular data. Both morphological and molecular data were important to identifying this biodiversity. Due to the paucity of informative morphological characters, morphology alone does not capture the species diversity found at sites. Molecular data are a richer source of characters with which to identify the algae, but more representative sequences of soil algae are needed in public databases to make identification of any new taxa straightforward. Overall, our data suggest that the biodiversity of these hot deserts still is largely unknown and unexplored.
This study summarizes cytogenetic variation, particularly sex-linked chromosomal inversions which define taxa of the Simulium arcticum complex (Diptera: Simuliidae) in western Montana and portions of northern Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Variation in polytene chromosomes was determined for nearly 15,000 larvae from 234 collections taken from 58 freshwater sites. The previously described siblings, S. apricarium, S. arcticum sensu stricto, S. brevicercum, and S. saxosum, were most numerous, while all cytotypes, with the exception of IIL-19, were found in low frequency. Additionaly, 6 new cytotypes in low frequency are described. Evidence suggests that the Y chromosome carries the testis-determining gene, and in almost all taxa of S.arcticum, complex paracentric inversions characterize these types. Distributions of (1) S.brevicercum and S. arcticum s. s., (2) S. arcticum s. s. and S.arcticum IIL-18, (3) S. brevicercum and S.arcticum IIL-18, and (4) S. arcticum IIL-9 and S.arcticum IIL-19 have highly significant positive geographic associations, while those of (1) S.apricarium and S.brevicercum and (2) S.apricarium and S.saxosum have highly significant negative geographic associations. The S.arcticum cytotypes IIS-12, IIL-17, IIL-21, IIL-22, IIL-38, IIL-51, IIL-68, IIL-73•74, and IIL-79 occur only at 2 or fewer locations. Polyploids (0.0007), pericentric inversions (0.00007) and chromosomal translocations (0.00007) are exceedingly rare. These observations and our recent DNA comparisons of chromosomally distinct types lead me to elaborate on a previously suggested model for chromosome evolution in black flies. In this model, locally distributed cytotypes may become more common with time, while widespread cytospecies may eventually become morphologically differentiated types. Contrary to the current understanding that chromosome variation may not play a significant role in the speciation process of most animals, this study suggests that chromosomal variation, at least in black flies, plays a significant role in speciation.
Herein we clarify the taxonomy of Fluminicola coloradensis Morrison (1940), which was described for populations in the Green River and Bonneville basins but has also been treated as restricted to the former watershed and conspecific with (currently unassigned) Snake River basin populations of Fluminicola hindsi sensu Taylor (1966). Bayesian analyses of DNA sequences from 2 mitochondrial genes congruently resolved F. coloradensis and Snake River basin populations of F. hindsi sensu Taylor as a strongly supported, shallowly structured clade. Haplotypes were extensively shared by Bonneville, Snake River and Green River populations; AMOVA did not detect significant variation among basins for either gene. Morphological variation was minor. Based on these results, we assign the Snake River basin populations to F. coloradensis. We attribute the limited differentiation of widely ranging F. coloradensis to its well-integrated habitats and to dispersal mediated by geologically recent drainage transfers. The broadly disjunct population in the Owyhee River drainage may be a product of translocation, as evidenced by detection of only the most common haplotypes in these snails. Our finding that F. coloradensis is more widely distributed than previously thought suggests that it may not require conservation attention rangewide, although some geographic subunits may be at risk.