Browse results

Bernhard A. Huber and Anne Chao

Ratio-like approaches for estimating global species richness have been criticised for their unjustified extrapolation from regional to global patterns. Here we explore the use of cumulative percentages of ‘new’ (i.e., not formally described) species over large geographic areas (‘megatransects’) as a means to overcome this problem. In addition, we take into account undetected species and illustrate these combined methods by applying them to a family of spiders (Pholcidae) that currently contains some 1,700 described species. The raw global cumulative percentage of new species (‘new’ as of the end of 2008, when 1,001 species were formally described) is 75.1%, and is relatively constant across large biogeographic regions. Undetected species are estimated using the Chao2 estimator based on species incidence data (date by species and locality by species matrices). The estimated percentage of new species based on the date by species matrices is 76.0% with an estimated standard error (s.e.) of 2.6%. This leads to an estimated global species richness of about 4,200 with a 95% confidence interval of (3,300, 5,000). The corresponding values based on locality by species matrices are 84.2% (s.e. 3.0%) and 6,300 with a 95% confidence interval of (4,000, 8,600). Our results suggest that the currently known 1,700 species of Pholcidae may represent no more than about 25–40% of the total species richness. The impact of further biasing factors like geography, species size and distribution, cryptic species, and model assumptions needs to be explored.

Antonio Archidona-Yuste, Carolina Cantalapiedra-Navarrete, Pablo Castillo and Juan E. Palomares-Rius

The genus Longidorus constitutes a large group of approximately 170 species of plant-ectoparasitic nematodes that are polyphagous and distributed almost worldwide. Some of the species of this genus are vectors of plant viruses. Species discrimination in Longidorus is difficult because the morphology is very conservative, and morphometric characters often overlap, leading to potential misidentification. Integrative taxonomy, based on the combination of molecular analyses with morphology, is a useful and necessary approach in Longidorus species identification. In Spain from 2014 to 2017, we conducted nematode surveys among cultivated and wild plants, from which we identified 13 populations of Longidorus, two of which appeared to represent new species and are described herein as L. iliturgiensis sp. nov. and L. pacensis sp. nov., and 11 populations belonging to eight known species: L. africanus, L. baeticus, L. carpetanensis, L. fasciatus, L. nevesi, L. cf. olegi, L. pini, and L. vallensis. Three species are new geographical records for Spain (L. nevesi, L. cf. olegi, and L. africanus). We report molecular data for L. nevesi, L. cf. olegi, L. carpetanensis and L. pini for the first time. Additionally, we describe the males of L. pini and the juveniles of L. cf. olegi.

Yee Wah Lau, Frank R. Stokvis, Yukimitsu Imahara and James D. Reimer

Stoloniferan octocorals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) are a relatively unexplored fauna in the Ryukyus (southern Japan), known to be a tropical marine region of high biodiversity and endemism of species. Specimens of stoloniferous octocorals were collected during fieldwork along the coasts of two islands (Okinawa and Iriomote) in the Okinawa Prefecture. Despite their phenotypic polyp variation, this study shows their morphological and molecular uniqueness, leading to the description of a new genus with a single species: Hanabira yukibana, gen. nov., sp. nov. They are placed within the Clavulariidae and form a sister clade basally to the genus Knopia Alderslade & McFadden, 2007 and species of Clavularia Blainville, 1830. The polyps of this new species show morphological variation in both shape and sclerite density, but there is conformity in the typical overall petal shaped tentacles, which have fused pinnules (pseudopinnules). Depending on the densities of their sclerites and their photosynthetic endosymbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) of the family Symbiodiniaceae, there is a characteristic sheen present in the tentacles. Moreover, the zooxanthellae hosted by our specimens form a clear, small-scale biogeographic pattern; all H. yukibana specimens from Okinawa Island contained zooxanthellae of the genus Cladocopium Lajeunesse & H.J. Jeong, 2018 (= former Symbiodinium ‘Clade C’) and all specimens from Iriomote Island hosted zooxanthellae of the genus Durusdinium LaJeunesse, 2018 (= former Symbiodinium ‘Clade D’). These results show the potential for variation among the Symbiodiniaceae floras within octocorals, something that has not yet been investigated for the large majority of zooxanthellate octocoral species.

Ton Liefaard

Although the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises procedural rights of the child in addition to substantive rights, it is rather silent on the fundamental right to an effective remedy. The concept of access to justice for children has nevertheless emerged in the past decades and manifested itself firmly in the international human rights and sustainable development agendas. Access to justice is grounded in the right of the child to seek remedies in case of (alleged) rights violations. It implies legal empowerment of children and access to justice mechanisms and remedies that are child-sensitive. So far, access to justice, with a specific focus on children, lacks careful consideration, conceptualisation and contextualisation in academic research and writing. This contribution explores the meaning of access to justice for children, as a right and procedural concept, and paves the way for the development of a more specific research and implementation agenda.

Sheila Varadan

The phrase “evolving capacities of the child” appears twice in the uncrc, under articles 5 and 14(2) in the framework of parental guidance. Yet the term “evolving capacities” appears over 80 times in the General Comments of the crc Committee. This paper examines the Committee’s use of “evolving capacities” in its General Comments, suggesting that the term has been treated as an enabling principle, an interpretative principle, and a policy principle within the framework of the uncrc. A broad principle of evolving capacities has thus emerged under the uncrc that informs not only the framework of parental guidance, but the whole of the Convention. However, the crc Committee does not recognise “evolving capacities” as a general principle or otherwise under the uncrc. This paper examines why this might be, and concludes that more consideration needs to be given to the role of “evolving capacities” as a principle under the uncrc.

The Impact of Justice on the Roman Empire

Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Gent, June 21-24, 2017)


Edited by Olivier Hekster and Koenraad Verboven

The Impact of Justice on the Roman Empire discusses ways in which notions, practice and the ideology of justice impacted on the functioning of the Roman Empire. The papers assembled in this volume follow from the thirteenth workshop of the international network Impact of Empire. They focus on what was considered just in various groups of Roman subjects, how these views were legitimated, shifted over time, and how they affected policy making and political, administrative, and judicial practices. Linking all of the papers are three common themes: the emperor and justice, justice in a dispersed empire and differentiation of justice.