Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 248

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biological and Ecological Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

248 Optimal Management of Forest Stands under Wind Risk in Czech Republic

Authors: Zohreh Mohammadi, Jan Kaspar, Peter Lohmander, Robert Marusak, Harald Vacik, Ljusk Ola Eriksson

Abstract:

Storms are important damaging agents in European forest ecosystems. In the latest decades, significant economic losses in European forestry occurred due to storms. This study investigates the problem of optimal harvest planning when forest stands risk to be felled by storms. One of the most applicable mathematical methods which are being used to optimize forest management is stochastic dynamic programming (SDP). This method belongs to the adaptive optimization class. Sequential decisions, such as harvest decisions, can be optimized based on sequential information about events that cannot be perfectly predicted, such as the future storms and the future states of wind protection from other forest stands. In this paper, stochastic dynamic programming is used to maximize the expected present value of the profits from an area consisting of several forest stands. The region of analysis is the Czech Republic. The harvest decisions, in a particular time period, should be simultaneously taken in all neighbor stands. The reason is that different stands protect each other from possible winds. The optimal harvest age of a particular stand is a function of wind speed and different wind protection effects. The optimal harvest age often decreases with wind speed, but it cannot be determined for one stand at a time. When we consider a particular stand, this stand also protects other stands. Furthermore, the particular stand is protected by neighbor stands. In some forest stands, it may even be rational to increase the harvest age under the influence of stronger winds, in order to protect more valuable stands in the neighborhood. It is important to integrate wind risk in forestry decision-making.

Keywords: Czech Republic, wind risk, forest stands, stochastic dynamic programming

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247 Fire Occurrence Modelling Based on Human Factors by Means of Logistic Regression

Authors: Roberta Maletta, Francesco Colosimo, Giuseppe Mendicino, Salvatore Siviglia

Abstract:

Human activity is one of the main factors driving forest fires in the south of Italy. Knowing the characteristics of the territory and the climate, it’s very important, but understanding human behavior is the key to fire management and prevention activities. In order to propose a prediction model and to identify the most influential human variables, a logistic regression methodology was used to study forest fire occurrence. The spatial units were 404 municipalities of the Calabria region. The model is carried out using a total of 9829 burnt areas registered during a period of 12 years, from 2008 to 2019 (dependent variable). A dedicated Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to capture, analyze, and manage the spatial data recorded on different scales and to geoprocessing different factors related to fire ignition. After multicollinearity is detected, 26 geographic, demographic, economic, and environmental variables were selected (independent ones). Results have shown that the presence and density of local roads are mainly linked with fires. Moreover, human activities related to rivers and to the primary sector of the economy, as well as some types of land use, increase the probability of the occurrence of fires. The predictive map of fire occurrences due to human factors can be useful in decision-making for wildfire management and monitoring.

Keywords: regression model, forest fire, fire causes, human ignition of fires

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246 Comparative Study on the Social Behaviour of Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor) in Captive Facilities in Peninsular Malaysia

Authors: Kushaal Selvarajah, Geetha Annavi, Mohd Noor Hisham Mohd Nadzir

Abstract:

Sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) was uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red list in 2015 due to drastic population decline in the wild throughout its geographical range. Sambar deer is a valued prey for the highly endangered species such as the Malayan tiger. Ex-situ conservation efforts, i.e., captive breeding, initiated by local government to boost sambar deer numbers in captivity and to reintroduce into the wild to support a higher number of tigers, consistent with the goal of our National Tiger Conservation Action Plan. The reproductive success of sambar deer and their welfare management practices in captivity are important components for effective captive breeding programs. However, there is a lack of study carried out on sambar deer in recent years and their behavior in captivity. Three captive sites (Zoo Negara, Zoo Taiping, and Sungkai Conservation Centre) were selected and observed for an average of 40 days each site (6 hours/day). A Generalized Linear Model (GLM) was used to determine the correlation between social behavior and extrinsic parameters. A comparison between all three captive sites showed the strongest correlation in behavioral variability, followed by a time of observation. This proves that there is a difference between in behavioral consistency and frequency between herds across captive sites rising to the possibility of external factors that are influential. Time of day of observation also had significant influence on certain extrinsic parameters being skewed to morning observations and this could be due to an adaptive behavior to the feeding time in the captive sites being in the morning which caused the deer to be resting towards the afternoon. Extensive study need to be done on sambar deer to pinpoint the specifics and better understanding of these possible influential factors in their behavior.

Keywords: Husbandry, ex-situ conservation, behaviour ecology, captivity

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245 A Moving Target: Causative Factors for Geographic Variation in a Handed Flower

Authors: Celeste De Kock, Bruce Anderson, Corneile Minnaar

Abstract:

Geographic variation in the floral morphology of a flower species has often been assumed to result from co-variation in the availability of regionally-specific functional pollinator types, giving rise to plant ecotypes that are adapted to the morphology of the main pollinator types in that area. Wachendorfia paniculata is a geographically variable enantiostylous (handed) flower with preliminary observations suggesting that differences in pollinator community composition might be driving differences in the degree of herkogamy (spatial separation of the stigma and anthers on the same flower) across its geographic range. This study aimed to determine if pollinator-related variables such as visitation rate and pollinator type could explain differences in floral morphology seen in different populations. To assess pollinator community compositions, pollinator visitation rates, and the degree of herkogamy and flower size, flowers from 13 populations were observed and measured across the Western Cape, South Africa. Multiple regression analyses indicated that pollinator-related variables had no significant effect on the degree of herkogamy between sites. However, the degree of herkogamy was strongly negatively associated with the time of measurement. It remains possible that pollinators have had an effect on the development of herkogamy throughout the evolutionary timeline of different W. paniculata populations, but not necessarily to the fine-scale degree, as was predicted for this study. Annual fluctuations in pollinator community composition, paired with recent disturbances such as urbanization and the overabundance of artificially introduced honeybee hives, might also result in the signal of pollinator adaptation getting lost. Surprisingly, differences in herkogamy between populations could largely be explained by the time of day at which flowers were measured, suggesting a significant narrowing of the distance between reproductive parts throughout the day. We propose that this floral movement could possibly be an adaptation to ensure pollination if pollinator visitation to a flower was not sufficient earlier in the day, and will be explored in subsequent studies.

Keywords: ecotypes, enantiostyly, floral movement, geographic variation

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244 Predicting Growth of Eucalyptus Marginata in a Mediterranean Climate Using an Individual-Based Modelling Approach

Authors: S.K. Bhandari, E. Veneklaas, L. McCaw, R. Mazanec, K. Whitford, M. Renton

Abstract:

Eucalyptus marginata, E. diversicolor and Corymbia calophylla form widespread forests in south-west Western Australia (SWWA). These forests have economic and ecological importance, and therefore, tree growth and sustainable management are of high priority. This paper aimed to analyse and model the growth of these species at both stand and individual levels, but this presentation will focus on predicting the growth of E. Marginata at the individual tree level. More specifically, the study wanted to investigate how well individual E. marginata tree growth could be predicted by considering the diameter and height of the tree at the start of the growth period, and whether this prediction could be improved by also accounting for the competition from neighbouring trees in different ways. The study also wanted to investigate how many neighbouring trees or what neighbourhood distance needed to be considered when accounting for competition. To achieve this aim, the Pearson correlation coefficient was examined among competition indices (CIs), between CIs and dbh growth, and selected the competition index that can best predict the diameter growth of individual trees of E. marginata forest managed under different thinning regimes at Inglehope in SWWA. Furthermore, individual tree growth models were developed using simple linear regression, multiple linear regression, and linear mixed effect modelling approaches. Individual tree growth models were developed for thinned and unthinned stand separately. The developed models were validated using two approaches. In the first approach, models were validated using a subset of data that was not used in model fitting. In the second approach, the model of the one growth period was validated with the data of another growth period. Tree size (diameter and height) was a significant predictor of growth. This prediction was improved when the competition was included in the model. The fit statistic (coefficient of determination) of the model ranged from 0.31 to 0.68. The model with spatial competition indices validated as being more accurate than with non-spatial indices. The model prediction can be optimized if 10 to 15 competitors (by number) or competitors within ~10 m (by distance) from the base of the subject tree are included in the model, which can reduce the time and cost of collecting the information about the competitors. As competition from neighbours was a significant predictor with a negative effect on growth, it is recommended including neighbourhood competition when predicting growth and considering thinning treatments to minimize the effect of competition on growth. These model approaches are likely to be useful tools for the conservations and sustainable management of forests of E. marginata in SWWA. As a next step in optimizing the number and distance of competitors, further studies in larger size plots and with a larger number of plots than those used in the present study are recommended.

Keywords: Growth, Competition, model, thinning

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243 Marketing Practices of the Urban and Recycled Wood Industry in the United States

Authors: Robert Smith, Omar Espinoza, Anna Pitta

Abstract:

In the United States, trees felled in urban areas and wood generated through construction and demolition are primarily disposed of as low-value resources, such as biomass for energy, landscaping mulch, composting, or landfilled. An emerging industry makes use of these underutilized resources to produce high value-added products, with associated benefits for the environment, the local economy, and consumers. For the circular economy to be successful, markets must be created for sustainable, reusable natural materials. Research was carried out to increase the understanding of the marketing practices of urban and reclaimed wood industries. This paper presents the results of a nationwide survey of these companies. The results indicate that a majority of companies in this industry are small firms, operating for less than 10 years, which produce mostly to order and sell their products at comparatively higher prices than competing products made from virgin natural resources. Promotional messages included quality, aesthetics, and customization, conveyed through company webpages, word of mouth, and social media. Distribution channels used include direct sales, online sales, and retail sales. Partnerships are critical for effective raw material procurement. Respondents indicated optimistic growth expectations, despite barriers associated with urban and reclaimed wood materials and production.

Keywords: Marketing, wood products, Circular economy, urban and reclaimed wood

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242 Phytoplankton Community Composition in Laguna de Terminos, Mexico, and Its Relationship to Environmental Variables

Authors: Enrique Nunez L., Maria Cortes L., Sandra Laffon L., Ana M. Cupul V.

Abstract:

The phytoplankton community composition was studied in a tropical coastal lagoon of Mexico and relationships with environmental variables were evaluated. Six sites inside the tropical Terminos Lagoon were sampled in order to determine abundances and ecological indexes for phytoplankton from May to December 2017. Water samples were also collected to determine the values of pigments, nutrients, and water solids. Results showed that the composition and abundance of the phytoplankton community were influenced by physicochemical factors, nutrients, water solids, and climate seasons. Sixty-six species were identified as potential HAB producers (44.29% from total). However, abundances were not related to the occurrence of HAB during the study. Multidimensional ANOVA indicated no significant differences between sites while some months revealed significant differences. The canonical analysis suggested that environmental variables explained 49% of community variation of potential phytoplankton species producers of HAB.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Environment, phytoplankton, lagoon

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241 Inverted Diameter-Limit Thinning: A Promising Alternative for Mixed Populus tremuloides Stands Management

Authors: Ablo Paul Igor Hounzandji, Benoit Lafleur, Annie DesRochers

Abstract:

Introduction: Populus tremuloides [Michx] regenerates rapidly and abundantly by root suckering after harvest, creating stands with interconnected stems. Pre-commercial thinning can be used to concentrate growth on fewer stems to reach merchantability faster than un-thinned stands. However, conventional thinning methods are typically designed to reach even spacing between residual stems (1,100 stem ha⁻¹, evenly distributed), which can lead to treated stands consisting of weaker/smaller stems compared to the original stands. Considering the nature of P. tremuloides's regeneration, with large underground biomass of interconnected roots, aiming to keep the most vigorous and largest stems, regardless of their spatial distribution, inverted diameter-limit thinning could be more beneficial to post-thinning stand productivity because it would reduce the imbalance between roots and leaf area caused by thinning. Aims: This study aimed to compare stand and stem productivity of P. tremuloides stands thinned with a conventional thinning treatment (CT; 1,100 stem ha⁻¹, evenly distributed), two levels of inverted diameter-limit thinning (DL1 and DL2, keeping the largest 1100 or 2200 stems ha⁻¹, respectively, regardless of their spatial distribution) and a control unthinned treatment. Because DL treatments can create substantial or frequent gaps in the thinned stands, we also aimed to evaluate the potential of this treatment to recreate mixed conifer-broadleaf stands by fill-planting Picea glauca seedlings. Methods: Three replicate 21 year-old sucker-regenerated aspen stands were thinned in 2010 according to four treatments: CT, DL1, DL2, and un-thinned control. Picea glauca seedlings were underplanted in gaps created by the DL1 and DL2 treatments. Stand productivity per hectare, stem quality (diameter and height, volume stem⁻¹) and survival and height growth of fill-planted P. glauca seedlings were measured 8 year post-treatments. Results: Productivity, volume, diameter, and height were better in the treated stands (CT, DL1, and DL2) than in the un-thinned control. Productivity of CT and DL1 stands was similar 4.8 m³ ha⁻¹ year⁻¹. At the tree level, diameter and height of the trees in the DL1 treatment were 5% greater than those in the CT treatment. The average volume of trees in the DL1 treatment was 11% higher than the CT treatment. Survival after 8 years of fill planted P. glauca seedlings was 2% greater in the DL1 than in the DL2 treatment. DL1 treatment also produced taller seedlings (+20 cm). Discussion: Results showed that DL treatments were effective in producing post-thinned stands with larger stems without affecting stand productivity. In addition, we showed that these treatments were suitable to introduce slower growing conifer seedlings such as Picea glauca in order to re-create or maintain mixed stands despite the aggressive nature of P. tremuloides sucker regeneration.

Keywords: Silviculture, thinning, Aspen, inverted diameter-limit, mixed forest, populus tremuloides

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240 The Distribution, Productivity and Conservation of Camphor Tree, Dryobalanops Aromatica in West Coast of Sumatra, Indonesia

Authors: Aswandi Anas Husin, Cut Rizlani Kholibrina

Abstract:

Harvesting camphor resin has been carried out since the beginning of civilization on the west coast of Sumatra. Oil or crystals that containing borneol are harvested from the camphor tree (Dryobalanops aromatica). Non-timber forest products are utilized for the manufacture of fragrances, antiseptics, anti-inflammatory, analgesic as well as effective for the treatment of blocked arteries. Based on exploration on the west coast of Sumatra, these endemic tree species were found remaining growing in groups on small spots in the lowlands to the hills. Some populations are found at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level in Kadabuhan, Jongkong and Sultan Daulat in Subulussalam district, Singkohor and Lake Paris in Aceh Singkil district, and Sirandorung and Manduamas in the north of Barus, Central Tapanuli district. These multi-purpose tree species was also identified as being able to adapt to the Singkil Peat Swamp. The decline in tree population has a direct impact on reducing their productivity. Conventionally, the crystals are harvested by cutting and splitting the stem into wooden blocks. In this way about 1.5-2.5 kg of crystals are obtained with various qualities. Camphor retrieval can also be done by making a notch on a standing tree trunk and collecting liquid resin (ombil) that is removed from the injured resin channel. Twigs and leaves also contain borneol. The aromatic content in this section opens opportunities for the supply of borneol through the distillation process. Vegetative propagation technology is needed to overcome the limitations of available seeds. This breeding strategy for vulnerable species starts with gathering genetic material from various provenances which are then used to support the provision of basic populations, breeding populations, multiplication populations and production populations for extensive development of camphor tree plantations

Keywords: Conservation, Productivity, camphor, natural borneol, vulnerable species

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239 Use of Locally Available Organic Resources for Soil Fertility Improvement on Farmers Yield in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions of Ghana

Authors: Ebenezer Amoquandoh, Daniel Bruce Sarpong, Godfred K. Ofosu-Budu, Andreas Fliessbach

Abstract:

Soil quality is at stake globally, but under tropical conditions, the loss of soil fertility may be existential. The current rates of soil nutrient depletion, erosion and environmental degradation in most of Africa’s farmland urgently require methods for soil fertility restoration through affordable agricultural management techniques. The study assessed the effects of locally available organic resources to improve soil fertility, crop yield and profitability compared to business as usual on farms in the Eastern and Greater Accra regions of Ghana. Apart from this, we analyzed the change of farmers’ perceptions and knowledge upon the experience with the new techniques; the effect of using locally available organic resource on farmers’ yield and determined the factors influencing the profitability of farming. Using the Difference in Mean Score and Proportion to estimate the extent to which farmers’ perceptions, knowledge and practices have changed, the study showed that farmers’ perception, knowledge and practice on the use of locally available organic resources have changed significantly. This paves way for the sustainable use of locally available organic resource for soil fertility improvement. The Propensity Score Matching technique and Endogenous Switching Regression model used showed that using locally available organic resources have the potential to increase crop yield. It was also observed that using the Profit Margin, Net Farm Income and Return on Investment analysis, it is more profitable to use locally available organic resources than other soil fertility amendments techniques studied. The results further showed that socioeconomic, farm characteristics and institutional factors are significant in influencing farmers’ decision to use locally available organic resources and profitability.

Keywords: Perception, Sustainability, soil fertility, Profitability, locally available organic resources

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238 Diversity and Use of Agroforestry Yards of Family Farmers of Ponte Alta – Gama, Federal District, Brazil

Authors: Kever Bruno Paradelo Gomes, Rosana Carvalho Martins

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The home gardens areas are production systems, which are located near the homes and are quite common in the tropics. They consist of agricultural and forest species and may also involve the raising of small animals to produce food for subsistence as well as income generation, with a special focus on the conservation of biodiversity. Home gardens are diverse Agroforestry systems with multiple uses, among many, food security, income aid, traditional medicine. The work was carried out on rural properties of the family farmers of the Ponte Alta Rural Nucleus, Gama Administrative Region, in the city of Brasília, Federal District- Brazil. The present research is characterized methodologically as a quantitative, exploratory and descriptive nature. The instruments used in this research were: bibliographic survey and semi-structured questionnaire. The data collection was performed through the application of a semi-structured questionnaire, containing questions that referred to the perception and behavior of the interviewed producer on the subject under analysis. In each question, the respondent explained his knowledge about sustainability, agroecological practices, environmental legislation, conservation methods, forest and medicinal species, ago social and socioeconomic characteristics, use and purpose of agroforestry and technical assistance. The sample represented 55.62% of the universe of the study. We interviewed 99 people aged 18-83 years, with a mean age of 49 years. The low level of education, coupled with the lack of training and guidance for small family farmers in the Ponte Alta Rural Nucleus, is one of the limitations to the development of practices oriented towards sustainable and agroecological agriculture in the nucleus. It is observed that 50.5% of the interviewed people landed with agroforestry yards less than 20 years ago, and only 16.17% of them are older than 35 years. In identifying agriculture as the main activity of most of the rural properties studied, attention is drawn to the cultivation of medicinal plants, fruits and crops as the most extracted products. However, it is verified that the crops in the backyards have the exclusive purpose of family consumption, which could be complemented with the marketing of the surplus, as well as with the aggregation of value to the cultivated products. Initiatives such as this may contribute to the increase in family income and to the motivation and value of the crop in agroecological gardens. We conclude that home gardens of Ponte Alta are highly diverse thus contributing to local biodiversity conservation of are managed by women to ensure food security and allows income generation. The tradition of existing knowledge on the use and management of the diversity of resources used in agroforestry yards is of paramount importance for the development of sustainable alternative practices.

Keywords: Agriculture, Sustainability, Rural development, agroforestry system

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237 Characterization of Agroforestry Systems in Burkina Faso Using an Earth Observation Data Cube

Authors: Dan Kanmegne

Abstract:

Africa will become the most populated continent by the end of the century, with around 4 billion inhabitants. Food security and climate changes will become continental issues since agricultural practices depend on climate but also contribute to global emissions and land degradation. Agroforestry has been identified as a cost-efficient and reliable strategy to address these two issues. It is defined as the integrated management of trees and crops/animals in the same land unit. Agroforestry provides benefits in terms of goods (fruits, medicine, wood, etc.) and services (windbreaks, fertility, etc.), and is acknowledged to have a great potential for carbon sequestration; therefore it can be integrated into reduction mechanisms of carbon emissions. Particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the constraint stands in the lack of information about both areas under agroforestry and the characterization (composition, structure, and management) of each agroforestry system at the country level. This study describes and quantifies “what is where?”, earliest to the quantification of carbon stock in different systems. Remote sensing (RS) is the most efficient approach to map such a dynamic technology as agroforestry since it gives relatively adequate and consistent information over a large area at nearly no cost. RS data fulfill the good practice guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) that is to be used in carbon estimation. Satellite data are getting more and more accessible, and the archives are growing exponentially. To retrieve useful information to support decision-making out of this large amount of data, satellite data needs to be organized so to ensure fast processing, quick accessibility, and ease of use. A new solution is a data cube, which can be understood as a multi-dimensional stack (space, time, data type) of spatially aligned pixels and used for efficient access and analysis. A data cube for Burkina Faso has been set up from the cooperation project between the international service provider WASCAL and Germany, which provides an accessible exploitation architecture of multi-temporal satellite data. The aim of this study is to map and characterize agroforestry systems using the Burkina Faso earth observation data cube. The approach in its initial stage is based on an unsupervised image classification of a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time series from 2010 to 2018, to stratify the country based on the vegetation. Fifteen strata were identified, and four samples per location were randomly assigned to define the sampling units. For safety reasons, the northern part will not be part of the fieldwork. A total of 52 locations will be visited by the end of the dry season in February-March 2020. The field campaigns will consist of identifying and describing different agroforestry systems and qualitative interviews. A multi-temporal supervised image classification will be done with a random forest algorithm, and the field data will be used for both training the algorithm and accuracy assessment. The expected outputs are (i) map(s) of agroforestry dynamics, (ii) characteristics of different systems (main species, management, area, etc.); (iii) assessment report of Burkina Faso data cube.

Keywords: agroforestry systems, Burkina Faso, earth observation data cube, multi-temporal image classification

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236 Evaluating Habitat Manipulation as a Strategy for Rodent Control in Agricultural Ecosystems of Pothwar Region, Pakistan

Authors: Tariq Mahmood, Nadeem Munawar

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Habitat manipulation is an important technique that can be used for controlling rodent damage in agricultural ecosystems. It involves intentionally manipulation of vegetation cover in adjacent habitats around the active burrows of rodents to reduce shelter, food availability and to increase predation pressure. The current study was conducted in the Pothwar Plateau during the respective non-crop period of wheat-groundnut (post-harvested and un-ploughed/non-crop fallow lands) with the aim to assess the impact of the reduction in vegetation height of adjacent habitats (field borders) on rodent’s richness and abundance. The study area was divided into two sites viz. treated and non-treated. At the treated sites, habitat manipulation was carried out by removing crop cache, and non-crop vegetation’s over 10 cm in height to a distance of approximately 20 m from the fields. The trapping sessions carried out at both treated and non-treated sites adjacent to wheat-groundnut fields were significantly different (F 2, 6 = 13.2, P = 0.001) from each other, which revealed that a maximum number of rodents were captured from non-treated sites. There was a significant difference in the overall abundance of rodents (P < 0.05) between crop stages and between treatments in both crops. The manipulation effect was significantly observed on damage to crops, and yield production resulted in the reduction of damage within the associated croplands (P < 0.05). The outcomes of this study indicated a significant reduction of rodent population at treated sites due to changes in vegetation height and cover which affect important components, i.e., food, shelter, movements and increased risk sensitivity in their feeding behavior; therefore, they were unable to reach levels where they cause significant crop damage. This method is recommended for being a cost-effective and easy application.

Keywords: Agricultural Ecosystems, Rodents, Habitat Manipulation, trapping, crop damage

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235 Associated Mycoflora AF Mucuna Sloanei Seeds and Their Effects on Nutritional and Phytochemical Contents of the Seeds

Authors: U.N. Emiri, E. Moroyei

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Mycoflora associated with the seed rot disease of Mucuna sloanei and their effects on nutrient and phytochemical composition of the seeds were investigated. The fungal pathogens implicated in the seed rot disease were Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium oxysporum. The fungal isolates were aseptically inoculated into healthy M. Sloanei seeds and incubated for 7 days at room temperature of 25 ± 30c. The results of the proximate and mineral analysis in mg/100g of fungal infected and non-infected (control) seeds that were carried out revealed that there was an increase in Moisture and Carbohydrate content of the fungal infected seeds relative to the non-infected seeds (control). However, there was a decrease in Ash, Fibre, Lipid, and Protein content of the fungal infected seeds relative to the non-infected (control). It was observed that moisture had increased from 10.50 ± 0.16 in the non-infected seeds to 17.60 ± 0.20 in the infected samples and Carbohydrate content had also increased from 49.6 ± 0.25 in the non-infected to 52.50 ± 0.29 in the infected seeds. The following parameters decreased in the infected than in the non-infected seeds. They include Ash 2.60 ± 0.12, Crude fibre 1.9 ± 0.08, Lipid 6.50 ± 0.16, and Protein content 18.50 ± 0.06. Similarly, Calcium 2.50 ± 0.12, Phosphorus 1.80 + 0.12 and Potassium 1.80 + 0.09 increased in the infected than in the non-infected seed, while iron 0.20 ± 0.05, Sodium 0.02 ± 0.01 and Magnesium 0.06 ± 0.02 decreased in the infected seeds. All phytochemical contents analyzed increased in the infected seeds viz Tannim 0.50 ± 0.12, Oxalate 1.60 ± 0.05, Hydrogen cyanide 1.82 ± 0.06, and Saponin 2.50+0.28. However, the nutrient compositions and Phytochemical between the infected and non-infected seeds are not significantly different (p > 0.05).

Keywords: Seeds, Nutrient Composition, phytochemical, Mycoflora, mucuna sloanei

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234 Molecular Characterization of Polyploid Bamboo (Dendrocalamus hamiltonii) Using Microsatellite Markers

Authors: Rajendra K. Meena, Maneesh S. Bhandari, Santan Barthwal, Harish S. Ginwal

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Microsatellite markers are the most valuable tools for the characterization of plant genetic resources or population genetic analysis. Since it is codominant and allelic markers, utilizing them in polyploid species remained doubtful. In such cases, the microsatellite marker is usually analyzed by treating them as a dominant marker. In the current study, it has been showed that despite losing the advantage of co-dominance, microsatellite markers are still a powerful tool for genotyping of polyploid species because of availability of large number of reproducible alleles per locus. It has been studied by genotyping of 19 subpopulations of Dendrocalamus hamiltonii (hexaploid bamboo species) with 17 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) primer pairs. Among these, ten primers gave typical banding pattern of microsatellite marker as expected in diploid species, but rest 7 gave an unusual pattern, i.e., more than two bands per locus per genotype. In such case, genotyping data are generally analyzed by considering as dominant markers. In the current study, data were analyzed in both ways as dominant and co-dominant. All the 17 primers were first scored as nonallelic data and analyzed; later, the ten primers giving standard banding patterns were analyzed as allelic data and the results were compared. The UPGMA clustering and genetic structure showed that results obtained with both the data sets are very similar with slight variation, and therefore the SSR marker could be utilized to characterize polyploid species by considering them as a dominant marker. The study is highly useful to widen the scope for SSR markers applications and beneficial to the researchers dealing with polyploid species.

Keywords: microsatellite markers, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, dominant and codominant, polyploids

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233 Wildlife Communities in the Service of Extensively Managed Fishpond Systems – Advantages of a Symbiotic Relationship

Authors: Peter Palasti, Eva Kerepeczki

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Extensive fish farming is one of the most traditional forms of aquaculture in Europe, usually practiced in large pond systems with earthen beds, where the growth of fish is based on natural feed and supplementary foraging. These farms have semi-natural environmental conditions, sustaining diverse wildlife communities that have complex effects on fish production and also provide a livelihood for many wetland related taxa. Based on their characteristics, these communities could be sources of various ecosystem services (ESs), that could also enhance the value and enable the multifunctional use of these artificially constructed and maintained production zones. To identify and estimate the whole range of wildlife’s contribution we have conducted an integrated assessment in an extensively managed pond system in Biharugra, Hungary, where we studied 14 previously revealed ESs: fish and reed production, water storage, water and air quality regulation, CO2 absorption, groundwater recharge, aesthetics, recreational activities, inspiration, education, scientific research, presence of semi-natural habitats and useful/protected species. ESs were collected through structured interviews with the local experts of all major stakeholder groups, where we have also gathered information about the known forms, levels (none, low, high) and orientations (positive, negative) of the contributions of the wildlife community. After that, a quantitative analysis was carried out: we calculated the total mean value of the services being used between 2014-16, then we estimated the value and percentage of contributions. For the quantification, we mainly used biophysical indicators with the available data and empirical knowledge of the local experts. During the interviews, 12 of the previously listed services (85%) were mentioned to be related to wildlife community, consisting of 5 fully (e.g., recreation, reed production) and seven partially dependent ESs (e.g., inspiration, CO2 absorption) from our list. The orientation of the contributions was said to be positive almost every time; however, in the case of fish production, the feeding habit of some wild species (Phalacrocorax carbo, Lutra lutra) caused significant losses in fish stocks in the study period. During the biophysical assessment, we calculated the total mean value of the services and quantified the aid of wildlife community at the following services: fish and reed production, recreation, CO2 absorption, and the presence of semi-natural habitats and wild species. The combined results of our interviews and biophysical evaluations showed that the presence of wildlife community not just greatly increased the productivity of the fish farms in Biharugra (with ~53% of natural yield generated by planktonic and benthic communities) but also enhanced the multifunctionality of the system through expanding the quality and number of its services. With these abilities, extensively managed fishponds could play an important role in the future as refugia for wetland related services and species threatened by the effects of global warming.

Keywords: ecosystem services, fishpond systems, integrated assessment, wildlife community

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232 Automatic Identification and Monitoring of Wildlife via Computer Vision and IoT

Authors: Bilal Arshad, Johan Barthelemy, Elliott Pilton, Pascal Perez

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Getting reliable, informative, and up-to-date information about the location, mobility, and behavioural patterns of animals will enhance our ability to research and preserve biodiversity. The fusion of infra-red sensors and camera traps offers an inexpensive way to collect wildlife data in the form of images. However, extracting useful data from these images, such as the identification and counting of animals remains a manual, time-consuming, and costly process. In this paper, we demonstrate that such information can be automatically retrieved by using state-of-the-art deep learning methods. Another major challenge that ecologists are facing is the recounting of one single animal multiple times due to that animal reappearing in other images taken by the same or other camera traps. Nonetheless, such information can be extremely useful for tracking wildlife and understanding its behaviour. To tackle the multiple count problem, we have designed a meshed network of camera traps, so they can share the captured images along with timestamps, cumulative counts, and dimensions of the animal. The proposed method takes leverage of edge computing to support real-time tracking and monitoring of wildlife. This method has been validated in the field and can be easily extended to other applications focusing on wildlife monitoring and management, where the traditional way of monitoring is expensive and time-consuming.

Keywords: Computer Vision, Internet of Things, Ecology, Wildlife management, Invasive Species Management

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231 Natural Regeneration Dynamics in Different Microsites within Gaps of Different Sizes

Authors: M. E. Hammond, R. Pokorny

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Not much research has gone into the dynamics of natural regeneration of trees species in tropical forest regions. This study seeks to investigate the impact of gap sizes and light distribution in forest floors on the regeneration of Celtis mildbraedii (CEM), Nesogordonia papaverine (NES) and Terminalia superba (TES). These are selected economically important tree species with different shade tolerance attributes. The spatial distribution patterns and the potential regeneration competition index (RCI) among species using height to diameter ratio (HDR) have been assessed. Gap sizes ranging between 287 – 971 m² were selected at the Bia Tano forest reserve, a tropical moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana. Four (4) transects in the cardinal directions were constructed from the center of each gap. Along each transect, ten 1 m² sampling zones at 2 m spacing were established. Then, three gap microsites (labeled ecozones I, II, III) were delineated within these sampling zones based on the varying temporal light distribution on the forest floor. Data on height (H), root collar diameter (RCD) and regeneration census were gathered from each of the ten sampling zones. CEM and NES seedlings (≤ 50 cm) and saplings (≥ 51 cm) were present in all ecozones of the large gaps. Seedlings of TES were observed in all ecozones of large and small gaps. Regression analysis showed a significant negative linear relationship between independent RCD and H growth variables on dependent HDR index in ecozones II and III of both large and small gaps. There was a correlation between RCD and H in both large and small gaps. A strong regeneration competition was observed among species in ecozone II in large (df 2, F=3.6, p=0.035) and small (df 2, F=17.9, p=0.000) gaps. These results contribute to the understanding of the natural regeneration of different species with regards to light regimes in forest floors.

Keywords: Gaps, Regeneration, Celtis mildbraedii, ecozones, Nesogordonia papaverifera, Terminalia superba

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230 Bioremoval of Malachite Green Dye from Aqueous Solution Using Marine Algae: Isotherm, Kinetic and Mechanistic Study

Authors: V. Sivasubramanian, M. Jerold

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This study reports the removal of Malachite Green (MG) from simulated wastewater by using marine macro algae Ulva lactuca. Batch biosorption experiments were carried out to determine the biosorption capacity. The biosorption capacity was found to be maximum at pH 10. The effect of various other operation parameters such as biosorbent dosage, initial dye concentration, contact time and agitation was also investigated. The equilibrium attained at 120 min with 0.1 g/L of biosorbent. The isotherm experimental data fitted well with Langmuir Model with R² value of 0.994. The maximum Langmuir biosorption capacity was found to be 76.92 mg/g. Further, Langmuir separation factor RL value was found to be 0.004. Therefore, the adsorption is favorable. The biosorption kinetics of MG was found to follow pseudo second-order kinetic model. The mechanistic study revealed that the biosorption of malachite onto Ulva lactuca was controlled by film diffusion. The solute transfer in a solid-liquid adsorption process is characterized by the film diffusion and/or particle diffusion. Thermodynamic study shows ΔG° is negative indicates the feasibility and spontaneous nature for the biosorption of malachite green. The biosorbent was characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, and elemental analysis (CHNS: Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Sulphur). This study showed that Ulva lactuca can be used as promising biosorbent for the removal of MG from wastewater.

Keywords: wastewater, Kinetics, biosorption, isotherm, malachite green, Ulva lactuca

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229 Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Drought in Cholistan Region, Pakistan: An Application of Standardized Precipitation Index

Authors: Qurratulain Safdar

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Drought is a temporary aberration in contrast to aridity, as it is a permanent feature of climate. Virtually, it takes place in all types of climatic regions that range from high to low rainfall areas. Due to the wide latitudinal extent of Pakistan, there is seasonal and annual variability in rainfall. The south-central part of the country is arid and hyper-arid. This study focuses on the spatio-temporal analysis of droughts in arid and hyperarid region of Cholistan using the standardized precipitation index (SPI) approach. This study has assessed the extent of recurrences of drought and its temporal vulnerability to drought in Cholistan region. Initially, the paper described the geographic setup of the study area along with a brief description of the drought conditions that prevail in Pakistan. The study also provides a scientific foundation for preparing literature and theoretical framework in-line with the selected parameters and indicators. Data were collected both from primary and secondary data sources. Rainfall and temperature data were obtained from Pakistan Meteorology Department. By applying geostatistical approach, a standardized precipitation index (SPI) was calculated for the study region, and the value of spatio-temporal variability of drought and its severity was explored. As a result, in-depth spatial analysis of drought conditions in Cholistan area was found. Parallel to this, drought-prone areas with seasonal variation were also identified using Kriging spatial interpolation techniques in a GIS environment. The study revealed that there is temporal variation in droughts' occurrences both in time series and SPI values. The paper is finally concluded, and strategic plan was suggested to minimize the impacts of drought.

Keywords: Cholistan desert, climate anomalies, metrological droughts, standardized precipitation index

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228 Assessing the Financial Potential of an Agroforestry-Based Farming Practice in a Labor Scarce Subsistence Economy

Authors: Arun Dhakal, Rajesh Kumar Rai

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Agroforestry is long practiced in Nepal as a means of subsistence livelihoods. Given its potential to climate change mitigation, this practice is being recommended as a climate-smart farming practice in the recent years. However, the financial attractiveness of this practice is not well-documented in a labor scarce economy such as Nepal. This study attempts to examine the financial suitability of an agroforestry-based farming practice in the present socio-economic context of Nepal where labor is in short supply. A total of 200 households were randomly selected for household surveys in Dhanusha district during April to July 2015. Two farming practices were found to be dominant in the study area: 1) conventional farming (field crops only) in which at least two field crops are annually grown, and 2) agroforestry-based farming (agroforest, home garden and field crops combined) practice (ABFP). The ABFP was found to be less labor intensive than the conventional farming (137 Man days/yr/ha vs 218 Man days/yr/ha). The ex-ante financial analysis indicated that both the farming practices generated positive NPVs (Net Present Values) and B/C (Benefit-Cost) ratios greater than one, indicating both are financially attractive farming enterprises under the base discount rate of 12%. However, the ABFP generated higher NPV and greater B/C ratio than the conventional farming, indicating the former was financially more attractive than the later. The sensitivity analysis showed that the conventional farming was more sensitive to change in labor wage rate than that of the ABFP. Up to the 24% discount rate, the ABFP generated higher NPV and in case of B/C ratio, the ratio was found greater for ABFP even in 50% discount rate.

Keywords: Agroforestry, Conventional Farming, net present value, benefit-cost analysis

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227 Human-Elephant Conflict and Mitigation Measures in Buffer Zone of Bardia National Park, Nepal

Authors: Rabin Paudel, Dambar Bahadur Mahato, Prabin Poudel, Bijaya Neupane, Sakar Jha

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Understanding Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) is very important in countries like Nepal, where solutions to escalating conflicts are urgently required. However, most of the HEC mitigation measures implemented so far have been done on an ad hoc basis without the detailed understanding of nature and extent of the damage. This study aims to assess the current scenario of HEC in regards to crop and property damages by Wild Asian Elephant and people’s perception towards existing mitigating measures and elephant conservation in Buffer zone area of Bardia National Park. The methods used were a questionnaire survey (N= 178), key-informant interview (N= 18) and focal group discussions (N= 6). Descriptive statistics were used to determine the nature and extent of damage and to understand people’s perception towards HEC, its mitigation measures and elephant conservation. Chi-square test was applied to determine the significance of crop and property damages with respect to distance from the park boundary. Out of all types of damage, crop damage was found to be the highest (51%), followed by house damage (31%) and damage to stored grains (18%) with winter being the season with the greatest elephant damage. Among 178 respondents, the majority of them (82%) were positive towards elephant conservation despite the increment in HEC incidents as perceived by 88% of total respondents. Among the mitigation measures present, the most applied was electric fence (91%) followed by barbed wire fence (5%), reinforced concrete cement wall (3%) and gabion wall (1%). Most effective mitigation measures were reinforced concrete cement wall and gabion wall. To combat increasing crop damage, the insurance policy should be initiated. The efficiency of the mitigation measures should be timely monitored, and corrective measures should be applied as per the need.

Keywords: mitigation measures, crop and property damage, elephant conflict, Asiatic wild elephant

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226 Spatial Ecology of an Endangered Amphibian Litoria Raniformis within Modified Tasmanian Landscapes

Authors: Timothy Garvey, Don Driscoll

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Within Tasmania, the growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) has experienced a rapid contraction in distribution. This decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss through landscape modification and improved land drainage. Reductions in seasonal water-sources have placed increasing importance on permanent water bodies for reproduction and foraging. Tasmanian agricultural and commercial forestry landscapes often feature small artificial ponds, utilized for watering livestock and fighting wildfires. Improved knowledge of how L. raniformis may be exploiting anthropogenic ponds is required for improved conservation management. We implemented telemetric tracking in order to evaluate the spatial ecology of L. raniformis (n = 20) within agricultural and managed forestry sites, with tracking conducted periodically over the breeding season (November/December, January/February, March/April). We investigated (1) potential differences in habitat utilization between agricultural and plantation sites, and (2) the post-breeding dispersal of individual frogs. Frogs were found to remain in close proximity to ponds throughout November/December, with individuals occupying vegetative depauperate water bodies beginning to disperse by January/February. Dispersing individuals traversed exposed plantation understory and agricultural pasture land in order to enter patches of native scrubland. By March/April all individuals captured at minimally vegetated ponds had retreated to adjacent scrub corridors. Animals found in ponds featuring dense riparian vegetation were not recorded to disperse. No difference in behavior was recorded between sexes. Rising temperatures coincided with increased movement by individuals towards native scrub refugia. The patterns of movement reported in this investigation emphasize the significant contribution of manmade water-bodies towards the conservation of L. raniformis within modified landscapes. The use of natural scrubland as cyclical retreats between breeding seasons also highlights the importance of the continued preservation of remnant vegetation corridors. Loss of artificial dams or buffering scrubland in heavily altered landscapes could see the breakdown of the greater L. raniformis meta-population further threatening their regional persistence.

Keywords: Telemetry, Spatial Ecology, habitat loss, modified landscapes

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225 Composition, Velocity, and Mass of Projectiles Generated from a Chain Shot Event

Authors: Eric Shannon, John P. Parmigiani, Mark J. McGuire

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A hazard associated with the use of timber harvesters is chain shot. Harvester saw chain is subjected to large dynamic mechanical stresses which can cause it to fracture. The resulting open loop of saw chain can fracture a second time and create a projectile consisting of several saw-chain links referred to as a chain shot. Its high kinetic energy enables it to penetrate operator enclosures and be a significant hazard. Accurate data on projectile composition, mass, and speed are needed for the design of both operator enclosures resistant to projectile penetration and for saw chain resistant to fracture. The work presented here contributes to providing this data through the use of a test machine designed and built at Oregon State University. The machine’s enclosure is a standard shipping container. To safely contain any anticipated chain shot, the container was lined with both 9.5 mm AR500 steel plates and 50 mm high-density polyethylene (HDPE). During normal operation, projectiles are captured virtually undamaged in the HDPE enabling subsequent analysis. Standard harvester components are used for bar mounting and chain tensioning. Standard guide bars and saw chains are used. An electric motor with flywheel drives the system. Testing procedures follow ISO Standard 11837. Chain speed at break was approximately 45.5 m/s. Data was collected using both a 75 cm solid bar (Oregon 752HSFB149) and 90 cm solid bar (Oregon 902HSFB149). Saw chains used were 89 Drive Link .404”-18HX loops made from factory spools. Standard 16-tooth sprockets were used. Projectile speed was measured using both a high-speed camera and a chronograph. Both rotational and translational kinetic energy are calculated. For this study 50 chain shot events were executed. Results showed that projectiles consisted of a variety combinations of drive links, tie straps, and cutter links. Most common (occurring in 60% of the events) was a drive-link / tie-strap / drive-link combination having a mass of approximately 10.33 g. Projectile mass varied from a minimum of 2.99 g corresponding to a drive link only to a maximum of 18.91 g corresponding to a drive-link / tie-strap / drive-link / cutter-link / drive-link combination. Projectile translational speed was measured to be approximately 270 m/s and rotational speed of approximately 14000 r/s. The calculated translational and rotational kinetic energy magnitudes each average over 600 J. This study provides useful information for both timber harvester manufacturers and saw chain manufacturers to design products that reduce the hazards associated with timber harvesting.

Keywords: Safety, Testing, chain shot, timber harvesters

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224 Using Hierarchical Modelling to Understand the Role of Plantations in the Abundance of Koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus

Authors: Kita R. Ashman, Anthony R. Rendall, Matthew R. E. Symonds, Desley A. Whisson

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Forest cover is decreasing globally, chiefly due to the conversion of forest to agricultural landscapes. In contrast, the area under plantation forestry is increasing significantly. For wildlife occupying landscapes where native forest is the dominant land cover, plantations generally represent a lower value habitat; however, plantations established on land formerly used for pasture may benefit wildlife by providing temporary forest habitat and increasing connectivity. This study investigates the influence of landscape, site, and climatic factors on koala population density in far south-west Victoria where there has been extensive plantation establishment. We conducted koala surveys and habitat characteristic assessments at 72 sites across three habitat types: plantation, native vegetation blocks, and native vegetation strips. We employed a hierarchical modeling framework for estimating abundance and constructed candidate multinomial N-mixture models to identify factors influencing the abundance of koalas. We detected higher mean koala density in plantation sites (0.85 per ha) than in either native block (0.68 per ha) or native strip sites (0.66 per ha). We found five covariates of koala density and using these variables, we spatially modeled koala abundance and discuss factors that are key in determining large-scale distribution and density of koala populations. We provide a distribution map that can be used to identify high priority areas for population management as well as the habitat of high conservation significance for koalas. This information facilitates the linkage of ecological theory with the on-ground implementation of management actions and may guide conservation planning and resource management actions to consider overall landscape configuration as well as the spatial arrangement of plantations adjacent to the remnant forest.

Keywords: Wildlife Conservation, abundance modelling, arboreal mammals plantations

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223 Variability of the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Communities Associated with Wild Agraz Plants (Vaccinium meridionale Swartz) in the Colombian Andes

Authors: Gabriel Roveda-Hoyos, Margarita Ramirez-Gomez, Adrian Perez, Diana Paola Serralde

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The objective of this study was to determine the variability of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (HFMA) communities associated with wild agraz plants (Vaccinium meridionale Swartz) in the Colombian Andes. This species is one of the most promising fruits within the genus Vaccinium because of the high content of anthocyanins and antioxidants in its fruits, and like other species of the Ericaceae family, it depends on the association with HFM for its development in the natural environment. In this study, the presence of mycorrhizae in wild communities of V. meridionale was evaluated, and their relationship with the edaphic and climatic conditions of the study area was analyzed. Sampling was conducted in the rural area of the municipalities of Raquira, and Chiquinquira, Chia, and Tabio in the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyaca, Colombia. Seven sites were selected, and in each site, 5 plants were randomly selected, root and soil samples were taken from each plant in the rhizosphere zone for the quantification of colonization and the presence of spores. The samples were collected on different soils, taxonomic orders Entisols, Inceptisols, and Alfisols, located at altitudes between 2,600 and 3,000 above sea level in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. The physicochemical characteristics of the soil were compared with the density of spores and the percentage of presence of mycorrhizae in the roots and variables with the morphometric and physiological characteristics of the plants. Four types of mutual associations were found: arbuscular mycorrhizae, ectendomycorrhiza, ericoid mycorrhizae, and endophytic septate fungi. The main results obtained show a predominance of spores of the genera Glomus and Acaulsopora, in most of the soils analyzed. The spore density of Glomeromycete fungi in the soil varied considerably between the different sites; it was higher ( > 50 spores/g of dry soil) in soil samples with lower bulk density and higher content of organic matter; in these soils a higher cation exchange capacity was found, as well as of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc concentration. It can be concluded that Vaccinium meridionale is able to establish in a natural way, association with HFMA.

Keywords: Soils, Arbuscular mycorrhizae, Ericaceae, Andes, Glomus sp

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222 Spatial Distribution of Land Use in the North Canal of Beijing Subsidiary Center and Its Impact on the Water Quality

Authors: Alisa Salimova, Jiane Zuo, Christopher Homer

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The objective of this study is to analyse the North Canal riparian zone land use with the help of remote sensing analysis in ArcGis using 30 cloudless Landsat8 open-source satellite images from May to August of 2013 and 2017. Land cover, urban construction, heat island effect, vegetation cover, and water system change were chosen as the main parameters and further analysed to evaluate its impact on the North Canal water quality. The methodology involved the following steps: firstly, 30 cloudless satellite images were collected from the Landsat TM image open-source database. The visual interpretation method was used to determine different land types in a catchment area. After primary and secondary classification, 28 land cover types in total were classified. Visual interpretation method was used with the help ArcGIS for the grassland monitoring, US Landsat TM remote sensing image processing with a resolution of 30 meters was used to analyse the vegetation cover. The water system was analysed using the visual interpretation method on the GIS software platform to decode the target area, water use and coverage. Monthly measurements of water temperature, pH, BOD, COD, ammonia nitrogen, total nitrogen and total phosphorus in 2013 and 2017 were taken from three locations of the North Canal in Tongzhou district. These parameters were used for water quality index calculation and compared to land-use changes. The results of this research were promising. The vegetation coverage of North Canal riparian zone in 2017 was higher than the vegetation coverage in 2013. The surface brightness temperature value was positively correlated with the vegetation coverage density and the distance from the surface of the water bodies. This indicates that the vegetation coverage and water system have a great effect on temperature regulation and urban heat island effect. Surface temperature in 2017 was higher than in 2013, indicating a global warming effect. The water volume in the river area has been partially reduced, indicating the potential water scarcity risk in North Canal watershed. Between 2013 and 2017, urban residential, industrial and mining storage land areas significantly increased compared to other land use types; however, water quality has significantly improved in 2017 compared to 2013. This observation indicates that the Tongzhou Water Restoration Plan showed positive results and water management of Tongzhou district had been improved.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Land Use, riparian vegetation, North Canal, river ecology

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221 Historical Tree Height Growth Associated with Climate Change in Western North America

Authors: Yassine Messaoud, Gordon Nigh, Faouzi Messaoud, Han Chen

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The effect of climate change on tree growth in boreal and temperate forests has received increased interest in the context of global warming. However, most studies were conducted in small areas and with a limited number of tree species. Here, we examined the height growth responses of seventeen tree species to climate change in Western North America. 37009 stands from forest inventory databases in Canada and USA with varying establishment date were selected. Dominant and co-dominant trees from each stand were sampled to determine top tree height at 50 years breast height age. Height was related to historical mean annual and summer temperatures, annual and summer Palmer Drought Severity Index, tree establishment date, slope, aspect, soil fertility as determined by the rate of carbon organic matter decomposition (carbon/nitrogen), geographic locations (latitude, longitude, and elevation), species range (coastal, interior, and both ranges), shade tolerance and leaf form (needle leaves, deciduous needle leaves, and broadleaves). Climate change had mostly a positive effect on tree height growth. The results explained 62.4% of the height growth variance. Since 1880, height growth increase was greater for coastal, high shade tolerant, and broadleaf species. Height growth increased more on steep slopes and high soil fertility soils. Greater height growth was mostly observed at the leading range and upward. Conversely, some species showed the opposite pattern probably due to the increase of drought (coastal Mediterranean area), precipitation and cloudiness (Alaska and British Columbia) and peculiarity (higher latitudes-lower elevations and vice versa) of western North America topography. This study highlights the role of the species ecological amplitude and traits, and geographic locations as the main factors determining the growth response and its magnitude to the recent global climate change.

Keywords: Global climate change, Height growth, species range, species characteristics, species ecological amplitude, geographic locations, western North America

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220 Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Stock Potential of Major Forest Types in the Foot Hills of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India

Authors: B. Palanikumaran, N. Kanagaraj, M. Sangareswari, V. Sailaja, Kapil Sihag

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The present study aimed to estimate the carbon sequestration potential of major forest types present in the foothills of Nilgiri biosphere reserve. The total biomass carbon stock was estimated in tropical thorn forest, tropical dry deciduous forest and tropical moist deciduous forest as 14.61 t C ha⁻¹ 75.16 t C ha⁻¹ and 187.52 t C ha⁻¹ respectively. The density and basal area were estimated in tropical thorn forest, tropical dry deciduous forest, tropical moist deciduous forest as 173 stems ha⁻¹, 349 stems ha⁻¹, 391 stems ha⁻¹ and 6.21 m² ha⁻¹, 31.09 m² ha⁻¹, 67.34 m² ha⁻¹ respectively. The soil carbon stock of different forest ecosystems was estimated, and the results revealed that tropical moist deciduous forest (71.74 t C ha⁻¹) accounted for more soil carbon stock when compared to tropical dry deciduous forest (31.80 t C ha⁻¹) and tropical thorn forest (3.99 t C ha⁻¹). The tropical moist deciduous forest has the maximum annual leaf litter which was 12.77 t ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ followed by 6.44 t ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ litter fall of tropical dry deciduous forest. The tropical thorn forest accounted for 3.42 t ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ leaf litter production. The leaf litter carbon stock of tropical thorn forest, tropical dry deciduous forest and tropical moist deciduous forest found to be 1.02 t C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ 2.28 t⁻¹ C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ and 5.42 t C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ respectively. The results explained that decomposition percent at the soil surface in the following order.tropical dry deciduous forest (77.66 percent) > tropical thorn forest (69.49 percent) > tropical moist deciduous forest (63.17 percent). Decomposition percent at soil subsurface was studied, and the highest decomposition percent was observed in tropical dry deciduous forest (80.52 percent) followed by tropical moist deciduous forest (77.65 percent) and tropical thorn forest (72.10 percent). The decomposition percent was higher at soil subsurface. Among the three forest type, tropical moist deciduous forest accounted for the highest bacterial (59.67 x 105cfu’s g⁻¹ soil), actinomycetes (74.87 x 104cfu’s g⁻¹ soil) and fungal (112.60 x10³cfu’s g⁻¹ soil) population. The overall observation of the study helps to conclude that, the tropical moist deciduous forest has the potential of storing higher carbon content as biomass with the value of 264.68 t C ha⁻¹ and microbial populations.

Keywords: Carbon Sequestration, carbon stock, basal area, Nilgiri biosphere reserve

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219 Development of Transgenic Tomato Immunity to Pepino Mosaic Virus and Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus by Gene Silencing Approach

Authors: D. Leibman, D. Wolf, A. Gal-On

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Viral diseases of tomato crops result in heavy yield losses and may even jeopardize the production of these crops. Classical tomato breeding for disease resistance against Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), leads to partial resistance associated with a number of recessive genes. To author’s best knowledge Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) genetic resistance is not yet available. The generation of viral resistance by means of genetic engineering was reported and implemented for many crops, including tomato. Transgenic resistance against viruses is based, in most cases, on Post Transcriptional Gene Silencing (PTGS), an endogenous mechanism which destroys the virus genome. In this work, we developed immunity against PepMV and TYLCV in a tomato based on a PTGS mechanism. Tomato plants were transformed with a hairpin-construct-expressed transgene-derived double-strand-RNA (tr-dsRNA). In the case of PepMV, the binary construct harbored three consecutive fragments of the replicase gene from three different PepMV strains (Italian, Spanish and American), to provide resistance against a range of virus strains. In the case of TYLCV, the binary vector included three consecutive fragments of the IR, V2 and C2 viral genes constructed in a hairpin configuration. Selected transgenic lines (T0) showed a high accumulation of transgene siRNA of 21-24 bases, and T1 transgenic lines showed complete immunity to PepMV and TYLCV. Graft inoculation displayed immunity of the transgenic scion against PepMV and TYLCV. The study presents the engineering of resistance in tomato against two serious diseases, which will help in the production of high-quality tomato. However, unfortunately, these resistant plants have not been implemented due to public ignorance and opposition against breeding by genetic engineering.

Keywords: TYLCV, PepMV, PTGS, tr-dsRNA

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