Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 231

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biological and Ecological Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

231 Spatial Distribution and Diet Composition of Leopard Cat (Prionailurus Bengalensis) Inhabiting Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad, Pakistan

Authors: Tariq Mahmood, Hira Fatima, Muhammad Farooq

Abstract:

Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is distributed in Himalayan foothills of Pakistan, where it occurs in moist temperate forests and dry coniferous forests. However, the cat species is categorized as 'Data Deficient' in the country. In the current study, we investigated its spatial distribution and diet menu in Margalla Hills National Park Islamabad. The occurrence of the species in the park was studied through field surveys conducted between September 2015 to December 2018. We recorded both direct (direct field observations, camera trapping) and indirect signs (mainly scats) of the species on 23 trails/tracks in the park. We also performed a camera trap activity along the selected trails to further confirming its occurrence in the study area. The diet of the leopard cat was investigated through the analysis of scats of the species. We performed a molecular analysis of scats to confirm species identification. Results showed the occurrence of leopard cat at 13 different sites, with an altitudinal range between 664m- 1441m asl. The diet menu comprised of wild as well as domestic prey, and plant species. Wild prey was most frequently consumed (51.75%) by leopard cat, followed by plants (31.47%) and domestic prey species (7.69%). Wild prey consumption included small mammals’ viz. five different rodent species, small Indian mongoose, grey mongoose, Asian palm squirrel, and Cape hare, and also birds, in addition to insects and snails. The wild boar was also scavenged by the leopard cat. The domestic prey comprised mainly of poultry birds, along with sheep, goats, and dogs. The plant diet included 13 plant species, most frequently utilized was the daisy (Bellis perennis; 30.88%). Consumption of wild prey was higher in summer than in winter, whereas the intake of domestic prey was higher in winter. The dietary niche breadth was wider 14.84 (0.43) in summer but narrower during winter. Chi-square test showed significant difference in seasonal dietary intake of leopard cat (χ2 = 20.304, df = 3, p = 0.0001; α = 0.05).

Keywords: dietary menu, niche breadth, prey species, leopard cat, spatial distribution

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

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

Abstract:

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, ecology, internet of things, invasive species management, wildlife management

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

Authors: M. Jerold, V. Sivasubramanian

Abstract:

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: biosorption, Ulva lactuca, wastewater, malachite green, isotherm, kinetics

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

Authors: Qurratulain Safdar

Abstract:

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

Authors: Arun Dhakal, Rajesh Kumar Rai

Abstract:

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, benefit-cost analysis, conventional farming, net present value

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226 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

Abstract:

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

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

Authors: Timothy Garvey, Don Driscoll

Abstract:

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: habitat loss, modified landscapes, spatial ecology, telemetry

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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

Abstract:

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: abundance modelling, arboreal mammals plantations, wildlife conservation

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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

Abstract:

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: Ericaceae, Arbuscular mycorrhizae, Andes, soils, 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

Abstract:

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: North Canal, land use, riparian vegetation, river ecology, remote sensing

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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

Abstract:

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: Height growth, global climate change, 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

Abstract:

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: basal area, carbon sequestration, carbon stock, 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

Abstract:

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: PepMV, PTGS, TYLCV, tr-dsRNA

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218 The Effect of Relocating a Red Deer Stag on the Size of Its Home Range and Activity

Authors: Erika Csanyi, Gyula Sandor

Abstract:

In the course of the examination, we sought to answer the question of how and to what extent the home range and daily activity of a deer stag relocated from its habitual surroundings changes. We conducted the examination in two hunting areas in Hungary, about 50 km from one another. The control area was in the north of Somogy County, while the sample area was an area of similar features in terms of forest cover, tree stock, agricultural structure, altitude above sea level, climate, etc. in the south of Somogy County. Three middle-aged red deer stags were captured with rocket nets, immobilized and marked with GPS-Plus Collars manufactured by Vectronic Aerospace Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung. One captured species was relocated. We monitored deer movements over 24-hour periods at 3 months. In the course of the examination, we analysed the behaviour of the relocated species and those that remained in their original habitat, as well as the temporal evolution of their behaviour. We examined the characteristics of the marked species’ daily activities and the hourly distance they covered. We intended to find out the difference between the behaviour of the species remaining in their original habitat and of those relocated to a more distant, but similar habitat. In summary, based on our findings, it can be established that such enforced relocations to a different habitat (e.g., game relocation) significantly increases the home range of the species in the months following relocation. Home ranges were calculated using the full data set and the minimum convex polygon (MCP) method. Relocation did not increase the nocturnal and diurnal movement activity of the animal in question. Our research found that the home range of the relocated species proved to be significantly higher than that of those species that were not relocated. The results have been presented in tabular form and have also been displayed on a map. Based on the results, it can be established that relocation inherently includes the risk of falling victim to poaching, vehicle collision. It was only in the third month following relocation that the home range of the relocated species subsided to the level of those species that were not relocated. It is advisable to take these observations into consideration in relocating red deer for nature conservation or game management purposes.

Keywords: Cervus elaphus, home range, relocation, red deer stag

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217 Nesting Habitat Preference of Indigenous Bumblebee, Bombus haemorrhoidalis in Himalayan Range of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Authors: Umer Ayyaz Aslam Sheikh

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Non Apis bee like the bumblebees are important due to their utilization of diverse floral plants and belong to the richest and most conspicuous flower visitors in alpine, temperate and arctic environments for pollination in both natural and managed cropping systems. These bees generally construct underground nests and habitat devastation and crumbling are major causes for their decline in nature. The present study was conducted in the Himalayan range of Azad Jammu, and Kashmir, Pakistan, surveys were conducted during the early spring season to observe maximum Bombus haemorrhoidalis queens (emerged after winter diapauses) searching for a nesting place. Whole study area was grouped into four types of landscape (open field, relatively open , relatively wooded and wooded), five habitat types (field, field boundary, pasture forest boundary and forest) and these habitat further grouped into four different patch types including withered grass, new grass, tussocks and stones and moss. Maximum nest seeking bumblebee queens preferred relatively open field landscape followed by open fields and forest boundaries. Field boundaries were recorded as most proffered habitat along with withered grasses for nesting sites of B. haemorrhoidalis queens. A wooded landscape with stone and moss type of patches were found least preferred nesting sites. This study will be helpful in the future for conservation program this for declining bumblebee species in this region. It will also provide the baseline for the conservation of other bumblebee species of the world.

Keywords: bumblebee, Bombus haemorrhoidalis, habitat, nest seeking preference, Pakistan

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216 Environmental Law and Payment for Environmental Services: Perceptions of the Family Farmers of the Federal District, Brazil

Authors: Kever Bruno Paradelo Gomes, Rosana Carvalho Cristo Martins

Abstract:

Payment for Environmental Services (PSA) has been a strategy used since the late 1990s by Latin American countries to finance environmental conservation. Payment for Environmental Services has been absorbing a growing amount of time in the discussions around environmentally sustainable development strategies in the world. In Brazil, this theme has permeated the discussions since the publication of the new Forest Code. The objective of this work was to verify the perception of the resident farmers in the region of Ponte Alta, Gama, Federal District, Brazil, on environmental legislation and Payments for Environmental Services. The work was carried out in 99 rural properties of the family farmers of the Rural Nucleus Ponte Alta, Administrative Region of Gama, in the city of Brasília, Federal District, Brazil. The present research is characterized methodologically as a quantitative, exploratory, and descriptive nature. The data treatment was performed through descriptive statistical analysis and hypothesis testing. The perceptions about environmental legislation in the rural area of Ponte Alta, Gama, DF respondents were positive. Although most of the family farmers interviewed have some knowledge about environmental legislation, it is perceived that in practice, the environmental adequacy of property is ineffective given the current situation of sustainable rural development; there is an abyss between what is envisaged by legislation and reality in the field. Thus, as in the reports of other researchers, it is verified that the majority of respondents are not aware of PSA (62.62%). Among those interviewed who were aware of the subject, two learned through the course, three through the university, two through TV and five through other people. The planting of native forest species on the rural property was the most informed practice by farmers if they received some Environmental Service Payment (PSA). Reflections on the environment allow us to infer that the effectiveness and fulfillment of the incentives and rewards in the scope of public policies to encourage the maintenance of environmental services, already existing in all spheres of government, are of great relevance to the process of environmental sustainability of rural properties. The relevance of the present research is an important tool to promote the discussion and formulation of public policies focused on sustainable rural development, especially on payments for environmental services; it is a space of great interest for the strengthening of the social group dedicated to production. Public policies that are efficient and accessible to the small rural producers become decisive elements for the promotion of changes in behavior in the field, be it economic, social, or environmental.

Keywords: forest code, public policy, rural development, sustainable agriculture

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215 Field Efficacy Evaluation and Synergistic Effect of Two Rodenticides Zinc Phosphide and Brodifacoum against Field Rats of the Pothwar Region, Pakistan

Authors: Nadeem Munawar, David Galbraith, Tariq Mahmood

Abstract:

Rodenticides are often included as part of an integrated pest management approach for managing rodent species since they are relatively quick and inexpensive to apply. The current field study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of formulated baits of zinc phosphide (2%) and the second generation anticoagulant brodifacoum (0.005%) against field rats inhabiting a wheat-groundnut cropping system. Burrow baiting was initiated at the early flowering stages of the respective crops, and continued through three growth stages (tillering / peg formation, flowering, and maturity). Three treatments were done at equal time intervals, with the final baiting being about 2 weeks before harvest. Treatment efficacy of the trials was assessed through counts of active rodent burrows before and after treatments at the three growth stages of these crops. The results indicated variable degrees of reduction in burrow activities following the three bait applications. The reductions in rodent activity in wheat were: 88.8% (at tillering), 92%, (at flowering/grain formation), and 95.5% (at maturity). In groundnut, the rodent activities were reduced by 91.8%, 93.5% and 95.8% at sowing, peg formation, and maturity stages, respectively. The estimated mortality at all three growth stages of both wheat and groundnut ranged between 60-85%. We recommend that a field efficacy study should be conducted with zinc phosphide and brodifacoum bait formulations to determine their field performance in the reduction of agricultural damage by rodent pest species. It is a promising alternative approach for use of the most potent second-generation anticoagulant (brodifacoum) in resistance management, particularly with respect to reducing environmental risks and secondary poisoning.

Keywords: brodifacoum, burrow baiting, second-generation anticoagulant, synergistic effect

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214 Carbon Stock of the Moist Afromontane Forest in Gesha and Sayilem Districts in Kaffa Zone: An Implication for Climate Change Mitigation

Authors: Admassu Addi, Sebesebe Demissew, Teshome Soromessa, Zemede Asfaw

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This study measures the carbon stock of the Moist Afromontane Gesha-Sayilem forest found in Gesha and Sayilem District in southwest Ethiopia. A stratified sampling method was used to identify the number of sampling point through the Global Positioning System. A total of 90 plots having nested plots to collect tree species and soil data were demarcated. The results revealed that the total carbon stock of the forest was 362.4 t/ha whereas the above ground carbon stock was 174.95t/ha, below ground litter, herbs, soil, and dead woods were 34.3,1.27, 0.68, 128 and 23.2 t/ha (up to 30 cm depth) respectively. The Gesha- Sayilem Forest is a reservoir of high carbon and thus acts as a great sink of the atmospheric carbon. Thus conservation of the forest through introduction REDD+ activities is considered an appropriate action for mitigating climate change.

Keywords: carbon sequestration, carbon stock, climate change, allometric, Ethiopia

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213 Seagrass Biomass Distribution in Mangrove Fringed Creeks of Gazi Bay, Kenya

Authors: Gabriel A. Juma, Adiel M. Magana, Githaiga N. Michael, James G. Kairo

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Seagrass meadows are important carbon sinks, thus understanding this role and their conservation provides opportunities for their applications in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This study aimed at understanding seagrass contribution to ecosystem carbon at Gazi Bay; by comparing carbon stocks in seagrass beds of two mangroves fringed creeks of the bay. Specifically, the objectives included assessing the distribution and abundance of seagrass in the fringed creeks, and estimating above and below-ground biomass. Results obtained would be added to the mangrove and open bay carbon in estimating total ecosystem carbon of Gazi bay. The stratified random sampling strategy was applied in this study. Transects were laid perpendicular to the waterline at intervals of 50 meters from the upper region near the mangroves to the deeper end of the creek across seagrass meadows. Along these transects, 0.25m2 square quadrats were laid at 10 m to assess distribution and composition of seagrasses in the creeks. A total of 80 plots were sampled. Above-ground biomass was sampled by harvesting all the seagrass materials within the quadrat while four sediment cores were obtained from each quarter of the quadrat and then sorted into necromass, rhizomes and roots to determine below ground biomass. Samples were cleaned and dried in the oven for 72 hours at 60˚C in the laboratory. Total biomass was determined by multiplying biomass with carbon conversion factor of 0.34. In all the statistical tests, a significant level was set at α = 0.05. Eight species of seagrass were encountered in Western creek (WC) while seven in the Eastern creek (EC). Based on importance value, the dominant species in WC were Cymodocea rotundata and Halodule uninervis while Thalassodendron ciliatum and Enhalus acoroides dominated the eastern creek. The cover of seagrass in EC was 67.97% compared to 56.45% in WC. There was a significance difference in abundance of seagrass species between the two creeks (t = 1.97, D.F = 35, p < 0.05). Similarly, there was significance differences between total seagrass biomass (t= -8.44, D.F. = 53, p < 0.05) and species composition (F(7,79) = 14.6, p < 0.05) in the two creeks. Mean seagrass in the creeks was 7.25 ± 4.2 Mg C ha-1, (range: 4.1 - 12.9 Mg C ha-1). The findings of the current study reveal variations in biomass stocks of the two creeks of Gazi bay that have varying biophysical features. It is established that habitat heterogeneity between the creeks contributes to the variation in seagrass abundance and biomass stocking. This enhances understanding of these ecosystems hence the establishment of carbon offset project in seagrass for livelihood improvement and increased conservation.

Keywords: seagrass, above-ground, below-ground, creeks, Gazi bay

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212 Assessment of Community Perceptions of Mangrove Ecosystem Services and Their Link to SDGs in Vanga, Kenya

Authors: Samson Obiene, Khamati Shilabukha, Geoffrey Muga, James Kairo

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Mangroves play a vital role in the achievement of multiple goals of global sustainable development (SDG’s), particularly SDG SDG 14 (life under water). Their management, however, is faced with several shortcomings arising from inadequate knowledge on the perceptions of their ecosystem services, hence a need to map mangrove goods and services within SDGs while interrogating the disaggregated perceptions. This study therefore aimed at exploring the parities and disparities in attitudes and perceptions of mangrove ecosystem services among community members of Vanga and the link of the ecosystem services (ESs) to specific SDG targets. The study was based at the Kenya-Tanzania transboundary area in Vanga; where a carbon-offset project on mangroves is being up scaled. Mixed methods approach employing surveys, focus group discussions (FGDs) and reviews of secondary data were used in the study. A two stage cluster samplings was used to select the study population and the sample size. FGDs were conducted purposively selecting active participants in mangrove related activities with distinct socio-demographic characteristics. Sampled respondents comprised of males and females of different occupations and age groups. Secondary data review was used to select specific SDG targets against which mangrove ecosystem services identified through a value chain analysis were mapped. In Vanga, 20 ecosystem services were identified and categorized under supporting, cultural and aesthetic, provisioning and regulating services. According to the findings of this study, 63.9% (95% ci 56.6-69.3) perceived of the ESs as very important for economic development, 10.3% (95% ci 0-21.3) viewed them as important for environmental and ecological development while 25.8% (95% ci 2.2-32.8) were not sure of any role they play in development. In the social-economic disaggregation, ecosystem service values were found to vary with the level of interaction with the ecosystem which depended on gender and other social-economic classes within the study area. The youths, low income earners, women and those with low education levels were also identified as the primary beneficiaries of mangrove ecosystem services. The study also found that of the 17 SDGs, mangroves have a potential of influencing the achievement 12, including, SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 either directly or indirectly. Generally therefore, the local community is aware of the critical importance mangroves for enhanced livelihood and ecological services but challenges in sustainability still occur as a result the diverse values and of the services and the contradicting interests of the different actors around the ecosystem. It is therefore important to consider parities in values and perception to avoid a ‘tragedy of the commons’ while striving to enhance sustainability of the Mangrove ecosystem.

Keywords: sustainable development, community values, socio-demographics, Vanga, mangrove ecosystem services

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211 Identification of Viruses Infecting Garlic Plants in Colombia

Authors: Diana M. Torres, Anngie K. Hernandez, Andrea Villareal, Magda R. Gomez, Sadao Kobayashi

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Colombian Garlic crops exhibited mild mosaic, yellow stripes, and deformation. This group of symptoms suggested a viral infection. Several viruses belonging to the genera Potyvirus, Carlavirus and Allexivirus are known to infect garlic and lower their yield worldwide, but in Colombia, there are no studies of viral infections in this crop, only leek yellow stripe virus (LYSV) has been reported to our best knowledge. In Colombia, there are no management strategies for viral diseases in garlic because of the lack of information about viral infections on this crop, which is reflected in (i) high prevalence of viral related symptoms in garlic fields and (ii) high dispersal rate. For these reasons, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the viral status of garlic in Colombia, which can represent a major threat on garlic yield and quality for this country 55 symptomatic leaf samples were collected for virus detection by RT-PCR and mechanical inoculation. Total RNA isolated from infected samples were subjected to RT-PCR with primers 1-OYDV-G/2-OYDV-G for Onion yellow dwarf virus (OYDV) (expected size 774pb), 1LYSV/2LYSV for LYSV (expected size 1000pb), SLV 7044/SLV 8004 for Shallot latent virus (SLV) (expected size 960pb), GCL-N30/GCL-C40 for Garlic common latent virus (GCLV) (expected size 481pb) and EF1F/EF1R for internal control (expected size 358pb). GCLV, SLV, and LYSV were detected in infected samples; in 95.6% of the analyzed samples was detected at least one of the viruses. GCLV and SLV were detected in single infection with low prevalence (9.3% and 7.4%, respectively). Garlic generally becomes coinfected with several types of viruses. Four viral complexes were identified: three double infection (64% of analyzed samples) and one triple infection (15%). The most frequent viral complex was SLV + GCLV infecting 48.1% of the samples. The other double complexes identified had a prevalence of 7% (GCLV + LYSV and SLV + LYSV) and 5.6% of the samples were free from these viruses. Mechanical transmission experiments were set up using leaf tissues of collected samples from infected fields, different test plants were assessed to know the host range, but it was restricted to C. quinoa, confirming the presence of detected viruses which have limited host range and were detected in C. quinoa by RT-PCR. The results of molecular and biological tests confirm the presence of SLV, LYSV, and GCLV; this is the first report of SLV and LYSV in garlic plants in Colombia, which can represent a serious threat for this crop in this country.

Keywords: SLV, GCLV, LYSV, leek yellow stripe virus, Allium sativum

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210 Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Goldstripe Sardinella, Sardinella gibbosa in the Transboundary Area of Kenya and Tanzania Using mtDNA and msDNA Markers

Authors: Sammy Kibor, Filip Huyghe, Marc Kochzius, James Kairo

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Goldstripe Sardinella, Sardinella gibbosa, (Bleeker, 1849) is a commercially and ecologically important small pelagic fish common in the Western Indian Ocean region. The present study aimed to assess genetic diversity and population structure of the species in the Kenya-Tanzania transboundary area using mtDNA and msDNA markers. Some 630 bp sequence in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Cytochrome C Oxidase I (COI) and five polymorphic microsatellite DNA loci were analyzed. Fin clips of 309 individuals from eight locations within the transboundary area were collected between July and December 2018. The S. gibbosa individuals from the different locations were distinguishable from one another based on the mtDNA variation, as demonstrated with a neighbor-joining tree and minimum spanning network analysis. None of the identified 22 haplotypes were shared between Kenya and Tanzania. Gene diversity per locus was relatively high (0.271-0.751), highest Fis was 0.391. The structure analysis, discriminant analysis of Principal component (DAPC) and the pair-wise (FST = 0.136 P < 0.001) values after Bonferroni correction using five microsatellite loci provided clear inference on genetic differentiation and thus evidence of population structure of S. gibbosa along the Kenya-Tanzania coast. This study shows a high level of genetic diversity and the presence of population structure (Φst =0.078 P < 0.001) resulting to the existence of four populations giving a clear indication of minimum gene flow among the population. This information has application in the designing of marine protected areas, an important tool for marine conservation.

Keywords: marine connectivity, microsatellites, population genetics, transboundary

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209 Defining Priority Areas for Biodiversity Conservation to Support for Zoning Protected Areas: A Case Study from Vietnam

Authors: Xuan Dinh Vu, Elmar Csaplovics

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There has been an increasing need for methods to define priority areas for biodiversity conservation since the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in protected areas largely depends on the availability of material resources. The identification of priority areas requires the integration of biodiversity data together with social data on human pressures and responses. However, the deficit of comprehensive data and reliable methods becomes a key challenge in zoning where the demand for conservation is most urgent and where the outcomes of conservation strategies can be maximized. In order to fill this gap, the study applied an environmental model Condition–Pressure–Response to suggest a set of criteria to identify priority areas for biodiversity conservation. Our empirical data has been compiled from 185 respondents, categorizing into three main groups: governmental administration, research institutions, and protected areas in Vietnam by using a well - designed questionnaire. Then, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) theory was used to identify the weight of all criteria. Our results have shown that priority level for biodiversity conservation could be identified by three main indicators: condition, pressure, and response with the value of the weight of 26%, 41%, and 33%, respectively. Based on the three indicators, 7 criteria and 15 sub-criteria were developed to support for defining priority areas for biodiversity conservation and zoning protected areas. In addition, our study also revealed that the groups of governmental administration and protected areas put a focus on the 'Pressure' indicator while the group of Research Institutions emphasized the importance of 'Response' indicator in the evaluation process. Our results provided recommendations to apply the developed criteria for identifying priority areas for biodiversity conservation in Vietnam.

Keywords: biodiversity conservation, condition–pressure–response model, criteria, priority areas, protected areas

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208 Economics of Sugandhakokila (Cinnamomum Glaucescens (Nees) Dury) in Dang District of Nepal: A Value Chain Perspective

Authors: Keshav Raj Acharya, Prabina Sharma

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Sugandhakokila (Cinnamomum glaucescens Nees. Dury) is a large evergreen native tree species; mostly confined naturally in mid-hills of Rapti Zone of Nepal. The species is identified as prioritized for agro-technology development as well as for research and development by a department of plant resources. This species is band for export outside the country without processing by the government of Nepal to encourage the value addition within the country. The present study was carried out in Chillikot village of Dang district to find out the economic contribution of C. glaucescens in the local economy and to document the major conservation threats for this species. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools such as Household survey, key informants interviews and focus group discussions were carried out to collect the data. The present study reveals that about 1.7 million Nepalese rupees (NPR) have been contributed annually in the local economy of 29 households from the collection of C. glaucescens berries in the study area. The average annual income of each family was around NPR 67,165.38 (US$ 569.19) from the sale of the berries which contributes about 53% of the total household income. Six different value chain actors are involved in C. glaucescens business. Maximum profit margin was taken by collector followed by producer, exporter and processor. The profit margin was found minimum to regional and village traders. The total profit margin for producers was NPR 138.86/kg, and regional traders have gained NPR 17/kg. However, there is a possibility to increase the profit of producers by NPR 8.00 more for each kg of berries through the initiation of community forest user group and village cooperatives in the area. Open access resource, infestation by an insect to over matured trees and browsing by goats were identified as major conservation threats for this species. Handing over the national forest as a community forest, linking the producers with the processor through organized market channel and replacing the old tree through new plantation has been recommended for future.

Keywords: community forest, conservation threats, C. glaucescens, value chain analysis

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207 Assessing Adoption Trends of Mukau (Melia volkensii (Gürke)) Enterprises in Eastern and Coastal Regions of Kenya

Authors: Lydia Murugi Mugendi

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The promotion of tree growing as a lucrative enterprise is the focus of this paper as management practices have shifted focus from protection of natural forest resources to community/government partnerships with the aim of resource conservation, management and increase of on-farm tree growing. Using KEFRI as (the source) of information pertaining Melia volkensii (the medium or message) being transferred, this paper investigates the current perception towards forestry and the behavioural attitudes of recipients of forest intervention activities. The two objectives explored in this paper are to find out the level of adoption of Mukau in Kitui, Kibwezi and Samburu/Taru and secondly, to find out the characteristics of the adoption process between Kitui, Kibwezi and Samburu/Taru. The methodologies used during data collection were participatory rural appraisal tools in conjunction with the social survey questionnaires. Simple random sampling and snowball sampling were used to identify respondents within the three target sites and analysis was done using SPSS. Results of the study of indicating that adoption rates of the Mukau in Samburu/Taru, where forestry-related activities were introduced within the past one decade had significantly increase despite initial resistance. The other areas, which had benefited from numerous decades of intense forestry extension projects and activities, indicated a decline in re-adoption rates of Mukau as an enterprise. This study has brought out the reality of adoption trends and state of Mukau population within the three counties while providing a glimpse towards the communities’ perception in regards to adoption of forestry and other environmental innovations. The outcome of the study is to provide a guideline for extension/ dissemination officers in KEFRI and related stakeholders to promote seamless cohesive interaction between the recipient communities of the proposed interventions.

Keywords: adoption, innovation, enterprise, extension, DOI Theory

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206 An Approach for Multilayered Ecological Networks

Authors: N. F. F. Ebecken, G. C. Pereira

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Although networks provide a powerful approach to the study of a wide variety of ecological systems, their formulation usually does not include various types of interactions, interactions that vary in space and time, and interconnected systems such as networks. The emerging field of 'multilayer networks' provides a natural framework for extending ecological systems analysis to include these multiple layers of complexity as it specifically allows for differentiation and modeling of intralayer and interlayer connectivity. The structure provides a set of concepts and tools that can be adapted and applied to the ecology, facilitating research in high dimensionality, heterogeneous systems in nature. Here, ecological multilayer networks are formally defined based on a review of prior and related approaches, illustrates their application and potential with existing data analyzes, and discusses limitations, challenges, and future applications. The integration of multilayer network theory into ecology offers a largely untapped potential to further address ecological complexity, to finally provide new theoretical and empirical insights into the architecture and dynamics of ecological systems.

Keywords: ecological networks, multilayered networks, sea ecology, Brazilian Coastal Area

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205 Application of the Least Squares Method in the Adjustment of Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) Regression Models

Authors: L. J. de Bessa Neto, V. S. Filho, J. V. Ferreira Nunes, G. C. Bergamo

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There are many situations in which human activities have significant effects on the environment. Damage to the ozone layer is one of them. The objective of this work is to use the Least Squares Method, considering the linear, exponential, logarithmic, power and polynomial models of the second degree, to analyze through the coefficient of determination (R²), which model best fits the behavior of the chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) in parts per trillion between 1992 and 2018, as well as estimates of future concentrations between 5 and 10 periods, i.e. the concentration of this pollutant in the years 2023 and 2028 in each of the adjustments. A total of 809 observations of the concentration of HCFC-142b in one of the monitoring stations of gases precursors of the deterioration of the ozone layer during the period of time studied were selected and, using these data, the statistical software Excel was used for make the scatter plots of each of the adjustment models. With the development of the present study, it was observed that the logarithmic fit was the model that best fit the data set, since besides having a significant R² its adjusted curve was compatible with the natural trend curve of the phenomenon.

Keywords: chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b), ozone, least squares method, regression models

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204 Human–Wildlife Conflicts in Selected Areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Authors: Nausheen Irshad

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Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) exists in both developed and developing countries though it is more serious in developing nations. Knowledge of species ecology and species sensitivity to anthropogenic pressures is an important prerequisite for conservation/management. Therefore, three districts (Poonch, Bagh, and Muzaffarabad) of Azad Jammu and Kashmir were selected to highlight the wildlife hunting practices from January 2015 to November 2018. The study area was thoroughly explored to recover dead animals. Moreover, the local community was investigated (questionnaire survey) to catch on motives of killing. The results showed HWC mainly arises due to feeding habits of wild animals as some are frugivorous (small Indian civet and small Kashmir flying squirrel) who damaged human cultivated fruit trees. Besides, Indian crested porcupine and wild boar act as serious crop pests. The feeding upon domestic animals (common leopard) and poultry (Asiatic Jackal and Red fox) were also reported as factors of conflict. Hence numerous wild animals and birds (N=120) were found killed by natives in revenge. Despite protected status in Pakistan, the killed mammals belonged to categories of critically endangered (Panthera pardus) and near threatened (Viverricula indica) species. The important birds include critically endangered (Falco peregrines) and endangered (Lophura leucomelanos) species. It was found that mammals were primarily killed due to HWC (60%) followed by recreation (20%) and trade (15%) Whereas, the foremost hunting reasons for birds are recreation (50%), food (25%) and trade (25%). The drastic hunting/killing of the species needs our immediate attention. This unwarranted killing must be stopped forthwith otherwise these animals become extinct.

Keywords: Azad Jammu and Kashmir, anthropogenic pressures, endangered species, human-wildlife conflicts

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203 Choice Experiment Approach on Evaluation of Non-Market Farming System Outputs: First Results from Lithuanian Case Study

Authors: A. Novikova, L. Rocchi, G. Startiene

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Market and non-market outputs are produced jointly in agriculture. Their supply depends on the intensity and type of production. The role of agriculture as an economic activity and its effects are important for the Lithuanian case study, as agricultural land covers more than a half of country. Positive and negative externalities, created in agriculture are not considered in the market. Therefore, specific techniques such as stated preferences methods, in particular choice experiments (CE) are used for evaluation of non-market outputs in agriculture. The main aim of this paper is to present construction of the research path for evaluation of non-market farming system outputs in Lithuania. The conventional and organic farming, covering crops (including both cereal and industrial crops) and livestock (including dairy and cattle) production has been selected. The CE method and nested logit (NL) model were selected as appropriate for evaluation of non-market outputs of different farming systems in Lithuania. A pilot survey was implemented between October–November 2018, in order to test and improve the CE questionnaire. The results of the survey showed that the questionnaire is accepted and well understood by the respondents. The econometric modelling showed that the selected NL model could be used for the main survey. The understanding of the differences between organic and conventional farming by residents was identified. It was revealed that they are more willing to choose organic farming in comparison to conventional farming.

Keywords: choice experiments, farming system, Lithuania market outputs, non-market outputs

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202 Swelling Hydrogels on the Base Nitron Fiber Wastes for Water Keeping in Sandy Soils

Authors: Alim Asamatdinov

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Superabsorbent polymer hydrogels can swell to absorb huge volumes of water or aqueous solutions. This property has led to many practical applications of these new materials, particularly in agriculture for improving the water retention of soils and the water supply of plants. This article reviews the methods of polymeric hydrogels, measurements and treatments of their properties, as well as their effects on soil and on plant growth. The thermodynamic approach used to describe the swelling behaviour of polymer networks proves to be quite helpful in modelling the hydrogel efficiency of water-absorbing additives. The paper presents the results of a study of the physical and chemical properties of hydrogels based on of the production of "Nitron" (Polyacrylonitrile) wastes fibre and salts of the 3-rd transition metals and formalin. The developed hydrogels HG-Al, HG-Cr and HG-formalin have been tested for water holding the capacity of sand. Such a conclusion was also confirmed by data from the method of determining the wilting point by vegetative thumbnails. In the entering process using a dose of 0.1% of the swelling polymeric hydrogel in sand with a culture of barley the difference between the wilting point in comparison with the control was negligible. This indicates that the moisture which was contained in the hydrogel is involved in moisture availability for plant growth, to the same extent as that in the capillaries.

Keywords: hydrogel, chemical, polymer, sandy, colloid

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