Abstracts | Biological and Ecological Engineering
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 420

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biological and Ecological Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

420 Catalytic Pyrolysis of Sewage Sludge for Upgrading Bio-Oil Quality Using Sludge-Based Activated Char as an Alternative to HZSM5

Authors: ALi Zaker, Zhi Chen

Abstract:

Due to the concerns about the depletion of fossil fuel sources and the deteriorating environment, the attempt to investigate the production of renewable energy will play a crucial role as a potential to alleviate the dependency on mineral fuels. In this respect, biofuels are measured as a vital nominee for national energy security and energy sustainability. Sewage sludge (SS), as an alternative source of renewable energy with a complex composition, is a major waste generated during wastewater treatment. Stricter legislation is continuously refining the requirements for the level of removal of various pollutants in treated water, causing continuous growth of sludge production, which has become a global challenge. In general, there are two main procedures for dealing with SS: incineration and landfill. However, there are a variety of limitations in these options (e.g., production of greenhouse gases and restrictive environmental regulations) in regard to negative social and economic impacts. Pyrolysis is a feasible and cost-effective technology that can simultaneously tackle boundaries concerning the current disposal routes while retrieving bioenergy. Pyrolysis of SS has drawn vigorous interest in research due to the ability of high mass yield of pyrolytic liquid production. Nonetheless, the presence of high molecular weight hydrocarbons and oxygenated- and nitrogenated compounds poses a considerable challenge. In this context, catalytic pyrolysis is another attainable route in order to upgrade the bio-oil quality. Among different catalysts (i.e., zeolites) studied for sewage sludge pyrolysis, activated chars are eco-friendly and low-cost alternatives. The beneficial features comprise comparatively large surface area, long-term stability, and enriched surface functional groups. In light of these premises, this research attempts to investigate the catalytic pyrolysis of sewage sludge with a high-performance sludge-based activated char in contrast to HZSM5 from a theoretical and experimental point of view.

Keywords: catalytic pyrolysis, sewage sludge, char, HZSM5, bio-oil.

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419 Social and Cognitive Stress Impact on Neuroscience and PTSD

Authors: Sadra Abbasi

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The complex connection between psychological stress and the onset of different diseases has been an ongoing issue in the mental health field for a long time. Multiple studies have demonstrated that long-term stress can greatly heighten the likelihood of developing health issues like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and severe depression. Recent research in cognitive science has provided insight into the intricate processes involved in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suggesting that distinct memory systems are accountable for both vivid reliving and normal autobiographical memories of traumatic incidents, as proposed by dual representation theory. This theory has important consequences for our comprehension of the neural mechanisms involved in fear and behavior related to threats, highlighting the amygdala-hippocampus-medial prefrontal cortex circuit as a crucial component in this process. This particular circuit, extensively researched in behavioral neuroscience, is essential for regulating the body's reactions to stress and trauma. This review will examine how incorporating a modern neuroscience viewpoint into an integrative case formulation offers a current way to comprehend the intricate connections among psychological stress, trauma, and disease.

Keywords: social, cognitive, stress, neuroscience, behavior, PTSD

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418 The Monogeneans of the Genus Lamellodiscus, Parasites of Sparidae Fish of the Genus Dentex on the Coasts of Dakar (Sénégal)

Authors: Sikhou Drame, Arfang Diamanka

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This study focuses on an examination of the Monogenea community of the Lamellodiscus genus, parasites of teleost fish of the Dentex genus (Sparidae): Dentex angolensis, Dentex canariensis, Dentex macrophthalmus, and Dentex maroccanus from two landing sites in Dakar: Soumbédioune landing and Hann Bel Air landing. Observing the morpho-anatomical criteria of the monogeneans collected from all host species reveals the presence of 6 species of the Lamellodiscus genus (Monogenea, Diplectanidae): Lamellodiscus euzeti in Dentex canariensis, Lamellodiscus dentexi, Lamellodiscus toguebayei, Lamellodiscus triacies, and Lamellodiscus vicinus in Dentex macrophthalmus; Lamellodiscus crampus in its usual host Dentex marrocanus and we found it in Dentex angolensis. The results of the study on the distribution of parasitic indices in the studied host species show that infestation rates and parasite burdens vary from one host species to another and from one season to another. However, it is during the hot season that the values of infestation intensity and abundance are highest. Additionally, we note that Dentex canariensis records the highest parasite burdens in both locations.

Keywords: lamellodiscus, fish, dentex, Dakar, Monogenea

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417 Systematic Discovery of Bacterial Toxins Against Plants Pathogens Fungi

Authors: Yaara Oppenheimer-Shaanan, Nimrod Nachmias, Marina Campos Rocha, Neta Schlezinger, Noam Dotan, Asaf Levy

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Fusarium oxysporum, a fungus that attacks a broad range of plants and can cause infections in humans, operates across different kingdoms. This pathogen encounters varied conditions, such as temperature, pH, and nutrient availability, in plant and human hosts. The Fusarium oxysporum species complex, pervasive in soils globally, can affect numerous plants, including key crops like tomatoes and bananas. Controlling Fusarium infections can involve biocontrol agents that hinder the growth of harmful strains. Our research developed a computational method to identify toxin domains within a vast number of microbial genomes, leading to the discovery of nine distinct toxins capable of killing bacteria and fungi, including Fusarium. These toxins appear to function as enzymes, causing significant damage to cellular structures, membranes and DNA. We explored biological control using bacteria that produce polymorphic toxins, finding that certain bacteria, non-pathogenic to plants, offer a safe biological alternative for Fusarium management, as they did not harm macrophage cells or C. elegans. Additionally, we elucidated the 3D structures of two toxins with their protective immunity proteins, revealing their function as unique DNases. These potent toxins are likely instrumental in microbial competition within plant ecosystems and could serve as biocontrol agents to mitigate Fusarium wilt and related diseases.

Keywords: microbial toxins, antifungal, Fusarium oxysporum, bacterial-fungal intreactions

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416 Use of Cow Dung Residues of Biogas Plants for Sustainable Development of Rural Communities in Pakistan

Authors: Sumra Siddique Abbasi, Cheng Shikun

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Biogas technology has rapidly developed in agriculture sector to upgrade and improve the life of farmers by providing them alternative and cost-effective energy source. Main purpose of this study is to understand the advantages of biogas plants by livestock owners either they are household-based livestock owners or may own farms for livestock. Similarly, a pertinent and major purpose of this research is to examine the factors affecting the decision to adopt biogas technologies at the household level. Based on the result, both public and private sector organization can make decisions related to the installation of biogas projects. Biogas is major energy source which can be used as an alternative and renewable energy source. This energy production technology can contribute in uplifting the lifestyle of farmers and can contribute into sustainable development of rural communities in Pakistan. People with livestock in any community in Pakistan can get benefit from biogas plants and it will contribute in sustainable development program which generates socio economic benefits, heath upgradation, cost effective energy source and positive impact on climate change or environmental issues. This study was conductive using survey method and descriptive analysis. One hundred fifty (150) farmers were the respondents who participated in survey. These farmers were from Layyah district of Punjab and were selected using snowball sampling technique. To generate the results, SPSS tool was used for data analysis.

Keywords: biogas plant, animal dunk, renewable energy, pakistan

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415 Avian Bioecological Status In Batna Wetlands (NE, Algeria)

Authors: Marref C., Bezzalla A., Marref S., Houhamdi M.

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Wetlands represent ecosystems of great importance through their ecological and socio-economic functions and biological diversity, even if they are most threatened by anthropization. This study aimed to contribute to the creation of an inventory of bird species in Batna, on Algeria from 2020 to 2022. Counts were carried out from 8:00 to 19:00 using a telescope (20 × 60) and a pair of binoculars (10 × 50) and by employing absolute and relative methods. Birds were categorized by phenology, habitat, biogeography, and diet. A total of 80 species in 58 genera and 19 families were observed. Migratory birds were dominant (38%) phenologically, and the birds of Palearctic origin dominated (26.25%) biogeographically. Invertivorous and carnivorous species were most common (35%). Ecologically, the majority of species were waterbirds (73.75%), which are protected in Algeria. This study highlights the need for the preservation of ecosystem components and enhancement of biological resources of protected, rare, and key species. it observed 43797 individuals of Marmaronetta angustirostris during our study and reported the nesting of Podiceps nigricollis, Porphyrio porphyrio, and Tadorna ferruginea. For this reason, it is recommended to propose the area as a Ramsar site.

Keywords: biodiversity, avifauna, ecologicat status, zone humide, algerie

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414 Engineering Topology of Ecological Model for Orientation Impact of Sustainability Urban Environments: The Spatial-Economic Modeling

Authors: Moustafa Osman Mohammed

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The modeling of a spatial-economic database is crucial in recitation economic network structure to social development. Sustainability within the spatial-economic model gives attention to green businesses to comply with Earth’s Systems. The natural exchange patterns of ecosystems have consistent and periodic cycles to preserve energy and materials flow in systems ecology. When network topology influences formal and informal communication to function in systems ecology, ecosystems are postulated to valence the basic level of spatial sustainable outcome (i.e., project compatibility success). These referred instrumentalities impact various aspects of the second level of spatial sustainable outcomes (i.e., participant social security satisfaction). The sustainability outcomes are modeling composite structure based on a network analysis model to calculate the prosperity of panel databases for efficiency value, from 2005 to 2025. The database is modeling spatial structure to represent state-of-the-art value-orientation impact and corresponding complexity of sustainability issues (e.g., build a consistent database necessary to approach spatial structure; construct the spatial-economic-ecological model; develop a set of sustainability indicators associated with the model; allow quantification of social, economic and environmental impact; use the value-orientation as a set of important sustainability policy measures), and demonstrate spatial structure reliability. The structure of spatial-ecological model is established for management schemes from the perspective pollutants of multiple sources through the input–output criteria. These criteria evaluate the spillover effect to conduct Monte Carlo simulations and sensitivity analysis in a unique spatial structure. The balance within “equilibrium patterns,” such as collective biosphere features, has a composite index of many distributed feedback flows. The following have a dynamic structure related to physical and chemical properties for gradual prolong to incremental patterns. While these spatial structures argue from ecological modeling of resource savings, static loads are not decisive from an artistic/architectural perspective. The model attempts to unify analytic and analogical spatial structure for the development of urban environments in a relational database setting, using optimization software to integrate spatial structure where the process is based on the engineering topology of systems ecology.

Keywords: ecological modeling, spatial structure, orientation impact, composite index, industrial ecology

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413 Salicylic Acid Improves Growth, Physiological Attributes and Salt Tolerance in Bread Wheat Cultivar (Triticum Aestivum L.)

Authors: Faiza Ateeq, Huma Jawed, Kamran Azim, Nadeem Khalid

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Abiotic constraints such as salinity stress reduce cereal production. Salicylic acid is an elicitor of abiotic stress tolerance in plants. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of salicylic acid on bread wheat cultivars AAI_10 from Faisalabad, Pakistan (Triticum aestivum L.) grown under salt stress in the presence and absence of 0.5 mM salicylic acid. The Physiological test was performed using different concentrations of salt solutions, i.e., 0%, 1%, 2%, 4%, and 6% on leaf blades, and determined the germination of seedlings growth after 14 days. Results showed a reduction in the weights of wheat seedlings when it’s dry and fresh in the consideration of salt stress. Salicylic Acid treatment has a positive effect when evaluated in the case of salt-treated control. The morphological test (Lowry method) was performed to determine the concentration of proteins in different samples. Results showed that the samples treated with SA showed the highest absorbance(720nm) as compared to the control and other treated samples absorbance was determined. Thus, Salicylic Acid treating wheat seedlings enables the growth of anti-stress effects, such as maintaining proline accumulation. The morphological and physiological parameters revealed that SA treatment not only decreased the negative effect of salinity on the development of the seedlings but also accelerated the reparation of the growth processes. These results suggested that salicylic acid application improved the salt tolerance of bread wheat cultivars.

Keywords: salinity, salicylic acid, biotic and abiotic stresses, proline

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412 A Taxonomic Study on Cephalopods (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) from the Northern Bay of Bengal

Authors: Foyezunnesa Setu, S. M. Sharifuzzaman

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Cephalopods, belonging to the taxonomic class Cephalopoda under the phylum Mollusca, have a global distribution and are particularly common in the coastal waters of Bangladesh, specifically in the southeast and southwest regions. Identifying them can be difficult due to their pliable anatomical characteristics. Due to the presence of concealed cephalopod species within the orders Sepioidea, Teuthoidea, and Octopoda, these groupings of invertebrates, which share common characteristics, are frequently misidentified as distinct entities. Until now, cephalopods have been ignored because there is not enough knowledge about the specific species and the necessary preliminary research has not been done. This study offers a systematic description of various cephalopod species found along the south eastern coast of Bangladesh. A combined total of 25 cuttlefish specimens, four squid specimens, and five octopus specimens were gathered from the shores of Saint Martin's Island and Cox's Bazar. Based on morphological analysis, a total of 14 cephalopod species are identified. These species include Sepia aculeata, Sepia esculenta, Sepia pharaonis, Sepia prashadi, Sepiella inermis, Sepiella japonica, Uroteuthis duvauceli, Doryteuthis singhalensis, Sepioteuthis sepioidea, Eupryma stenodactyla, Amphioctopus aegina, Callistoctopus macropus, Octopus ceynea, and Octopus vulgaris. Six newly discovered species, including Sepia prashadi, Sepiella japonica, Sepioteuthis sepioidea, Eupryma stenodactyla, Callistoctopus macropus, and Octopus ceynea, have been identified in Bangladesh. Taxonomically, the identification of cephalopods is difficult due to the significant resemblance between species and the scarcity of information and preparatory research. This study offers significant insights about the cephalopod fauna found in the northern region of the Bay of Bengal.

Keywords: cephalopods, new records, northern bay of bengal, taxonomic identification

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411 Production of Mycelial Biomass, Exopolysaccharide, and Enzyme during Solid-State Fermentation of Plant Raw Materials by Medicinal Mushrooms

Authors: Tamar Khardziani, Violeta Berikashvili, Amrosi Chkuaseli, Vladimir Elisashvili

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The main objectives of this proposal are to develop low-cost, innovative, and competitive technologies for the production of mycelial biomass of medicinal mushrooms as a natural food supplement for poultry. To fulfill this task, industrial strains of Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum, and Pleurotus ostreatus were used in this study. The solid-state fermentation (SSF) of wheat grains, wheat bran, and soy flour was performed in flasks and bags. Among nine mushroom strains, P. ostreatus 2191 appeared to be the most productive in protein biomass accumulation in the SSF of wheat bran. All mushrooms produced exopolysaccharide with the highest yield of 5-8 mg/mL depending on fungal strain and growth substrate. Supplementation of medium with 1% glycerol and 2-4% peptone favored mushroom growth and protein accumulation. Among inorganic nitrogen sources, KNO₃ also provided high biomass and protein production. The SSF of all growth substrates was accompanied by the secretion of cellulase and xylanase activities. The highest CMCase activity (12-13 U/g) was revealed in the cultivation of P. ostreatus 2191 using wheat bran as a growth substrate and ammonium sulfate or yeast extract as a nitrogen source, whereas the highest xylanase activity was detected in the fermentation of soy flour supplemented with peptone. Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia (Grant number STEM-22-2077).

Keywords: mushrooms, plant raw materials, fermentation, biomass protein, cellulase

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410 Preferred Left-Handed Conformation of Glycyls at Pathogenic Sites

Authors: Purva Mishra, Rajesh Potlia, Kuljeet Singh Sandhu

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The role of glycyl residues in the protein structure has lingered within the research community for the last several decades. Glycyl residue is the only amino acid that is achiral due to the lack of a side chain and can, therefore, exhibit Ramachandran conformations that are disallowed for L-amino acids. The structural and functional significance of glycyl residues with L-disallowed conformation, however, remains obscure. Through statistical analysis of various datasets, we found that the glycyls with L-disallowed conformations are over-represented at disease-associated sites and tend to be evolutionarily conserved. The mutations of L-disallowed glycyls tend to destabilize the native conformation, reduce protein solubility, and promote inter-molecular aggregations. We uncovered a structural motif referred to as “β-crescent” formed around the L-disallowed glycyl, which prevents β-sheet aggregation by disrupting the alternating pattern of β-pleats. The L-disallowed conformation of glycyls also holds predictive power to infer the pathogenic missense variants. Altogether, our observations highlight that the L-disallowed conformation of glycyls is selected to facilitate native folding and prevent inter-molecular aggregations. The findings may also have implications for designing more stable proteins and prioritizing the genetic lesions implicated in diseases.

Keywords: Ramachandran plot, β-sheet, protein stability, protein aggregation

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409 Screening and Evaluation of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria of Wheat/Faba Bean for Increasing Productivity and Yield

Authors: Yasir Arafat, Asma Shah, Hua Shao

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Background and Aims: Legume/cereal intercropping is used worldwide for enhancement in biomass and yield of cereal crops. However, because of intercropping, the belowground biological and chemical interactions and their effect on physiological parameters and yield of crops are limited. Methods: Wheat faba bean (WF) intercropping was designed to understand the underlying changes in the soil's chemical environment, soil microbial communities, and effect on growth and yield parameters. Experimental plots were established as having no root partition (NRP), semi-root partition (SRP), complete root partition (CRP), and their sole cropping (CK). Low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) were determined by GC-MS, and high throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was carried out to screen microbial structure and composition in different root partitions of the WF intercropping system. Results: We show that intercropping induced a shift in the relative abundance of some genera of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) such as Allorhizobium, Neorhizobium, Pararhizobium, and Rhizobium species and resulted in better growth and yield performance of wheat. Moreover, as the plant's distance of wheat from faba beans decreased, the diversity of microbes increased, and a positive effect was observed on physiological traits and crop yield. Furthermore, an abundance and positive correlations of palmitic acid, arachidic acid, stearic acid, and 9-Octadecenoic with PGPR were recorded in the root zone of WF intercropping, which can play an important role in this facilitative mechanism of enhancing growth and yield of cereals. Conclusion: The two treatments clearly affected soil microbial and chemical composition, which can be reflected in growth and yield enhancement.

Keywords: intercropping, microbial community, LMWOAs, PGPR, soil chemical environment

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408 Diversified Farming and Agronomic Interventions Improve Soil Productivity, Soybean Yield and Biomass under Soil Acidity Stress

Authors: Imran, Murad Ali Rahat

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One of the factors affecting crop production and nutrient availability is acidic stress. The most important element decreasing under acidic stress conditions is phosphorus deficiency, which results in stunted growth and yield because of inefficient nutrient cycling. At the Agriculture Research Institute Mingora Swat, Pakistan, tests were carried out for the first time throughout the course of two consecutive summer seasons in 2016 (year 1) and 2017 (year 2) with the goal of increasing crop productivity and nutrient availability under acidic stress. Three organic supplies (peach nano-black carbon, compost, and dry-based peach wastes), three phosphorus rates, and two advantageous microorganisms (Trichoderma and PSB) were incorporated in the experimental treatments. The findings showed that, in conditions of acid stress, peach organic sources had a significant impact on yield and yield components. The application of nano-black carbon produced the greatest thousand seed weight of 164.6 g among organic sources, however the use of phosphorus solubilizing bacteria (PSB) for seed inoculation increased the thousand seed weight of beneficial microbes when compared to Trichoderma soil application. The thousand seed weight was significantly impacted by the quantities of phosphorus. The treatment of 100 kg P ha-1 produced the highest thousand seed weight (167.3 g), which was followed by 75 kg P ha-1 (162.5 g). Compost amendments provided the highest seed yield (2,140 kg ha-1) and were comparable to the application of nano-black carbon (2,120 kg ha-1). With peach residues, the lowest seed output (1,808 kg ha-1) was observed.Compared to seed inoculation with PSB (1,913 kg ha-1), soil treatment with Trichoderma resulted in the maximum seed production (2,132 kg ha-1). Applying phosphorus to the soybean crop greatly increased its output. The highest seed yield (2,364 kg ha-1) was obtained with 100 kg P ha-1, which was comparable to 75 kg P ha-1 (2,335 kg ha-1), while the lowest seed yield (1,569 kg ha-1) was obtained with 50 kg P ha-1. The average values showed that compared to control plots (3.3 g kg-1), peach organic sources produced greatest SOC (10.0 g kg-1). Plots with treated soil had a maximum soil P of 19.7 mg kg-1, while plots under stress had a maximum soil P of 4.8 mg kg-1. While peach compost resulted in the lowest soil P levels, peach nano-black carbon yielded the highest soil P levels (21.6 mg kg-1). Comparing beneficial bacteria with PSB to Trichoderma (18.3 mg/kg-1), the former also shown an improvement in soil P (21.1 mg kg-1). Regarding P treatments, the application of 100 kg P per ha produced significantly higher soil P values (26.8 mg /kg-1), followed by 75 kg P per ha (18.3 mg /kg-1), and 50 kg P ha-1 produced the lowest soil P values (14.1 mg /kg-1). Comparing peach wastes and compost to peach nano-black carbon (13.7 g kg-1), SOC rose. In contrast to PSB (8.8 g kg-1), soil-treated Trichoderma was shown to have a greater SOC (11.1 g kg-1). Higher among the P levels.

Keywords: acidic stress, trichoderma, beneficial microbes, nano-black carbon, compost, peach residues, phosphorus, soybean

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407 Environmental Planning for Sustainable Utilization of Lake Chamo Biodiversity Resources: Geospatially Supported Approach, Ethiopia

Authors: Alemayehu Hailemicael Mezgebe, A. J. Solomon Raju

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Context: Lake Chamo is a significant lake in the Ethiopian Rift Valley, known for its diversity of wildlife and vegetation. However, the lake is facing various threats due to human activities and global effects. The poor management of resources could lead to food insecurity, ecological degradation, and loss of biodiversity. Research Aim: The aim of this study is to analyze the environmental implications of lake level changes using GIS and remote sensing. The research also aims to examine the floristic composition of the lakeside vegetation and propose spatially oriented environmental planning for the sustainable utilization of the biodiversity resources. Methodology: The study utilizes multi-temporal satellite images and aerial photographs to analyze the changes in the lake area over the past 45 years. Geospatial analysis techniques are employed to assess land use and land cover changes and change detection matrix. The composition and role of the lakeside vegetation in the ecological and hydrological functions are also examined. Findings: The analysis reveals that the lake has shrunk by 14.42% over the years, with significant modifications to its upstream segment. The study identifies various threats to the lake-wetland ecosystem, including changes in water chemistry, overfishing, and poor waste management. The study also highlights the impact of human activities on the lake's limnology, with an increase in conductivity, salinity, and alkalinity. Floristic composition analysis of the lake-wetland ecosystem showed definite pattern of the vegetation distribution. The vegetation composition can be generally categorized into three belts namely, the herbaceous belt, the legume belt and the bush-shrub-small trees belt. The vegetation belts collectively act as different-sized sieve screen system and calm down the pace of incoming foreign matter. This stratified vegetation provides vital information to decide the management interventions for the sustainability of lake-wetland ecosystem.Theoretical Importance: The study contributes to the understanding of the environmental changes and threats faced by Lake Chamo. It provides insights into the impact of human activities on the lake-wetland ecosystem and emphasizes the need for sustainable resource management. Data Collection and Analysis Procedures: The study utilizes aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and field observations to collect data. Geospatial analysis techniques are employed to process and analyze the data, including land use/land cover changes and change detection matrices. Floristic composition analysis is conducted to assess the vegetation patterns Question Addressed: The study addresses the question of how lake level changes and human activities impact the environmental health and biodiversity of Lake Chamo. It also explores the potential opportunities and threats related to water utilization and waste management. Conclusion: The study recommends the implementation of spatially oriented environmental planning to ensure the sustainable utilization and maintenance of Lake Chamo's biodiversity resources. It emphasizes the need for proper waste management, improved irrigation facilities, and a buffer zone with specific vegetation patterns to restore and protect the lake outskirt.

Keywords: buffer zone, geo-spatial, lake chamo, lake level changes, sustainable utilization

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406 Chemical Composition and Antifungal Activity of Selected Essential Oils against Toxigenic Fungi Associated with Maize (Zea mays L.)

Authors: Birhane Atnafu, Chemeda Abedeta Garbaba, Fikre Lemessa, Abdi Mohammed, Alemayehu Chala

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Essential oil is a bio-pesticide plant product used as an alternative to pesticides in managing plant pests, including fungal pathogens. Thus, the current study aims to investigate the chemical composition and antifungal activities of essential oils (EO) extracted from three aromatic plants i.e., Thymus vulgaris, Coriandrum sativum, and Cymbopogon martini. The leaf parts of those selected plants were collected from the Jimma area and their essential oil was extracted by hydro-distillation method in a Clevenger apparatus. The chemical composition of selected plant essential oil was analyzed by using Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and their inhibitory effects were tested in vitro on toxigenic fungi isolated from maize kernel. Chemical analysis results revealed the presence of 32 compounds in C. sativum with Hexanedioic acid, bis (2-ethylhexyl) ester (46. 9%), 2-Decenal, (E)- (12.6), and linalool (8.3%) being the dominant ones. T. vulgaris essential oils constituted 25 compounds, of which thymol (34.4%), o-cymene (17.5%), and Gamma-Terpinene (16.8%) were the major components. Twenty-five compounds were detected in C. martinii of which geraniol (51.4%), Geranyl acetate (14.5%), and Trans – ß-Ocimene (11.7%) were dominant. The EOs of the tested plants had very high antifungal activity (up to 100% efficacy) against Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium verticillioides in vitro and on maize grains. The antifungal activities of these essential oils were dependent on the major components such as thymol, hexanedioic acid, bis (2-ethylhexyl) ester, and geraniol. The study affirmed the potential of these essential oils controlling as bio-fungicides to manage the effects of potentially toxigenic fungi associated with maize under post-harvest stages. This can reduce the consequences of the health impacts of the mold and toxigenic compounds produced in maize.

Keywords: bio-activity, bio-pesticides, maize, mycotoxin

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405 The Investigation of Effectiveness of Different Concentrations of the Mycotoxin Detoxification Agent Added to Broiler Feed, in the Presence of T-2 Toxin, on Performance, Organ Mass and the Residues T-2 Toxin and His Metabolites in the Broiler Tissues

Authors: Jelena Nedeljković Trailović, Marko Vasiljević, Jog Raj, Hunor Farkaš, Branko Petrujkić, Stamen Radulović, Gorana Popvić

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The experiment was performed on a total of 99 one-day-old broilers of Cob 500 provenance, which were divided into IX equal groups. Broilers of the E-I group were fed 0.25 mg T-2 toxin/kg feed, E-II and E-III groups 0.25 mg T-2 toxin/kg feed with the addition of 1 kg/t and 3 kg/t of the mycotoxin detoxification agent MDA, respectively. The E-IV group received 1 mg of T-2 toxin/kg of feed, and the broilers of E-V and E-VI groups received 1 mg of T-2 toxin/kg of feed with the addition of 1 kg/t and 3 kg/t of the MDA detoxification preparation, respectively. The E-VII group received commercial feed without toxins and additives, the E-VIII and E-IX groups received feed with 1kg/t and 3kg/t of the MDA detoxification preparation. The trial lasted 42 days. Observing the results obtained on the 42nd day of the experiment, we can conclude that the change in the absolute mass of the spleen occurred in the broilers of the E-IV group (1.66±0.14)g, which was statistically significantly lower compared to the broilers of the E-V and E-VI groups (2.58±0.15 and 2.68±0.23)g. Heart mass was significantly statistically lower in broilers of group E-IV (9.1±0.38)g compared to broilers of group E-V and E-VI (12.23±0.5 and 11.43±0.51)g. It can be concluded that the broilers that received 1 kg/t and 3 kg/t of the detoxification preparation had an absolute mass of organs within physiological limits. Broilers of the E-IV group achieved the lowest BM during the experiment (on the 42nd day of the experiment 1879±52.73)g, they were significantly statistically lower than the BW of broilers of all experimental groups. This trend is observed from the beginning to the end of the experiment. The protective effect of the detoxification preparation can be seen in broilers of the E-V group, that had a significantly statistically higher BM on the 42nd day of the experiment (2225±58.81)g compared to broilers of group E-IV. Broilers of E-VIII group (2452±46.71) g, which received commercial feed with the addition of 1 kg/t MDA preparation, had the highest BMI at the end of the experiment. At the end of the trial on the 42nd day, blood samples were collected from broilers of the experimental groups that received T-2 toxin and MR detoxification preparations in different concentrations. Also, liver and breast musculature samples were collected for testing for the presence and content of T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, T-2 tetraol and T-2 triol. Due to very rapid elimination from the blood, no remains of T-2 toxin and its metabolites were detected in the blood of broilers of groups E-I to E-VI. In the breast muscles, T-2 toxin residues below LoQ < 0.2 (μg/kg) were detected in all groups that received T-2 toxin in food, the highest value was recorded in the E-IV group (0.122 μg/kg and the lowest in E -VI group 0.096 μg/kg). No T-2 toxin residues were detected in the liver. Remains of HT-2 were detected in the breast muscles and livers of broilers from E-IV, E-V and E-VI groups, LoQ < 1 (μg/kg); for the breast muscles: 0.054, 0.044 and 0.041 μg/kg, and for the liver: 0.473, 0.231 and 0.185 μg/kg. Summing up all the results, a partial protective effect of the detoxification preparation, added to food in the amount of 1kg/t, can be seen.

Keywords: T-2 toxin, bloiler, MDA, mycotoxuns

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404 Hybrid Capture Resolves the Phylogeny of the Pantropically Distributed Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae) and Reveals an Old World Origin

Authors: Lee Ping Ang, Salvatore Tomasello, Jun Wen, Marc S. Appelhans

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With about 225 species, Zanthoxylum L. is the second most species rich genus in Rutaceae. It is the only genus with a pantropical distribution. Economically, it is used in several Asian countries as traditional medicine and spice. In the past Zanthoxylum was divided into two genera, the temperate Zanthoxylum sensu strictu (s.s.) and the (sub)tropical Fagara, due to the large differences in flower morphology: heterochlamydeous in Fagara and homochlamydeous in Zanthoxylum s.s.. This genus is much under studied and previous phylogenetic studies using Sanger sequencing did not resolve the relationships sufficiently. In this study, we use Hybrid Capture with a specially designed bait set for Zanthoxylum to sequence 347 putatively single-copy genes. The taxon sampling has been largely improved as compared to previous studies and the preliminary results will be based on 371 specimens representing 133 species from all continents and major island groups. Our preliminary results reveal similar tree topology as the previous studies while providing more details to the backbone of the phylogeny. The phylogenetic tree consists of four main clades: A) African/Malagasy clade, B) Z. asiaticum clade - a clade consisting widespread species occurring in (sub)tropical Asia and Africa as well as Madagascar, C) Asian/Pacific clade and D) American clade, which also includes the temperate Asian species. The merging of Fagara and Zanthoxylum is supported by our results and the homochlamydeous flowers of Zanthoxylum s.s. are likely derived from heterochlamydeous flowers. Several of the morphologically defined sections within Zanthoxylum are not monophyletic. The study dissemination will (1) introduce the framework of this project; (2) present preliminary results and (3) the ongoing progress of the study.

Keywords: Zanthoxylum, phylogenomic, hybrid capture, pantropical

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403 Culturable Microbial Diversity and Adaptation Strategy in the Jutulsessen and Ahlmannryggen of Western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

Authors: Shiv Mohan Singh, Gwyneth Matcher

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To understand the culturable microbial composition and diversity patterns, soil samples were collected from inland nunataks of Jutulsessen and Ahlmannryggen ranges in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. 16S rRNA, ITS and the D1/D2 domain sequencing techniques were used for characterization of microbial communities of these geographical areas. The total 37 species of bacteria such as Arthrobacter agilis, Acinetobacter baumannii, Arthrobacter flavus, Arthrobacter ginsengisoli, Arthrobacter oxydans, Arthrobacter oryzae, Arthrobacter polychromogenes, Arthrobacter sulfonivorans, Bacillus altitudinis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus paramycoides, Brevundimonas vesicularis, Brachybacterium rhamnosum, Curtobacterium luteum, Dermacoccus nishinomiyaensis, Dietzia aerolata, Janibacter indicus, Knoellia subterranean, Kocuria palustris, Kytococcus aerolatus, Lysinibacillus sphaericus, Microbacterium phyllosphaerae, Micrococcus yunnanensis, Methylobacterium rhodesianum, Moraxella osloensis, Paracoccus acridae, Pontibacter amylolyticus, Pseudomonas hunanensis, Pseudarthrobacter siccitolerans, Pseudarthrobacter phenanthrenivorans, Rhodococcus aerolatus, Rhodococcus sovatensis, Sphingomonas daechungensis, Sphingomonas sanguinis, Stenotrophomonas pavanii, Staphylococcus gallinarum, Staphylococcus arlettae and 9 species of fungi such as Candida davisiana, Cosmospora arxii, Geomyces destructans, Lecanicillium muscarium, Memnoniella humicola, Paecilomyces lilacinus, Pseudogymnoascus verrucosus, Phaeophlebiopsis ignerii and Thyronectria caraganae were recorded. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) analyses of representative species of each genus have shown predominance branched and unsaturated fatty acids indicate its adaptation strategy in Antarctic cold environment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of culturable bacterial communities from Jutulsessen and Ahlmannryggen ranges in Western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica.

Keywords: antarctica, microbe, adaptation, polar

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402 Tangible Losses, Intangible Traumas: Re-envisioning Recovery Following the Lytton Creek Fire 2021 through Place Attachment Lens

Authors: Tugba Altin

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In an era marked by pronounced climate change consequences, communities are observed to confront traumatic events that yield both tangible and intangible repercussions. Such events not only cause discernible damage to the landscape but also deeply affect the intangible aspects, including emotional distress and disruptions to cultural landscapes. The Lytton Creek Fire of 2021 serves as a case in point. Beyond the visible destruction, the less overt but profoundly impactful disturbance to place attachment (PA) is scrutinized. PA, representing the emotional and cognitive bonds individuals establish with their environments, is crucial for understanding how such events impact cultural identity and connection to the land. The study underscores the significance of addressing both tangible and intangible traumas for holistic community recovery. As communities renegotiate their affiliations with altered environments, the cultural landscape emerges as instrumental in shaping place-based identities. This renewed understanding is pivotal for reshaping adaptation planning. The research advocates for adaptation strategies rooted in the lived experiences and testimonies of the affected populations. By incorporating both the tangible and intangible facets of trauma, planning efforts are suggested to be more culturally attuned and emotionally insightful, fostering true resonance with the affected communities. Through such a comprehensive lens, this study contributes enriching the climate change discourse, emphasizing the intertwined nature of tangible recovery and the imperative of emotional and cultural healing after environmental disasters. Following the pronounced aftermath of the Lytton Creek Fire in 2021, research aims to deeply understand its impact on place attachment (PA), encompassing the emotional and cognitive bonds individuals form with their environments. The interpretive phenomenological approach, enriched by a hermeneutic framework, is adopted, emphasizing the experiences of the Lytton community and co-researchers. Phenomenology informed the understanding of 'place' as the focal point of attachment, providing insights into its formation and evolution after traumatic events. Data collection departs from conventional methods. Instead of traditional interviews, walking audio sessions and photo elicitation methods are utilized. These allow co-researchers to immerse themselves in the environment, re-experience, and articulate memories and feelings in real-time. Walking audio facilitates reflections on spatial narratives post-trauma, while photo voices captured intangible emotions, enabling the visualization of place-based experiences. The analysis is collaborative, ensuring the co-researchers' experiences and interpretations are central. Emphasizing their agency in knowledge production, the process is rigorous, facilitated by the harmonious blend of interpretive phenomenology and hermeneutic insights. The findings underscore the need for adaptation and recovery efforts to address emotional traumas alongside tangible damages. By exploring PA post-disaster, the research not only fills a significant gap but advocates for an inclusive approach to community recovery. Furthermore, the participatory methodologies employed challenge traditional research paradigms, heralding potential shifts in qualitative research norms.

Keywords: wildfire recovery, place attachment, trauma recovery, cultural landscape, visual methodologies

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401 Development of a Fire Analysis Drone for Smoke Toxicity Measurement for Fire Prediction and Management

Authors: Gabrielle Peck, Ryan Hayes

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This research presents the design and creation of a drone gas analyser, aimed at addressing the need for independent data collection and analysis of gas emissions during large-scale fires, particularly wasteland fires. The analyser drone, comprising a lightweight gas analysis system attached to a remote-controlled drone, enables the real-time assessment of smoke toxicity and the monitoring of gases released into the atmosphere during such incidents. The key components of the analyser unit included two gas line inlets connected to glass wool filters, a pump with regulated flow controlled by a mass flow controller, and electrochemical cells for detecting nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, and oxygen levels. Additionally, a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) analyser is employed to monitor carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO₂), and hydrocarbon concentrations. Thermocouples can be attached to the analyser to monitor temperature, as well as McCaffrey probes combined with pressure transducers to monitor air velocity and wind direction. These additions allow for monitoring of the large fire and can be used for predictions of fire spread. The innovative system not only provides crucial data for assessing smoke toxicity but also contributes to fire prediction and management. The remote-controlled drone's mobility allows for safe and efficient data collection in proximity to the fire source, reducing the need for human exposure to hazardous conditions. The data obtained from the gas analyser unit facilitates informed decision-making by emergency responders, aiding in the protection of both human health and the environment. This abstract highlights the successful development of a drone gas analyser, illustrating its potential for enhancing smoke toxicity analysis and fire prediction capabilities. The integration of this technology into fire management strategies offers a promising solution for addressing the challenges associated with wildfires and other large-scale fire incidents. The project's methodology and results contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the field of environmental monitoring and safety, emphasizing the practical utility of drones for critical applications.

Keywords: fire prediction, drone, smoke toxicity, analyser, fire management

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400 Prioritizing Forest Conservation Strategies Using a Multi-Attribute Decision Model to Address Concerns with the Survival of the Endangered Dragon Tree (Dracaena ombet Kotschy and Peyr.)

Authors: Tesfay Gidey, Emiru Birhane, Ashenafi Manaye, Hailemariam Kassa, Tesfay Atsbha, Negasi Solomon, Hadgu Hishe, Aklilu Negussie, Petr Madera, Jose G. Borges

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The globally endangered Dracaena ombet is one of the ten dragon multipurpose tree species in arid ecosystems. Anthropogenic and natural factors are now impacting the sustainability of the species. This study was conducted to prioritize criteria and alternative strategies for the conservation of the species using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) model by involving all relevant stakeholders in the Desa'a dry Afromontane forest in northern Ethiopia. Information about the potential alternative strategies and the criteria for their evaluation was first collected from experts, personal experiences, and literature reviews. Afterward, they were validated using stakeholders' focus group discussions. Five candidate strategies with three evaluation criteria were considered for prioritization using the AHP techniques. The overall priority ranking value of the stakeholders showed that the ecological criterion was deemed as the most essential factor for the choice of alternative strategies, followed by the economic and social criteria. The minimum cut-off strategy, combining exclosures with the collection of only 5% of plant parts from the species, soil and water conservation, and silviculture interventions, was selected as the best alternative strategy for sustainable D. ombet conservation. The livelihood losses due to the selected strategy should be compensated by the collection of non-timber forest products, poultry farming, home gardens, rearing small ruminants, beekeeping, and agroforestry. This approach may be extended to study other dragon tree species and explore strategies for the conservation of other arid ecosystems.

Keywords: conservation strategies, analytical hierarchy process model, Desa'a forest, endangered species, Ethiopia, overexploitation

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399 Impact of Land-Use and Climate Change on the Population Structure and Distribution Range of the Rare and Endangered Dracaena ombet and Dobera glabra in Northern Ethiopia

Authors: Emiru Birhane, Tesfay Gidey, Haftu Abrha, Abrha Brhan, Amanuel Zenebe, Girmay Gebresamuel, Florent Noulèkoun

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Dracaena ombet and Dobera glabra are two of the most rare and endangered tree species in dryland areas. Unfortunately, their sustainability is being compromised by different anthropogenic and natural factors. However, the impacts of ongoing land use and climate change on the population structure and distribution of the species are less explored. This study was carried out in the grazing lands and hillside areas of the Desa'a dry Afromontane forest, northern Ethiopia, to characterize the population structure of the species and predict the impact of climate change on their potential distributions. In each land-use type, abundance, diameter at breast height, and height of the trees were collected using 70 sampling plots distributed over seven transects spaced one km apart. The geographic coordinates of each individual tree were also recorded. The results showed that the species populations were characterized by low abundance and unstable population structure. The latter was evinced by a lack of seedlings and mature trees. The study also revealed that the total abundance and dendrometric traits of the trees were significantly different between the two land uses. The hillside areas had a denser abundance of bigger and taller trees than the grazing lands. Climate change predictions using the MaxEnt model highlighted that future temperature increases coupled with reduced precipitation would lead to significant reductions in the suitable habitats of the species in northern Ethiopia. The species' suitable habitats were predicted to decline by 48–83% for D. ombet and 35–87% for D. glabra. Hence, to sustain the species populations, different strategies should be adopted, namely the introduction of alternative livelihoods (e.g., gathering NTFP) to reduce the overexploitation of the species for subsistence income and the protection of the current habitats that will remain suitable in the future using community-based exclosures. Additionally, the preservation of the species' seeds in gene banks is crucial to ensure their long-term conservation.

Keywords: grazing lands, hillside areas, land-use change, MaxEnt, range limitation, rare and endangered tree species

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398 Using the Yield-SAFE Model to Assess the Impacts of Climate Change on Yield of Coffee (Coffea arabica L.) Under Agroforestry and Monoculture Systems

Authors: Tesfay Gidey Bezabeh, Tânia Sofia Oliveira, Josep Crous-Duran, João H. N. Palma

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Ethiopia's economy depends strongly on Coffea arabica production. Coffee, like many other crops, is sensitive to climate change. An urgent development and application of strategies against the negative impacts of climate change on coffee production is important. Agroforestry-based system is one of the strategies that may ensure sustainable coffee production amidst the likelihood of future impacts of climate change. This system involves the combination of trees in buffer extremes, thereby modifying microclimate conditions. This paper assessed coffee production under 1) coffee monoculture and 2) coffee grown using an agroforestry system, under a) current climate and b) two different future climate change scenarios. The study focused on two representative coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia under different soil, climate, and elevation conditions. A process-based growth model (Yield-SAFE) was used to simulate coffee production for a time horizon of 40 years. Climate change scenarios considered were representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5. The results revealed that in monoculture systems, the current coffee yields are between 1200-1250 kg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹, with an expected decrease between 4-38% and 20-60% in scenarios RCP 4.5 and 8.5, respectively. However, in agroforestry systems, the current yields are between 1600-2200 kg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹; the decrease was lower, ranging between 4-13% and 16-25% in RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, respectively. From the results, it can be concluded that coffee production under agroforestry systems has a higher level of resilience when facing future climate change and reinforces the idea of using this type of management in the near future for adapting climate change's negative impacts on coffee production.

Keywords: Albizia gummifera, CORDEX, Ethiopia, HADCM3 model, process-based model

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397 Volume Estimation of Trees: An Exploratory Study on Pterocarpus erinaceus Logging Operations within Forest Transition and Savannah Ecological Zones of Ghana

Authors: Albert Kwabena Osei Konadu

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Pterocarpus erinaceus, also known as Rosewood, is tropical wood, endemic in forest savannah transition zones within the middle and northern portion of Ghana. Its economic viability has made it increasingly popular and in high demand, leading to widespread conservation concerns. Ghana’s forest resource management regime for these ecozones is mainly on conservation and very little on resource utilization. Consequently, commercial logging management standards are at teething stage and not fully developed, leading to a deficiency in the monitoring of logging operations and quantification of harvested trees volumes. Tree information form (TIF); a volume estimation and tracking regime, has proven to be an effective, sustainable management tool for regulating timber resource extraction in the high forest zones of the country. This work aims to generate TIF that can track and capture requisite parameters to accurately estimate the volume of harvested rosewood within forest savannah transition zones. Tree information forms were created on three scenarios of individual billets, stacked billets and conveying vessel basis. These TIFs were field-tested to deduce the most viable option for the tracking and estimation of harvested volumes of rosewood using the smallian and cubic volume estimation formula. Overall, four districts were covered with individual billets, stacked billets and conveying vessel scenarios registering mean volumes of 25.83m3,45.08m3 and 32.6m3, respectively. These adduced volumes were validated by benchmarking to assigned volumes of the Forestry Commission of Ghana and known standard volumes of conveying vessels. The results did indicate an underestimation of extracted volumes under the quotas regime, a situation that could lead to unintended overexploitation of the species. The research revealed conveying vessels route is the most viable volume estimation and tracking regime for the sustainable management of the Pterocarpous erinaceus species as it provided a more practical volume estimate and data extraction protocol.

Keywords: convention on international trade in endangered species, cubic volume formula, forest transition savannah zones, pterocarpus erinaceus, smallian’s volume formula, tree information form

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396 Phoenix dactylifera Ecosystem in Morocco: Ecology, Socio Economic Role and Constraints to Its Development

Authors: Mohammed Sghir Taleb

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Introduction The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) represents an essential element of the oasis ecosystem for Saharan and pre-Saharan regions of Morocco. It plays an important role, not only due to its economic importance, but also its ecological adaptation to, firstly, to ensure necessary protection for crops against underlying warm and dry sales, and secondly to contribute to the fight against desertification. This is one of the oldest cultivated plant species best adapted to difficult climatic conditions of the Saharan and pre-Saharan regions, because of its ecological requirements and economically most suitable for investing in oasis agriculture. Methodology The methodology is mainly based on a literature review of principal theses and projects for the conservation of flora and vegetation. Results The date palm has multiple uses. Indeed, it produces fruits rich in nutrients, provides a multitude of secondary products and generates needed revenue for the survival of oasis populations. In Morocco, the development and modernization of the date palm sector face, both upstream and downstream of the industry, several major constraints. In addition to climate constraints (prolonged drought), in its environment (lack of water resources), to the incessant invasion of disease Bayoud, Moroccan palm ecosystem suffers from a low level of technical and traditional practices prevail and traditional, from the choice of variety and site preparation up to harvesting and recycling of products. Conclusion The date palm plays an important role in the socioeconomic development of local and national level. However, this ecosystem however, is subject to numerous degradation factors caused by anthropogenic action and climate change. to reverse the trends, several programs have been developed by Morocco for the restoration of degraded areas and the development of the Phoenix dactylifera ecosystem to meet the needs of local populations and the development of the national economy.

Keywords: efforts, flora, ecosystem, forest, conservation, Morocco

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395 Natural Regeneration Assessment of a Double Bunrt Mediterranean Coniferous Forest: A Pilot Study from West Peloponnisos, Greece

Authors: Dionisios Panagiotaras, Ioannis P. Kokkoris, Dionysios Koulougliotis, Dimitra Lekka, Alexandra Skalioti

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In the summer of 2021, Greece was affected by devastating forest fires in various regions of the country, resulting in human losses, destruction or degradation of the natural environment, infrastructure, livestock and cultivations. The present study concerns a pilot assessment of natural vegetation regeneration in the second, in terms of area, fire-affected region for 2021, at Ancient Olympia area, located in West Peloponnisos (Ilia Prefecture), Greece. A standardised field sampling protocol for assessing natural regeneration was implemented at selected sites where the forest fire had occurred previously (in 2007), and the vegetation (Pinus halepensis forest) had regenerated naturally. The results of the study indicate the loss of the established natural regeneration of Pinus halepensis forest, as well as of the tree-layer in total. Post-fire succession species are recorded to the shrub and the herb layer, with a varying cover. Present findings correspond to the results of field work and analysis one year after the fire, which will form the basis for further research and conclusions on taking action for restoration schemes in areas that have been affected by fire more than once within a 20-year period.

Keywords: forest, pinus halepensis, ancient olympia, post fire vegetation

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394 Local Cultural Beliefs and Practices of the Indiginous Communities Related to Wildlife in the Buffer Zone of Chitwan National Park

Authors: Neeta Pokharel

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Cultural beliefs and practices have been shaping indigenous community’s resource use and attitude toward the conservation of natural flora and fauna around them. Understanding these cultural dimensions is vital for identifying effective strategies that align with conservation efforts. This study focused on investigating the wildlife-related cultural beliefs and practices of two indigenous communities: Bote and Musahars. The study applied ethnographic methods that included Key-informant interviews, Focal Group discussion, and Household survey methods. Out of 100 respondents, 51% were male and 49% female. A significant portion (65%) of the respondents confirmed animal worship, with a majority worshipping tigers (81.5%), rhinos (73.8%), crocodiles (66%), and dolphins (40%). Additionally, 16.9% disclosed worshipping Elephants, while 10 % affirmed animal worship without specifying the particular animals. Ritualistic practices often involve the sacrifice of pigs, goats, hens, and pigeons. Their cultural ethics place a significant emphasis on biodiversity conservation, as the result shows 41 % refraining from causing harm to wild animals and 9% doing so for ethical considerations, respectively. Moreover, the majority of the respondents believe that cultural practices could enhance conservation efforts. However, the encroachment of modernization and religious conversion within the community poses a tangible risk of cultural degradation, highlighting the urgent need to preserve the cultural practices. Integrating such indigenous practices into the National Biodiversity Strategy and conservation policies can ensure sustainable conservation of endangered animals with appropriate cultural safeguards.

Keywords: tribal communities, societal belief, wild fauna, “barana”, safeguarding

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393 Assessing the Seed Yield of Some Varieties of Sesame (Sesami indicum) Under Disease Condition (Cercospora Leaf Spot) Caused by (Cercospora sesami, Zimm) and Identifying Disease Resistant Varieties

Authors: P. S. Akami, H. Nahunnaro, A. Zubainatu

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Cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora sesami. Zimm) has been identified as one of the most prevalent diseases, posing serious constraints to sesame production in producing areas. Two sets of experiments were carried out. The first and second experiments were conducted in the Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola at the Crop Production and Horticulture and Plant Science Departments, respectively. The field experiment was carried out using a Randomized Complete Block Design and was replicated three times on a plot size of 4m x 5m with four sesame varieties and three Mancob-M fungicide levels (0g, 2g and 4g) to give a total of Twelve treatments. The laboratory experiment involved the isolation of the pathogens from diseased leaves with symptoms of Cercospora leaf spot, which was identified as Cercospora sesami. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance for a randomized complete block design using SAS (1999) statistical package. The treatment means that are significantly different were separated using the Least Significant Difference at P=0.05. The result revealed that 4g Mancob M recorded the lowest mean value for disease incidence and severity at 8WAS, which was 90.30% and 35.60%, respectively, while the control (0g) recorded the highest mean value for disease incidence and severity at 90.30% and 59.80% respectively. Ex-Sudan recorded the lowest value of 720 kg/ha, while NCRIBEN 03 recorded the highest yield of 834 kg/ha-¹. For the concentrations, 2g recorded a higher yield of 843 kg/ha-¹ followed by 0g, which recorded 765 kg/ha-¹. Conclusively, Cercospora leaf spot of sesame was found to be prevalent. E8 has a higher resistance to the disease, while NCRIBEN 03 tends to be more susceptible. It is therefore recommended that further trials should be carried out using different varieties in different locations.

Keywords: disease, evaluation, prevalence, treatment, resistance

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392 Tea and Its Working Methodology in the Biomass Estimation of Poplar Species

Authors: Pratima Poudel, Austin Himes, Heidi Renninger, Eric McConnel

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Populus spp. (poplar) are the fastest-growing trees in North America, making them ideal for a range of applications as they can achieve high yields on short rotations and regenerate by coppice. Furthermore, poplar undergoes biochemical conversion to fuels without complexity, making it one of the most promising, purpose-grown, woody perennial energy sources. Employing wood-based biomass for bioenergy offers numerous benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to non-renewable traditional fuels, the preservation of robust forest ecosystems, and creating economic prospects for rural communities.In order to gain a better understanding of the potential use of poplar as a biomass feedstock for biofuel in the southeastern US, the conducted a techno-economic assessment (TEA). This assessment is an analytical approach that integrates technical and economic factors of a production system to evaluate its economic viability. the TEA specifically focused on a short rotation coppice system employing a single-pass cut-and-chip harvesting method for poplar. It encompassed all the costs associated with establishing dedicated poplar plantations, including land rent, site preparation, planting, fertilizers, and herbicides. Additionally, we performed a sensitivity analysis to evaluate how different costs can affect the economic performance of the poplar cropping system. This analysis aimed to determine the minimum average delivered selling price for one metric ton of biomass necessary to achieve a desired rate of return over the cropping period. To inform the TEA, data on the establishment, crop care activities, and crop yields were derived from a field study conducted at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station's Bearden Dairy Research Center in Oktibbeha County and Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwood Branch Experiment Station in Pontotoc County.

Keywords: biomass, populus species, sensitivity analysis, technoeconomic analysis

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391 Early Indications of the Success of Rehabilitating Degraded Lands through the Green Legacy Project Implemented in Ethiopia

Authors: Tamirat Solomon, Aberash Yohannis, Efrem Gulfo

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The plantation of trees, which harmonizes the agroecology of the environment, has been implemented in Ethiopia with great concern for a noticeably degraded environment. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of green legacy, species selection and, the rate of survival, and the management status in the study areas. A systematic sampling method was employed to collect the required data from 144 quadrants measuring a 15m radius with an interval of 40m apart. Additionally, 244 sample households were selected for the socioeconomic study in addition to secondary data collected from office recordings. The data collected was analyzed using multivariate analysis, considering exposure and outcome variables. The findings of this study indicated that four exotic tree species, namely; A. salgina, C. fistula, A. indica, and G. robusta, were commonly selected tree species for degraded land restoration in the study areas. Among the seedlings planted at the four study sites, a total of 79.9% survived, and A. salgina was the dominant and best performed species, A. indica was the least survived species in the entire study area. The age of the seedling before planting significantly (p = 0.05) affected the survival potential of most seedlings of species, and the majority (82%) of local communities expressed their positive attitudes and willingness to manage the restoration works in the study areas. It was recommended to consider the inclusion of native species in the restoration effort and evaluate the co-existence of native flora with exotic and its competition for nutrients, water, and light in addition to the invading potentials in the ecosystem. In general, before embarking on degraded land restoration, species selection, adequate preparation of seedlings, and species diversity composition that exactly fit the socioeconomic and ecological demands of the areas must get the attention for the success of the restoration.

Keywords: plantation forest, degraded land, forest restoration, plantation survival, species selection

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