Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Ecological restoration Related Abstracts

4 Stipagrostis ciliata (Desf.) De Winter: A Promising Pastoral Species for Ecological Restoration in North African Arid Bioclimate

Authors: Lobna Mnif Fakhfakh, Mohamed Chaieb

Abstract:

Most ecological studies in North Africa reveal a process of continuous degradation of pastoral ecosystems as a result of overgrazing. This degradation appears across the depletion of perennial grass species. Indeed, the majority of steppic ecosystems are characterized by a low density of perennial grasses. This phenomenon reveals a drop in food value of rangelands, which is now estimated at less than 100 UF.ha -1. -1 Year in all North African steppes. However, for ecological restoration initiatives, some species such the genus of Stipagrostis and Stipa can be considered a good candidates species for effective pastoral improvement under arid bioclimate. The present work concerns Stipagrostis ciliata (Desf.) De Winter, perennial grasses, abundant in ecosystems characterized by the high content of gypsum (CaSO4)2H2O in the southern Tunisia. This tufted species with C4 biochemical photosynthesis type is able to grow and develop under high temperature and low annual rainfall, where the minimum water potential (ψmd), can reach -4 MPa during the summer season with a phenological growth maintained throughout the season unfavorable. At this point in the early autumn rains, S. ciliata begins its growth, especially with a heading which occurs 2-3 weeks after the first autumn rains. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that Stipagrostis ciliata is an excellent promising pastoral species for the ecological restoration, and enhancement of ecosystems biological productivity in arid bioclimate of North Africa.

Keywords: Ecological restoration, Stipagrostis ciliata, pastoral species, arid bioclimate

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3 When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation

Authors: J. Fenianos, C. Khater, D. Brouillet

Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Keywords: Environmental Psychology, Ecological restoration, Local Communities, acceptability, Lebanon, resistance to change

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2 Colonization of Non-Planted Mangrove Species in the “Rehabilitation of Aquaculture Ponds to Mangroves” Projects in China

Authors: Mei Li, Yanmei Xiong, Baowen Liao, Kun Xin, Zhongmao Jiang, Hao Guo, Yujun Chen

Abstract:

Conversion of mangroves to aquaculture ponds represented as one major reason for mangrove loss in Asian countries in the 20th century. Recently the Chinese government has set a goal to increase 48,650 ha (more than the current mangrove area) of mangroves before the year of 2025 and “rehabilitation of aquaculture ponds to mangroves” projects are considered to be the major pathway to increase the mangrove area of China. It remains unclear whether natural colonization is feasible and what are the main influencing factors for mangrove restoration in these projects. In this study, a total of 17 rehabilitation sites in Dongzhai Bay, Hainan, China were surveyed for vegetation, soil and surface elevation five years after the rehabilitation project was initiated. Colonization of non-planted mangrove species was found at all sites and non-planted species dominated over planted species at 14 sites. Mangrove plants could only be found within the elevation range of -20 cm to 65 cm relative to the mean sea level. Soil carbon and nitrogen contents of the top 20 cm were generally low, ranging between 0.2%–1.4% and 0.03%–0.09%, respectively, and at each site, soil carbon and nitrogen were significantly lower at elevations with mangrove plants than lower elevations without mangrove plants. Seven sites located at the upper stream of river estuaries, where soil salinity was relatively lower, and nutrient was relatively higher, was dominated by non-planted Sonneratia caseolaris. Seven sites located at the down-stream of river estuaries or in the inner part of the bay, where soil salinity and nutrient were intermediate, were dominated by non-planted alien Sonneratia apetala. Another three sites located at the outer part of the bay, where soil salinity was higher and nutrient was lower, were dominated by planted species (Rhizophora stylosa, Kandelia obovata, Aegiceras corniculatum and Bruguiera sexangula) with non-planted S. apetala and Avicennia marina also found. The results suggest that natural colonization of mangroves is feasible in pond rehabilitation projects given the rehabilitation of tidal activities and appropriate elevations. Surface elevation is the major determinate for the success of mangrove rehabilitation, and soil salinity and nutrients are important in shaping vegetation structure. The colonization and dominance of alien species (Sonneratia apetala in this case) in some rehabilitation sites poses invasion risks and thus cautions should be taken when introducing alien mangrove species.

Keywords: Wetland Restoration, Ecological restoration, Mangroves, coastal wetlands, natural colonization, shrimp pond rehabilitation

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1 Planning for Enviromental and Social Sustainability in Coastal Areas: A Case of Alappad

Authors: K. Vrinda

Abstract:

Coastal ecosystems across the world are facing a lot of challenges due to natural phenomena as well as from uncontrolled human interventions. Here, Alappad, a coastal island situated in Kerala, India is undergoing significant damage and is gradually losing its environmental and social sustainability. The area is blessed with very rare and precious black mineral sand deposits. Sand mining for these minerals started in 1911 and is still continuing. But, unfortunately all the problems that Alappad faces now, have its root on mining of this mineral sand. The land area is continuously diminishing due to sea erosion. The mining has also caused displacement of people and environmental degradation. Marine life also is getting affected by mining on beach and pollution. The inhabitants are fishermen who are largely dependent on the eco-system for a living. So loss of environmental sustainability subsequently affects social sustainability too. Now the damage has reached a point beyond which our actions may not be able to make any impact. This was one of the most affected areas of the 2004 tsunami and the environmental degradation has further increased the vulnerability. So this study focuses on understanding the concerns related to the resource utilization, environment and the indigenous community staying there, and on formulating suitable strategies to restore the sustainability of the area. An extensive study was conducted on site, to find out the physical, social, and economical characteristics of the area. A focus group discussion with the inhabitants shed light on different issues they face in their day-to-day life. The analysis of all these data, led to the formation of a new development vision for the area which focuses on environmental restoration and socio-economic development while allowing controlled exploitation of resources. A participatory approach is formulated which enables these three aspects through community based programs.

Keywords: Ecological restoration, Community Development, Environmental Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, Social-environmental planning

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