Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: amphibians

17 Amphibians and Water Quality: An Assessment of Diversity and Physico-Chemical Parameters of Habitats for Amphibians in Sindh, Pakistan

Authors: Kalsoom Shaikh, Saima Memon, Riffat Sultana

Abstract:

Water pollution affects amphibians because they are intimately water dependent. The permeable skin makes amphibians very sensitive to the physico-chemical parameters of their aquatic environment. They spawn in water bodies where quality of water can affect the growth, development, and survival of their eggs which may die even before hatching into larvae or developing into adults due to water contamination. Considering the importance of amphibians in agriculture, food web, ecosystem and pharmaceutics as well as adverse impact of environmental degradation on them, present study was proposed to comprehensively determine the status of their diversity and habitats in Sindh province of Pakistan so as to execute monitoring for their conservation in future. Physico-chemical parameters including pH, EC (electric conductivity), TDS (total dissolved solids), T-Hard (total hardness), T-Alk (total alkalinity), Cl (chloride), CO₂ (carbon dioxide), SO₄ (sulphate), PO₄ (phosphate), NO₂ (nitrite) and NO₃ (nitrate) were analyzed from amphibian habitats using instruments and methodology of analytical grade. The results of present study after being compared with scientific data provided by different researchers and EPA (environmental protection agency), it was concluded that amphibian habitats consisted of high values of analyzed parameters except pH and CO₂. Entire study area required an urgent implementation of conservation actions for saving amphibians.

Keywords: amphibians, diversity, habitats, physico-chemical parameters, water quality, Pakistan, Sindh Province

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16 Status of Herpetofauna of Trans-Himalayan Region of Ladakh, India

Authors: Dimpi A. Patel, Pankaj Raina, Ramesh Chinnasamy, Sunetro Ghosal

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The herpetological fauna of Ladakh has been surveyed few times till 1999. In 2019, a rapid survey to document current herpetofaunal composition was undertaken in which a total of 6 species belonging to 2 orders and five families along with their altitudinal ranges were recorded. We present a revised checklist of reptiles found in Ladakh trans Himalayas based on historical records and recent field surveys. Records for erroneously reported species in literature are discussed and recommended for removal from the list from this region. For several species, new elevation range records have been recorded. This paper contributes to the present status of the richness of reptiles and amphibians in the region by documenting the composition and ecological distribution of the herpetofauna of unstudied sites. Species-specific temperature and humidity regimes were also recorded during the survey periods. Our study creates baseline information for future ecological and behavioral studies on the herpetofauna of the region by providing habitat preferences and distribution in detail.

Keywords: amphibians, distribution, diversity, reptiles, trans-Himalaya

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15 Prioritizing Biodiversity Conservation Areas based on the Vulnerability and the Irreplaceability Framework in Mexico

Authors: Alma Mendoza-Ponce, Rogelio Corona-Núñez, Florian Kraxner

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Mexico is a megadiverse country and it has nearly halved its natural vegetation in the last century due to agricultural and livestock expansion. Impacts of land use cover change and climate change are unevenly distributed and spatial prioritization to minimize the affectations on biodiversity is crucial. Global and national efforts for prioritizing biodiversity conservation show that ~33% to 45% of Mexico should be protected. The width of these targets makes difficult to lead resources. We use a framework based on vulnerability and irreplaceability to prioritize conservation efforts in Mexico. Vulnerability considered exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity under two scenarios (business as usual, BAU based, on the SSP2 and RCP 4.5 and a Green scenario, based on the SSP1 and the RCP 2.6). Exposure to land use is the magnitude of change from natural vegetation to anthropogenic covers while exposure to climate change is the difference between current and future values for both scenarios. Sensitivity was considered as the number of endemic species of terrestrial vertebrates which are critically endangered and endangered. Adaptive capacity is used as the ration between the percentage of converted area (natural to anthropogenic) and the percentage of protected area at municipality level. The results suggest that by 2050, between 11.6 and 13.9% of Mexico show vulnerability ≥ 50%, and by 2070, between 12.0 and 14.8%, in the Green and BAU scenario, respectively. From an ecosystem perspective cloud forests, followed by tropical dry forests, natural grasslands and temperate forests will be the most vulnerable (≥ 50%). Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates; 62% of the endemic amphibians are critically endangered or endangered while 39%, 12% and 9% of the mammals, birds, and reptiles, respectively. However, the distribution of these amphibians counts for only 3.3% of the country, while mammals, birds, and reptiles in these categories represent 10%, 16% and 29% of Mexico. There are 5 municipalities out of the 2,457 that Mexico has that represent 31% of the most vulnerable areas (70%).These municipalities account for 0.05% of Mexico. This multiscale approach can be used to address resources to conservation targets as ecosystems, municipalities or species considering land use cover change, climate change and biodiversity uniqueness.

Keywords: biodiversity, climate change, land use change, Mexico, vulnerability

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14 Occurrence of Ranavirus in Edible Frogs and Fish Sold for Human Consumption in Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria

Authors: Inikpi Ameh, Grace Kia, A. K. B. Sackey, Joy Atawodi, Richard Whittington

Abstract:

Ranaviruses are belonging to the viral Family Iridoviridae, are a group of globally emerging pathogens recognized as major viral pathogens of cold-blooded vertebrates. They cause systemic infection in fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. Ranaviruses have been associated with numerous disease outbreaks in natural and cultured populations of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. To investigate the presence of the ranavirus in fish and edible frogs sourced from dams and ponds in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. A total of 425 frogs (Rana spp.) and fishes (n=215 and n=200, respectively) were randomly collected based on consent and availability. Liver, kidney, and spleen tissue samples from each animal were pooled and homogenized. The samples were screened for ranavirus using the Indirect Enzyme linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA). An overall prevalence of 46.1% (196/425) was obtained from the study. Frogs had a prevalence of 51.2% (110/215) while fish had 43% (86/200). This is the first study on ranavirus in fish and edible frogs in Nigeria. This study has established that edible frogs (Rana spp) and fishes sold in Zaria, Nigeria were infected with ranavirus which may have great economic importance to the nation’s aquaculture. In view of occasional massive economic losses observed in fishery industry due to deaths of unknown origin, this preliminary investigation is useful in directing veterinarians, policy makers and researchers on need to survey for ranavirus and also enlighten the relevant stakeholders on its prevention and control in Nigeria.

Keywords: fish, frogs, Nigeria, Ranavirus

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13 Bacteriological Screening and Antibiotic – Heavy Metal Resistance Profile of the Bacteria Isolated from Some Amphibian and Reptile Species of the Biga Stream in Turkey

Authors: Nurcihan Hacioglu, Cigdem Gul, Murat Tosunoglu

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In this article, the antibiogram and heavy metal resistance profile of the bacteria isolated from total 34 studied animals (Pelophylax ridibundus = 12, Mauremys rivulata = 14, Natrix natrix = 8) captured around the Biga Stream, are described. There was no database information on antibiogram and heavy metal resistance profile of bacteria from these area’s amphibians and reptiles. In this study, a total of 200 bacteria were successfully isolated from cloaca and oral samples of the aquatic amphibians and reptiles as well as from the water sample. According to Jaccard’s similarity index, the degree of similarity in the bacterial flora was quite high among the amphibian and reptile species under examination, whereas it was different from the bacterial diversity in the water sample. The most frequent isolates were A. hydrophila (31.5%), B. pseudomallei (8.5%), and C. freundii (7%). The total numbers of bacteria obtained were as follows: 45 in P. ridibundus, 45 in N. natrix 30 in M. rivulata, and 80 in the water sample. The result showed that cefmetazole was the most effective antibiotic to control the bacteria isolated in this study and that approximately 93.33% of the bacterial isolates were sensitive to this antibiotic. The Multiple Antibiotic Resistances (MAR) index indicated that P. ridibundus (0.95) > N. natrix (0.89) > M. rivulata (0.39). Furthermore, all the tested heavy metals (Pb+2, Cu+2, Cr+3, and Mn+2) inhibit the growth of the bacterial isolates at different rates. Therefore, it indicated that the water source of the animals was contaminated with both antibiotic residues and heavy metals.

Keywords: bacteriological quality, amphibian, reptile, antibiotic, heavy metal resistance

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12 Molecular Identification and Evolutionary Status of Lucilia bufonivora: An Obligate Parasite of Amphibians in Europe

Authors: Gerardo Arias, Richard Wall, Jamie Stevens

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Lucilia bufonivora Moniez, is an obligate parasite of toads and frogs widely distributed in Europe. Its sister taxon Lucilia silvarum Meigen behaves mainly as a carrion breeder in Europe, however it has been reported as a facultative parasite of amphibians. These two closely related species are morphologically almost identical, which has led to misidentification, and in fact, it has been suggested that the amphibian myiasis cases by L. silvarum reported in Europe should be attributed to L. bufonivora. Both species remain poorly studied and their taxonomic relationships are still unclear. The identification of the larval specimens involved in amphibian myiasis with molecular tools and phylogenetic analysis of these two closely related species may resolve this problem. In this work seventeen unidentified larval specimens extracted from toad myiasis cases of the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland were obtained, their COX1 (mtDNA) and EF1-α (Nuclear DNA) gene regions were amplified and then sequenced. The 17 larval samples were identified with both molecular markers as L. bufonivora. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out with 10 other blowfly species, including L. silvarum samples from the UK and USA. Bayesian Inference trees of COX1 and a combined-gene dataset suggested that L. silvarum and L. bufonivora are separate sister species. However, the nuclear gene EF1-α does not appear to resolve their relationships, suggesting that the rates of evolution of the mtDNA are much faster than those of the nuclear DNA. This work provides the molecular evidence for successful identification of L. bufonivora and a molecular analysis of the populations of this obligate parasite from different locations across Europe. The relationships with L. silvarum are discussed.

Keywords: calliphoridae, molecular evolution, myiasis, obligate parasitism

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11 Advances in the Studies on Evaluation of Diversity and Habitat Preferences of Amphibians of Nigeria

Authors: Md Mizanur Rahman, Lotanna Micah Nneji, Adeola C. Adeniyi, Edem Archibong Eniang, Abiodun B. Onadeko, Felista Kasyoka Kilunda, Babatunde E. Adedeji, Ifeanyi C. Nneji, Adiaha A. A. Ugwumba, Jie-Qiong Jin, Min-Sheng Peng, Caroline Olory, Nsikan Eninekit, Jing Che

Abstract:

Nigeria contains a number of forest habitats that believed to host highly rich amphibian diversity. However, a dearth of herpetological studies has restricted information on the amphibian diversity in Nigeria. To cover the gap of knowledge, this study focused field surveys on relatively less studied forests–Afi Forest Reserve and Ikpan forest ecosystem. The goal of this study is to make a checklist and to investigate the habitat preferences of amphibians in these two forests. The study areas were surveyed between August 2018 and July 2019 following visual and acoustic methods. Individuals were identified using the morphological and molecular (16S ribosomal RNA) approach. Literature searches were conducted to document additional species that were not encountered during the current field surveys. Using the observational records and arrays of diversity indices, the patterns of species richness and abundance across habitat types were evaluated. Voucher specimens and tissue samples were deposited in the museums of the Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan Nigeria, and the remainder at the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China. The result of this study revealed the presence of 30 and 31 amphibian species from the Afi Forest Reserve and the Ikpan Forest Ecosystem, respectively. There were two unidentified species from AFR and one from IFE. In total, 324 individuals of amphibian species were observed from the two study areas. Forest and swamps showed high species diversity and richness than the agricultural field and savannah. Savannah and agricultural fields had the highest similarity in the species composition. Given the increased human disturbances and consequent threats to these forests, this study offers recommendations for the initiation of conservation plans immediately.

Keywords: biodiversity, conservation, cryptic species, ecology, integrated taxonomy, species inventory

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10 Preliminary Analysis of a Phylogeography Study of Dendropsophus minutus in the Guiana Shield

Authors: Mera-Martínez Daniela

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Dendropsophus minutus, is a species distributed in South America including the slopes of the Andes, the Amazon basin, forests of southeastern Brazil and in Guyana where tropical forests are characteristic. The relationship of amphibians found in this locality is evidenced by molecular markers, with the objective of analyzing if the geographic distance is influencing the structure of the populations of D. minutus in Guyana; we analyzed 65 sequences from the 3 localities of Guyana where haplotype networks, Mantel Test and phylogeny were realized to know the influence. It was evidenced that there is a haplotypic difference in the locality of Guyana compared to Suriname and French Guyana, but this does not have a correlation with the geographic distance, but this one can be influenced by the conditions of the places.

Keywords: phylogeography, Dendropsophus, geographic distance, molecular markers

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9 Assessment of Amphibian Diversity and Status of Their Habitats through Physico-Chemical Parameters in Sindh, Pakistan

Authors: Kalsoom Shaikh, Ghulam Sarwar Gachal, Saima Memon

Abstract:

Our study aimed to assess diversity and habitats of amphibian fauna in Sindh province as amphibians are among most vulnerable animals and the risk of their extinction is increasing in many parts of world mainly due to habitat degradation. Present study consisted of field surveys and laboratory analytical work; field surveys were carried out to confirm amphibian diversity and collection of water samples from their habitats, whereas laboratory work was conducted for identification of species and analysis of water quality of habitats through physico-chemical parameters. For identification of amphibian species, morphology was thoroughly examined using taxonomic key, whereas water quality was assessed via physico-chemical parameters including pH, electric conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), total hardness (T. Hard), total alkalinity (T. Alk), chloride (Cl), carbon dioxide (CO₂), sulfate (SO₄), phosphate (PO₄), nitrite (NO₂) and nitrate (NO₃) using material and methods of analytical grade. pH value was analyzed using pH meter, whereas levels of EC and TDS were recorded using conductivity meter and TDS meter, respectively. Other parameters with exception of non-metallic parameters (SO₄, PO₄, NO₂, and NO₃) were analyzed through distinct titration methods. Concentration of non-metallic parameters was evaluated using ultra-violet spectrophotometer. This study revealed existence of four amphibian species including Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis, Allopa hazarensis belonging to Family Ranidae and Bufo stomaticus (Family Bufonidae) randomly distributed in district Ghotki, Jamshoro, Kashmor, Larkana, Matiari and Shikarpur in Sindh. Assessment of aquatic habitats in different areas found value of parameters as followed: Habitats in district Ghoki (pH: 7.8 ± 0.3, EC: 2165.3 ± 712.6, TDS: 1507.0 ± 413.1, T-Hard: 416.4 ± 67.5, T. Alk: 393.4 ± 78.4, Cl: 362.4 ± 70.1, CO₂: 21.1 ± 3.5, SO₄: 429.3 ± 100.1, PO₄: 487.5 ± 122.5, NO₂: 13.7 ± 1.0, NO₃: 14.7 ± 2.5), district Jamshoro habitats (pH: 8.1 ± 0.4, EC: 2403.8 ± 55.4, TDS: 1697.2 ± 77.0, T. Hard: 548.7 ± 43.2, T. Alk: 294.4 ± 29.0, Cl: 454.7 ± 50.8 CO₂: 16.9 ± 2.4, SO₄: 713.0 ± 49.3, PO₄: 826.2 ± 53.0, NO₂: 15.2 ± 3.4, NO₃: 21.6 ± 3.7), habitats in Kashmor district (pH: 8.0 ± 0.5, EC: 2450.3 ± 610.9, TDS: 1745.3 ± 440.9, T. Hard: 624.6 ± 305.8, T. Alk: 445.7 ± 120.5, Cl: 448.9 ± 128.8, CO₂: 18.9 ± 4.5, SO₄: 619.8 ± 205.8, PO₄: 474.1 ± 94.2, NO₂: 15.2 ± 3.1, NO₃ 14.3 ± 2.6), district Larkana habitats (pH: 8.4 ± 0.4, EC: 2555.8 ± 70.3, TDS: 1784.4 ± 36.9, T. Hard: 623.0 ± 42.5, T. Alk: 329.6 ± 36.7, Cl: 614.3 ± 89.5, CO₂: 17.6 ± 1.2, SO₄: 845.1 ± 67.6, PO₄: 895.0 ± 61.4, NO₂: 13.6 ± 3.8, NO₃: 23.1 ± 2.8), district Matiari habitats (pH: 8.0 ± 0.4 EC: 2492.3 ± 928.1, TDS: 430.0 ± 161.3, T. Hard: 396.7 ± 183.3, T. Alk: 388.1 ± 97.4, Cl: 551.6 ± 73.4, CO₂: 15.8 ± 2.9, SO₄: 576.5 ± 200.0, PO₄: 434.7 ± 100.6, NO₂: 15.8 ± 2.9, NO₃: 15.2 ± 3.0) and habitats in Shikarpur district (pH: 8.1 ± 0.6, EC: 2191.7 ± 765.1, TDS: 1764.9 ± 409.2, T. Hard: 431.9 ± 68.4,T. Alk: 350.3 ± 44.3, Cl: 381.5 ± 29.5, CO₂: 18.0 ± 4.0, SO₄: 518.8 ± 97.9, PO₄: 493.6 ± 64.6, NO₂: 14.0 ± 0.8, NO₃: 16.1 ± 2.8). Values of physico-chemical parameters were found higher than permissible level of Environmental Protectiona Agency (EPA). Monthly variation in concentration of physico-chemical parameters was also prominently recorded at all the study locals. This study discovered poor diversity of amphibian fauna and condition of their habitats was also observed as pitiable. This study established base line information that may be used in execution of an effective management plan and future monitoring of amphibian diversity and their habitats in Sindh.

Keywords: amphibians, diversity, habitats, Pakistan, Sindh

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8 Influence of Physico-Chemical Changes in the Environment on the Behavior of Tadpoles Rana Saharica: Case of Fungicide (Artea 330ec)

Authors: S. Zouainia, R. Djebar, H. Berrebah, A. Sayeb

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This work focused on the study of physiological and biochemical changes observed in tadpoles exposed to fungicide Rana saharica Artea 330ec recently introduced in Algeria. For this, we tested the effect of xenobiotics on growth and development of tadpoles; among the studied parameters: total protein, glutathione and respiratory activity. The study of physiological parameters showed that the tadpoles change perfectly in the absence of toxic and in favorable conditions (pH, temperature). Our results showed an increased rate of protein and GSH in the presence of the fungicide Artea 330ec. The latter causes uninhibited very highly significant respiratory activity of tadpoles treated. The presence of xenobiotics in the breeding tadpoles water causes disturbances in behavior and food metabolism.

Keywords: amphibians, fungicides, pesticides, pollution

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7 Identification and Molecular Characterization of Cryptosporidium Spp. in Pre-Wean Dairy Calves in Mashhad, Northeastern of Iran

Authors: Mohammad Asadpour, Gholamreza Razmi, Gholamreza Mohammadi, Abolghasem Naghibi

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Cryptosporidium Spp., protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa, have a wide spectrum of hosts including humans, domestic animals and wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Dairy cattle have been identified in numerous reports as a major source of environmental contamination with this pathogen. In this study, a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the Small-Subunit (SSU) rRNA gene was used to detect and identify Cryptosporidium Spp. in 300 fecal specimens from 1 to 30 days pre-wean calves in 10 farms in Mashhad, Iran. Eighty five (28.3%) and forty five (15%) of the specimens were positive for Cryptosporidium by microscopic and PCR examination respectively. Restriction digestion of the PCR products by VSPI and Ssp1 restriction enzymes and analysis of sequence data revealed the presence of C. parvum, bovine genotype in all isolates. Our findings suggest that cattle can be a source of Cryptosporidial infections for humans and animals in Mashhad area. This is the first published description of Cryptosporidium sub genotyping in Mashhad.

Keywords: cryptosporidium, genotype, dairy calves, 18S rRNA, Mashhad

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6 Best Practices for Healthy Estuaries

Authors: Hassan Badkoobehi, Pradip Peter Dey, Mohammad Amin, Milan Jose Carlos, Basmal Hana, Fadi Zaco

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The economy of coastline areas depends on the natural splendor of estuaries. When estuaries are improperly managed or polluted, long or short term damage to local economy or harm to local life forms can be caused. Estuaries are shelters for thousands of species such as birds, mammals, fish, crustaceans, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. The delicate balance of these life forms in estuaries requires careful planning for the benefit of all. The commercial value of estuaries is very important; recreational activities that people enjoy like boating, kayaking, windsurfing, swimming, bird-watching and fishing are marketable. Estuaries are national treasures with vital community and ecological resources. Years of estuarine environmental studies have produced extensive results that merit consideration. This study reviews research results from various sources and suggests best strategies for maintaining healthy estuaries in the current socioeconomic conditions. The main hypothesis is that many estuaries can be restored to their original healthy status in a cost effective manner with restoration or prevention plans suggested in published studies.

Keywords: environment, pollution, sustainable, wildlife

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5 Isolation, Screening and Identification of Frog Cutaneous Bacteria for Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Activity

Authors: Adria Rae Abigail R. Eda, Arvin C. Diesmos, Vance T. Vredenburg, Merab A. Chan

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Mitigating strategies using symbiotic cutaneous bacteria is one of the major concerns in the conservation of amphibian population. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis associated with mass mortality and amphibian extinctions worldwide. In the Philippines, there is a lack of study on the cutaneous bacteria of Philippine amphibians that may have beneficial effects to ward off the deadly fungal infection. In this study, cutaneous bacteria from frogs were isolated and examined for anti-B. dendrobatidis activity. Eight species of frogs were collected at Mt. Palay-palay Mataas na Gulod National Park in Cavite, a site positive for the presence of B. dendrobatidis. Bacteria were isolated from the skin of frogs by swabbing the surfaces of the body and inoculated in Reasoner´s 2A (R2A) agar. Isolated bacteria were tested for potential inhibitory properties against B. dendrobatidis through zoospore inhibition assay. Results showed that frog cutaneous bacteria significantly inhibited the growth of B. dendrobatidis in vitro. By means of 16S rRNA gene primers, the anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria were identified to be Enterobacter sp., Alcaligenes faecalis and Pseudomonas sp. Cutaneous bacteria namely Enterobacter sp. (isolates PLd33 and PCv4) and Pseudomonas (isolate PLd31) remarkably cleared the growth of B. dendrobatidis zoospore in 1% tryptone agar. Therefore, frog cutaneous bacteria inhibited B. dendrobatidis in vitro and could possibly contribute to the immunity and defense of frogs against the lethal chytridiomycosis.

Keywords: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, cutaneous bacteria, frogs, zoospore inhibition assay

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4 Modelling the Effect of Biomass Appropriation for Human Use on Global Biodiversity

Authors: Karina Reiter, Stefan Dullinger, Christoph Plutzar, Dietmar Moser

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Due to population growth and changing patterns of production and consumption, the demand for natural resources and, as a result, the pressure on Earth’s ecosystems are growing. Biodiversity mapping can be a useful tool for assessing species endangerment or detecting hotspots of extinction risks. This paper explores the benefits of using the change in trophic energy flows as a consequence of the human alteration of the biosphere in biodiversity mapping. To this end, multiple linear regression models were developed to explain species richness in areas where there is no human influence (i.e. wilderness) for three taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, amphibians). The models were then applied to predict (I) potential global species richness using potential natural vegetation (NPPpot) and (II) global ‘actual’ species richness after biomass appropriation using NPP remaining in ecosystems after harvest (NPPeco). By calculating the difference between predicted potential and predicted actual species numbers, maps of estimated species richness loss were generated. Results show that biomass appropriation for human use can indeed be linked to biodiversity loss. Areas for which the models predicted high species loss coincide with areas where species endangerment and extinctions are recorded to be particularly high by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Furthermore, the analysis revealed that while the species distribution maps of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species used for this research can determine hotspots of biodiversity loss in large parts of the world, the classification system for threatened and extinct species needs to be revised to better reflect local risks of extinction.

Keywords: biodiversity loss, biomass harvest, human appropriation of net primary production, species richness

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3 Assessment of Antioxidant and Cholinergic Systems, and Liver Histopathologies in Lithobates catesbeianus Exposed to the Waters of an Urban Stream

Authors: Diego R. Boiarski, Camila M. Toigo, Thais M. Sobjak, Andrey F. P. Santos, Silvia Romao, Ana T. B. Guimaraes

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Anthropogenic activities promote changes in the community’s structures and decrease the species abundance of amphibians. Biological communities of fluvial systems are assemblies of organisms that have adapted to regional conditions, including the physical environment and food resources, and are further refined through interactions with other species. The aim of this study was to assess neurotoxic alterations and in the antioxidant system on tadpoles of Lithobates catesbeianus exposed to waters from Cascavel River, in the south of Brazil. A total of 420 L of water was collected from the Cascavel River, 140 L from each of the three different locations: Site 1 – headwater; Site 2 – stretch of the stream that runs through an urbanized area; Site 3 – a stretch from the rural area. Twelve tadpoles were acclimated in each aquarium (100 L of water) for seven days. The water from each aquarium was replaced with the ones sampled from the river, except the one from the control aquarium. After seven days, a portion of the liver was removed and conditioned for ChE, SOD, CAT and LPO analysis; other part of the tissue was conditioned for histological analysis. The statistical analysis performed was one-way ANOVA, followed by post-hoc Tukey-HSD test, and the multivariate principal components analysis. It was not observed any neurotoxic effect, but a slight increase in SOD activity and elevation of CAT activity in both urban and rural environment. A decrease in LPO reaction was detected, mainly among the tadpoles exposed to the waters from the rural area. The results of the present study demonstrate the alteration of the antioxidant system, as well as liver histopathologies in tadpoles exposed mainly to waters collected in urban and rural environments. These alterations may cause the reduction in the velocity of the metamorphosis process from the tadpoles. Further, were observed histological alterations, highlighting necrotic areas mainly among the animals exposed to urban waters. Those damages can lead to metabolic dysfunction, interfering with survival capacity, diminishing not only individual fitness but for the whole population. In the interpretation synthesis of all biomarkers, the cellular damage gradient is perceptible, characterized by the variables related to the antioxidant system, due to the flow direction of the stream. This result is indicative that along the course of the creek occurs dumping of organic material, which promoted an acute response upon tadpoles of L. catesbeianus. and it was also observed the difference in tissue damage between the experimental groups and the control group, the latter presenting histological alterations, but to a lesser degree than the animals exposed to the waters of the Cascavel river. These damages, caused by reactive oxygen species possibly resulting from the contamination by organic compounds, can lead the animals to a series of metabolic dysfunctions, interfering with its metamorphosis capacity. Interruption of metamorphosis may affect survival, which may impair its growth, development and reproduction, diminishing not only the fitness of each individual but in a long-term, to the entire population.

Keywords: American bullfrog, histopathology, oxidative stress, urban creeks pollution

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2 Challenges, Responses and Governance in the Conservation of Forest and Wildlife: The Case of the Aravali Ranges, Delhi NCR

Authors: Shashi Mehta, Krishan Kumar Yadav

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This paper presents an overview of issues pertaining to the conservation of the natural environment and factors affecting the coexistence of the forest, wildlife and people. As forests and wildlife together create the basis for economic, cultural and recreational spaces for overall well-being and life-support systems, the adverse impacts of increasing consumerism are only too evident. The IUCN predicts extinction of 41% of all amphibians and 26% of mammals. The major causes behind this threatened extinction are Deforestation, Dysfunctional governance, Climate Change, Pollution and Cataclysmic phenomena. Thus the intrinsic relationship between natural resources and wildlife needs to be understood in totality, not only for the eco-system but for humanity at large. To demonstrate this, forest areas in the Aravalis- the oldest mountain ranges of Asia—falling in the States of Haryana and Rajasthan, have been taken up for study. The Aravalis are characterized by extreme climatic conditions and dry deciduous forest cover on intermittent scattered hills. Extending across the districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mewat, Mahendergarh, Rewari and Bhiwani, these ranges - with village common land on which the entire economy of the rural settlements depends - fall in the state of Haryana. Aravali ranges with diverse fauna and flora near Alwar town of state of Rajasthan also form part of NCR. Once, rich in biodiversity, the Aravalis played an important role in the sustainable co-existence of forest and people. However, with the advent of industrialization and unregulated urbanization, these ranges are facing deforestation, degradation and denudation. The causes are twofold, i.e. the need of the poor and the greed of the rich. People living in and around the Aravalis are mainly poor and eke out a living by rearing live-stock. With shrinking commons, they depend entirely upon these hills for grazing, fuel, NTFP, medicinal plants and even drinking water. But at the same time, the pressure of indiscriminate urbanization and industrialization in these hills fulfils the demands of the rich and powerful in collusion with Government agencies. The functionaries of federal and State Governments play largely a negative role supporting commercial interests. Additionally, planting of a non- indigenous species like prosopis juliflora across the ranges has resulted in the extinction of almost all the indigenous species. The wildlife in the area is also threatened because of the lack of safe corridors and suitable habitat. In this scenario, the participatory role of different stakeholders such as NGOs, civil society and local community in the management of forests becomes crucial not only for conservation but also for the economic wellbeing of the local people. Exclusion of villagers from protection and conservation efforts - be it designing, implementing or monitoring and evaluating could prove counterproductive. A strategy needs to be evolved, wherein Government agencies be made responsible by putting relevant legislation in place along with nurturing and promoting the traditional wisdom and ethics of local communities in the protection and conservation of forests and wild life in the Aravali ranges of States of Haryana and Rajasthan of the National Capital Region, Delhi.

Keywords: deforestation, ecosystem, governance, urbanization

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1 Non-Mammalian Pattern Recognition Receptor from Rock Bream (Oplegnathus fasciatus): Genomic Characterization and Transcriptional Profile upon Bacterial and Viral Inductions

Authors: Thanthrige Thiunuwan Priyathilaka, Don Anushka Sandaruwan Elvitigala, Bong-Soo Lim, Hyung-Bok Jeong, Jehee Lee

Abstract:

Toll like receptors (TLRs) are a phylogeneticaly conserved family of pattern recognition receptors, which participates in the host immune responses against various pathogens and pathogen derived mitogen. TLR21, a non-mammalian type, is almost restricted to the fish species even though those can be identified rarely in avians and amphibians. Herein, this study was carried out to identify and characterize TLR21 from rock bream (Oplegnathus fasciatus) designated as RbTLR21, at transcriptional and genomic level. In this study, the full length cDNA and genomic sequence of RbTLR21 was identified using previously constructed cDNA sequence database and BAC library, respectively. Identified RbTLR21 sequence was characterized using several bioinformatics tools. The quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) experiment was conducted to determine tissue specific expressional distribution of RbTLR21. Further, transcriptional modulation of RbTLR21 upon the stimulation with Streptococcus iniae (S. iniae), rock bream iridovirus (RBIV) and Edwardsiella tarda (E. tarda) was analyzed in spleen tissues. The complete coding sequence of RbTLR21 was 2919 bp in length which can encode a protein consisting of 973 amino acid residues with molecular mass of 112 kDa and theoretical isoelectric point of 8.6. The anticipated protein sequence resembled a typical TLR domain architecture including C-terminal ectodomain with 16 leucine rich repeats, a transmembrane domain, cytoplasmic TIR domain and signal peptide with 23 amino acid residues. Moreover, protein folding pattern prediction of RbTLR21 exhibited well-structured and folded ectodomain, transmembrane domain and cytoplasmc TIR domain. According to the pair wise sequence analysis data, RbTLR21 showed closest homology with orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides) TLR21with 76.9% amino acid identity. Furthermore, our phylogenetic analysis revealed that RbTLR21 shows a close evolutionary relationship with its ortholog from Danio rerio. Genomic structure of RbTLR21 consisted of single exon similar to its ortholog of zebra fish. Sevaral putative transcription factor binding sites were also identified in 5ʹ flanking region of RbTLR21. The RBTLR 21 was ubiquitously expressed in all the tissues we tested. Relatively, high expression levels were found in spleen, liver and blood tissues. Upon induction with rock bream iridovirus, RbTLR21 expression was upregulated at the early phase of post induction period even though RbTLR21 expression level was fluctuated at the latter phase of post induction period. Post Edwardsiella tarda injection, RbTLR transcripts were upregulated throughout the experiment. Similarly, Streptococcus iniae induction exhibited significant upregulations of RbTLR21 mRNA expression in the spleen tissues. Collectively, our findings suggest that RbTLR21 is indeed a homolog of TLR21 family members and RbTLR21 may be involved in host immune responses against bacterial and DNA viral infections.

Keywords: rock bream, toll like receptor 21 (TLR21), pattern recognition receptor, genomic characterization

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