Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: fallow

22 Analysis of Persian Fallow Deer Semen Parameters in Breeding and Non-Breeding Seasons

Authors: Hamid Ghasemzadeh-Nava, Behrang Ekrami

Abstract:

Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) is belonging to the family Cervidae and is only found in a few protected areas in the northwest, north, and southwest of Iran. The aims of this study were the analysis of inbreeding and morphometric parameters of semen in male Persian fallow deer to investigate the cause of reduced fertility of this endangered species in Dasht-e-Naz National Refuge, Sari, Iran. The Persian fallow deer semen was collected from four adult bucks randomly during the breeding and non-breeding season from five dehorned and horned deer's by using a ram electroejaculator. The post-mating season collected ejaculates contained abnormal spermatozoa, debris and secretion of accessory glands in horned bucks and accessory glands secretion free of any spermatozoa in dehorned or early velvet budding bucks. Many dag defect abnormalities observed in all samples may be the cause of high rate of polymorphism because of small primary herd size of Persian fallow deer in this area, so needs be evaluated genetically.

Keywords: electroejaculator, Persian fallow deer, reproductive characteristics, spermatozoa

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21 Morphometric Parameters and Evaluation of Persian Fallow Deer Semen in Dashenaz Refuge in Iran

Authors: Behrang Ekrami, Amin Tamadon

Abstract:

Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) is belonging to the family Cervidae and is only found in a few protected areas in the northwest, north, and southwest of Iran. The aims of this study were analysis of inbreeding and morphometric parameters of semen in male Persian fallow deer to investigate the cause of reduced fertility of this endangered species in Dasht-e-Naz National Refuge, Sari, Iran. The Persian fallow deer semen was collected from four adult bucks randomly during the breeding and non-breeding season from five dehorned and horned deer's BY an artificial vagina. Twelve blood samples was taken from Persian fallow deer and mitochondrial DNA was extracted, amplified, extracted, sequenced, and then were considered for genetic analysis. The Persian fallow deer semen, both with normal and abnormal spermatozoa, is similar to that of domestic ruminants but very smaller and difficult to observe at the primary observation. The post-mating season collected ejaculates contained abnormal spermatozoa, debris and secretion of accessory glands in horned bucks and accessory glands secretion free of any spermatozoa in dehorned or early velvet budding bucks. Microscopic evaluation in all four bucks during the mating season showed the mean concentration of 9×106 spermatozoa/ml. The mean ±SD of age, testes length and testes width was 4.60±1.52 years, 3.58±0.32 and 1.86±0.09 cm, respectively. The results identified 1120 loci (assuming each nucleotide as locus) in which 377 were polymorphic. In conclusion, reduced fertility of male Persian fallow deer may be caused by inbreeding of the protected herd in a limited area of Dasht-e-Naz National Refuge.

Keywords: Persian fallow deer, spermatozoa, reproductive characteristics, morphometric parameters

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20 Morphometric Parametersand Evaluation of Male Persian Fallow Deer Semen

Authors: Behrang Ekrami, Amin Tamadon, Iman Razeghian Jahromi, Darioush Moghadas, Mehdi Ghahremani-Seno, Mostafa Ghaderi-Zefrehei, Ahmad Sodagar Amiri, Taheri Reza

Abstract:

Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) is belonging to the family Cervidae and is only found in a few protected areas in the northwest, north, and southwest of Iran. The aims of this study were analysis of inbreeding and morphometric parameters of semen in male Persian fallow deer to investigate the cause of reduced fertility of this endangered species in Dasht-e-Naz National Refuge, Sari, Iran. The Persian fallow deer semen was collected from four adult bucks randomly during the breeding and non-breeding season from five dehorned and horned deer's by an artificial vagina. Twelve blood samples was taken from Persian fallow deer and mitochondrial DNA was extracted, amplified, extracted, sequenced and then were considered for genetic analysis. The Persian fallow deer semen, both with normal and abnormal spermatozoa, is similar to that of domestic ruminants but very smaller and difficult to observe at the primary observation. The post-mating season collected ejaculates contained abnormal spermatozoa, debris and secretion of accessory glands in horned bucks and accessory glands secretion free of any spermatozoa in dehorned or early velvet budding bucks. Microscopic evaluation in all four bucks during the mating season showed the mean concentration of 9×106 spermatozoa/ml. The mean ± SD of age, testes length and testes width was 4.60 ± 1.52 years, 3.58 ± 0.32 and 1.86 ± 0.09 cm, respectively. The results identified 1120 loci (assuming each nucleotide as locus) in which 377 were polymorphic. In conclusion, reduced fertility of male Persian fallow deer may be caused by inbreeding of the protected herd in a limited area of Dasht-e-Naz National Refuge.

Keywords: Persian fallow deer, genetic analysis, spermatozoa, reproductive characteristics

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19 Effect of Phaseolus vulgaris Inoculation on P. vulgaris and Zea mays Growth and Yield Cultivated in Intercropping

Authors: Nour Elhouda Abed, Bedj Mimi, Wahid Slimani, Mourad Atif, Abdelhakim Ouzzane, Hocine Irekti, Abdelkader Bekki

Abstract:

The most frequent system of cereal production in Algeria is fallow-wheat. This is an extensive system that meets only the half needs some cereals and fodder demand. Resorption of fallow has become a strategic necessity to ensure food security in response to the instability of supply and the persistence of higher food prices on the world market. Despite several attempts to replace the fallow by crop cultures, choosing the best crop remains. Today, the agronomic and economic interests of legumes are demonstrated. However, their crop culture remains marginalized because of the weakness and instability of their performance. In the context of improving legumes and cereals crops as well as fallow resorption, we undertook to test, in the field, the effect of rhizobial inoculation of Phaseolus vulgaris in association with Zea Mays. We firstly studied the genetic diversity of rhizobial strains that nodulate P.vulgaris isolated from fifteen (15) different regions. ARDRA had shown 18 different genetic profiles. Symbiotic characterization highlighted a strain that highly significantly improved the fresh and dry weight of the host plant, in comparison to the negative control (un-inoculated) and the positive control (inoculated with the reference strain CIAT 899). In the field, the selected strain increased significantly the growth and yield of P.vulgaris and Zea Mays comparing to the non-inoculated control. However, the mix inoculation (selected strain+ Ciat 899) had not given the best parameters showing, thus, no synergy between the strains. These results indicate the replacing fallow by a crop legume in intercropping with cereals crops.

Keywords: fallow, intercropping, inoculation, legumes-cereals

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18 Developing Allometric Equations for More Accurate Aboveground Biomass and Carbon Estimation in Secondary Evergreen Forests, Thailand

Authors: Titinan Pothong, Prasit Wangpakapattanawong, Stephen Elliott

Abstract:

Shifting cultivation is an indigenous agricultural practice among upland people and has long been one of the major land-use systems in Southeast Asia. As a result, fallows and secondary forests have come to cover a large part of the region. However, they are increasingly being replaced by monocultures, such as corn cultivation. This is believed to be a main driver of deforestation and forest degradation, and one of the reasons behind the recurring winter smog crisis in Thailand and around Southeast Asia. Accurate biomass estimation of trees is important to quantify valuable carbon stocks and changes to these stocks in case of land use change. However, presently, Thailand lacks proper tools and optimal equations to quantify its carbon stocks, especially for secondary evergreen forests, including fallow areas after shifting cultivation and smaller trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of less than 5 cm. Developing new allometric equations to estimate biomass is urgently needed to accurately estimate and manage carbon storage in tropical secondary forests. This study established new equations using a destructive method at three study sites: approximately 50-year-old secondary forest, 4-year-old fallow, and 7-year-old fallow. Tree biomass was collected by harvesting 136 individual trees (including coppiced trees) from 23 species, with a DBH ranging from 1 to 31 cm. Oven-dried samples were sent for carbon analysis. Wood density was calculated from disk samples and samples collected with an increment borer from 79 species, including 35 species currently missing from the Global Wood Densities database. Several models were developed, showing that aboveground biomass (AGB) was strongly related to DBH, height (H), and wood density (WD). Including WD in the model was found to improve the accuracy of the AGB estimation. This study provides insights for reforestation management, and can be used to prepare baseline data for Thailand’s carbon stocks for the REDD+ and other carbon trading schemes. These may provide monetary incentives to stop illegal logging and deforestation for monoculture.

Keywords: aboveground biomass, allometric equation, carbon stock, secondary forest

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17 Biogas from Cover Crops and Field Residues: Effects on Soil, Water, Climate and Ecological Footprint

Authors: Manfred Szerencsits, Christine Weinberger, Maximilian Kuderna, Franz Feichtinger, Eva Erhart, Stephan Maier

Abstract:

Cover or catch crops have beneficial effects for soil, water, erosion, etc. If harvested, they also provide feedstock for biogas without competition for arable land in regions, where only one main crop can be produced per year. On average gross energy yields of approx. 1300 m³ methane (CH4) ha-1 can be expected from 4.5 tonnes (t) of cover crop dry matter (DM) in Austria. Considering the total energy invested from cultivation to compression for biofuel use a net energy yield of about 1000 m³ CH4 ha-1 is remaining. With the straw of grain maize or Corn Cob Mix (CCM) similar energy yields can be achieved. In comparison to catch crops remaining on the field as green manure or to complete fallow between main crops the effects on soil, water and climate can be improved if cover crops are harvested without soil compaction and digestate is returned to the field in an amount equivalent to cover crop removal. In this way, the risk of nitrate leaching can be reduced approx. by 25% in comparison to full fallow. The risk of nitrous oxide emissions may be reduced up to 50% by contrast with cover crops serving as green manure. The effects on humus content and erosion are similar or better than those of cover crops used as green manure when the same amount of biomass was produced. With higher biomass production the positive effects increase even if cover crops are harvested and the only digestate is brought back to the fields. The ecological footprint of arable farming can be reduced by approx. 50% considering the substitution of natural gas with CH4 produced from cover crops.

Keywords: biogas, cover crops, catch crops, land use competition, sustainable agriculture

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16 Land Use and Natal Multimammate Mouse Abundance in Lassa Fever Endemic Villages of Eastern Sierra Leone

Authors: J. T. Koininga, J. E. Teigen, A. Wilkinson, D. Kanneh, F. Kanneh, M. Foday, D. S. Grant, M. Leach, L. M. Moses

Abstract:

Lassa fever (LF) is a severe febrile illness endemic to West Africa. While human-to-human transmission occurs, evidence suggests most LF cases originate from exposure to rodents, particularly the Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis. Within West Africa, LF occurs primarily in rural communities where agriculture is the main economic activity. Seasonality of LF has also been linked to agricultural cycles, with peak incidence occurring in the dry season when fields are burned and plowed. To investigate this pattern of seasonality, four agricultural communities were selected for this two-year longitudinal study. Each community was to be sampled four times each year, but this was interrupted by the Ebola virus disease outbreak. Agricultural land use, forested, and fallow areas were identified through participatory mapping. Transects were plotted in each area and Sherman traps were set for four nights. Captured small mammals were identified, ear tagged, and released. Mastomys natalensis abundance was found to be highest in areas of converted fallow land and rice swamps in the dry season and upland mixed crop areas toward the onset of the rainy season. All peak times were associated with heavy perturbation of soil. All ages and genders were present during these time points. These results suggest that peak abundance of the Mastomys natalensis in agricultural areas coincides with peak incidence of LF reported in this region. Although contact with rodents may be higher in villages, our study suggests human behaviors in agricultural areas may increase risk of transmission of Lassa virus.

Keywords: agriculture, land use, Lassa Fever, rodent abundance

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15 System Response of a Variable-Rate Aerial Application System

Authors: Daniel E. Martin, Chenghai Yang

Abstract:

Variable-rate aerial application systems are becoming more readily available; however, aerial applicators typically only use the systems for constant-rate application of materials, allowing the systems to compensate for upwind and downwind ground speed variations. Much of the resistance to variable-rate aerial application system adoption in the U.S. pertains to applicator’s trust in the systems to turn on and off automatically as desired. The objectives of this study were to evaluate a commercially available variable-rate aerial application system under field conditions to demonstrate both the response and accuracy of the system to desired application rate inputs. This study involved planting oats in a 35-acre fallow field during the winter months to establish a uniform green backdrop in early spring. A binary (on/off) prescription application map was generated and a variable-rate aerial application of glyphosate was made to the field. Airborne multispectral imagery taken before and two weeks after the application documented actual field deposition and efficacy of the glyphosate. When compared to the prescription application map, these data provided application system response and accuracy information. The results of this study will be useful for quantifying and documenting the response and accuracy of a commercially available variable-rate aerial application system so that aerial applicators can be more confident in their capabilities and the use of these systems can increase, taking advantage of all that aerial variable-rate technologies have to offer.

Keywords: variable-rate, aerial application, remote sensing, precision application

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14 Behavioral Response of Bee Farmers to Climate Change in South East, Nigeria

Authors: Jude A. Mbanasor, Chigozirim N. Onwusiribe

Abstract:

The enigma climate change is no longer an illusion but a reality. In the recent years, the Nigeria climate has changed and the changes are shown by the changing patterns of rainfall, the sunshine, increasing level carbon and nitrous emission as well as deforestation. This study analyzed the behavioural response of bee keepers to variations in the climate and the adaptation techniques developed in response to the climate variation. Beekeeping is a viable economic activity for the alleviation of poverty as the products include honey, wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, queens, bees and their larvae and are all marketable. The study adopted the multistage sampling technique to select 120 beekeepers from the five states of Southeast Nigeria. Well-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were adopted to collect the required data. Statistical tools like the Principal component analysis, data envelopment models, graphs, and charts were used for the data analysis. Changing patterns of rainfall and sunshine with the increasing rate of deforestation had a negative effect on the habitat of the bees. The bee keepers have adopted the Kenya Top bar and Langstroth hives and they establish the bee hives on fallow farmland close to the cultivated communal farms with more flowering crops.

Keywords: climate, farmer, response, smart

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13 Preventing Perpetuation of Structural Violence in the Workplace: An Australian Settlement Services Case Study

Authors: Jordan Fallow

Abstract:

Service and advocacy organisations that serve refugee populations are often staffed by a large percentage of former refugees themselves, and this carries a number of implications for refugee rights, specifically economic and social rights. This paper makes an argument for the importance of introducing an understanding of intersectionality theory into organizations who provide services to and employ, refugee staff. The benefits of this are threefold; on an individual level it reduces the risks of burn out, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue while increasing employee satisfaction and development, at an organizational level services become more effective, and at a systems level it helps reduce structural violence, which may itself have been a contributing factor in the movement of refugee staff from their origin countries. In support of this argument, a case study of an Australian settlement services organization is provided. Mixed methods research, utilising both qualitative and quantitative data, measured the perceived efficacy of diversity management tools at the organization and the impact this had on staff performance, retention and wellbeing. The paper also draws on strategic human resource and reward management, diversity management, international development and intersectionality texts.

Keywords: structural violence, employment, human resource management, intersectionality

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

Authors: Nadeem Munawar, Tariq Mahmood

Abstract:

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

Keywords: agricultural ecosystems, crop damage, habitat manipulation, rodents, trapping

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11 Landcover Mapping Using Lidar Data and Aerial Image and Soil Fertility Degradation Assessment for Rice Production Area in Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Authors: Eliza. E. Camaso, Guiller. B. Damian, Miguelito. F. Isip, Ronaldo T. Alberto

Abstract:

Land-cover maps were important for many scientific, ecological and land management purposes and during the last decades, rapid decrease of soil fertility was observed to be due to land use practices such as rice cultivation. High-precision land-cover maps are not yet available in the area which is important in an economy management. To assure   accurate mapping of land cover to provide information, remote sensing is a very suitable tool to carry out this task and automatic land use and cover detection. The study did not only provide high precision land cover maps but it also provides estimates of rice production area that had undergone chemical degradation due to fertility decline. Land-cover were delineated and classified into pre-defined classes to achieve proper detection features. After generation of Land-cover map, of high intensity of rice cultivation, soil fertility degradation assessment in rice production area due to fertility decline was created to assess the impact of soils used in agricultural production. Using Simple spatial analysis functions and ArcGIS, the Land-cover map of Municipality of Quezon in Nueva Ecija, Philippines was overlaid to the fertility decline maps from Land Degradation Assessment Philippines- Bureau of Soils and Water Management (LADA-Philippines-BSWM) to determine the area of rice crops that were most likely where nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur deficiencies were induced by high dosage of urea and imbalance N:P fertilization. The result found out that 80.00 % of fallow and 99.81% of rice production area has high soil fertility decline.

Keywords: aerial image, landcover, LiDAR, soil fertility degradation

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10 Artificial Neural Network Based Approach in Prediction of Potential Water Pollution Across Different Land-Use Patterns

Authors: M.Rüştü Karaman, İsmail İşeri, Kadir Saltalı, A.Reşit Brohi, Ayhan Horuz, Mümin Dizman

Abstract:

Considerable relations has recently been given to the environmental hazardous caused by agricultural chemicals such as excess fertilizers. In this study, a neural network approach was investigated in the prediction of potential nitrate pollution across different land-use patterns by using a feedforward multilayered computer model of artificial neural network (ANN) with proper training. Periodical concentrations of some anions, especially nitrate (NO3-), and cations were also detected in drainage waters collected from the drain pipes placed in irrigated tomato field, unirrigated wheat field, fallow and pasture lands. The soil samples were collected from the irrigated tomato field and unirrigated wheat field on a grid system with 20 m x 20 m intervals. Site specific nitrate concentrations in the soil samples were measured for ANN based simulation of nitrate leaching potential from the land profiles. In the application of ANN model, a multi layered feedforward was evaluated, and data sets regarding with training, validation and testing containing the measured soil nitrate values were estimated based on spatial variability. As a result of the testing values, while the optimal structures of 2-15-1 was obtained (R2= 0.96, P < 0.01) for unirrigated field, the optimal structures of 2-10-1 was obtained (R2= 0.96, P < 0.01) for irrigated field. The results showed that the ANN model could be successfully used in prediction of the potential leaching levels of nitrate, based on different land use patterns. However, for the most suitable results, the model should be calibrated by training according to different NN structures depending on site specific soil parameters and varied agricultural managements.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, ANN, drainage water, nitrate pollution

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9 New Challenges to the Conservation and Management of the Endangered Persian Follow Deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) in Ashk Island of Lake Uromiyeh National Park, Iran

Authors: Morteza Naderi

Abstract:

The Persian fallow deer was considered as a globally extinct species until 1956 when a small population was rediscovered from Dez Wildlife Refuge and Karkheh Wildlife Refuge in southwestern parts of Iran. After long species rehabilitation process, the species was transplanted to Dasht-e-Naz Wildlife Refuge in northern Iran, and from where, follow deer was introduced to the different selected habitats such as Ashk Island in Lake Uromiyeh National Park. During 12 years, (from 1978 to 1989) 58 individuals (25 males and 33 females) were transferred to Ask Island. The main threat to the established population was related to the freshwater shortage and existing just one single trough such as high mortality rate of adult males during rutting season, snake biting and dilutional hyponatremia. Desiccation of Lake Uromiyeh in recent years raised new challenges to the conservation process, as about 80 individuals, nearly one third of the population were died in 2011. Connection of Island to the mainland caused predators’ accessibility (such as wolf and Jackal) to the Ask Island and higher mortality because of follow deer attraction to the surrounding mainland farms. Conservation team faced such new challenges that may cause introduction plan to be probably failed. Investigations about habitat affinities and carrying capacity are the main basic researches in the management and conservation of the species. Logistic regression analysis showed that the presence of the different fresh water resources as well as Allium akaka and Pistacia atlantica are the main environmental variables affect Follow deer habitat selection. Habitat carrying capacity analysis both in summer and winter seasons indicated that Ashk Island can support 240±30 of Persian follow deer.

Keywords: carrying capacity, follow deer, lake Uromiyeh, microhabitat affinities, population oscillation, predation, sex ratio

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8 Multifunctionality of Cover Crops in South Texas: Looking at Multiple Benefits of Cover Cropping on Small Farms in a Subtropical Climate

Authors: Savannah Rugg, Carlo Moreno, Pushpa Soti, Alexis Racelis

Abstract:

Situated in deep South Texas, the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) is considered one the most productive agricultural regions in the southern US. With the highest concentration of organic farms in the state (Hidalgo county), the LRGV has a strong potential to be leaders in sustainable agriculture. Finding management practices that comply with organic certification and increase the health of the agroecosytem and the farmers working the land is increasingly pertinent. Cover cropping, or the intentional planting of non-cash crop vegetation, can serve multiple functions in an agroecosystem by decreasing environmental pollutants that originate from the agroecosystem, reducing inputs needed for crop production, and potentially decreasing on-farm costs for farmers—overall increasing the sustainability of the farm. Use of cover crops on otherwise fallow lands have shown to enhance ecosystem services such as: attracting native beneficial insects (pollinators), increase nutrient availability in topsoil, prevent nutrient leaching, increase soil organic matter, and reduces soil erosion. In this study, four cover crops (Lablab, Sudan Grass, Sunn Hemp, and Pearl Millet) were analyzed in the subtropical region of south Texas to see how their multiple functions enhance ecosystem services. The four cover crops were assessed to see their potential to harbor native insects, their potential to increase soil nitrogen, to increase soil organic matter, and to suppress weeds. The preliminary results suggest that these subtropical varieties of cover crops have potential to enhance ecosystem services on agricultural land in the RGV by increasing soil organic matter (in all varieties), increasing nitrogen in topsoil (Lablab, Sunn Hemp), and reducing weeds (Sudan Grass).

Keywords: cover crops, ecosystem services, subtropical agriculture, sustainable agriculture

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7 Studies on the Effect of Bio-Methanated Distillery Spentwash on Soil Properties and Crop Yields

Authors: S. K. Gali

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Spentwash, An effluent of distillery is an environmental pollutant because of its high load of pollutants (pH: 2-4; BOD>40,000 mg/l, COD>100,000mg/l and TDS >70,000mg/l). But However, after subjecting it to primary treatment (bio-methanation), Its pollutant load gets drastically reduced (pH: 7.5-8.5, BOD<10,000 mg/l) and could be disposed off safely as a source of organic matter and plant nutrients for crop production. With the consent of State Pollution Control Board, the distilleries in Karnataka are taking up ‘one time controlled land application’ of bio-methanated spentwash in farmers’ fields. A monitoring study was undertaken in Belgaum district of Karnataka State with an objective of studying the effect of land application of bio-methanated spent wash of a distillery on soil properties and crop growth. The treated spentwash was applied uniformly to the fallow dry lands in different farmers’ fields during summer, 2012 at recommended rate (based on nitrogen requirement of crops). The application was made at least a fortnight before sowing/planting operations. The analysis of soils collected before land application of spentwash and after harvest of crops revealed that there was no adverse effect of applied spentwash on soil characteristics. A slight build up in soluble salts was observed but, however all the soils recorded EC of less than 2.0 dSm-1. An increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) and available nitrogen (N) by about 10 to 30 % was observed in the spentwash applied soils. The presence of good amount of biodegradable organics in the treated spentwash (BOD of 6550 mg/l) contributed for increase in SOC and N. A substantial build up in available potassium (K) status (50 to 200%) was observed due to spentwash application. This was attributed to the high K content in spentwash (6950 mg/l). The growth of crops in the spentwash applied fields was higher and farmers could get nearly 10 to 20 per cent higher yields, especially in sugarcane and corn. The analysis of ground water samples showed that the quality of water was not affected due to land application of treated spentwash. Apart from realizing higher crop yields, the farmers were able to save money on N and K fertilisers as the applied spentwash met the crop requirement. Hence, it could be concluded that the bio-methanated distillery spentwash can be gainfully utilized in crop production without polluting the environment.

Keywords: bio-methanation, pollutant, potassium status, soil organic carbon

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6 Crop Productivity, Nutrient Uptake and Apparent Balance for Rice Based Cropping Systems under Improved Crop Varieties and Nutrient Management Practices in Previous Enclaves of Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Samim Hossain Molla, Md. Mazharul Anwar, Md. Akkas Ali, Mian Sayeed Hassan

Abstract:

Being detached about 68 years from the mainland, the previous enclaves’ (Chhitmohal) farmers were engaged only in subsistence farming with low agricultural productivity and restricted access to inputs technology. To increase crop productivity for attaining food security by addressing soil status, the experiments were undertaken in 2017 and 2018 in three previous enclaves of Northern Bangladesh i.e. Dasiarchhara of Kurigram district; Dahalakhagrabari of Panchagarh district and Banskata of Lalmonirhat district under On-Farm Research Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Rangpur. The Mustard (var. BARI Sarisha-14)-Boro rice (var. BRRI dhan58)-T. Aman rice (var. BRRI dhan49) cropping pattern using soil test based (STB) fertilizer with cowdung (T1) or recommended fertilizer dose (T2) were tested against existing cropping pattern Fallow-Boro rice (var. BRRI dhan28)-T. Aman rice (var. Swarna) using farmers’ practices fertilizer dose (T3) in six disperse replications at each location maintaining Randomized Complete Block design. Almost all crops yields were relatively higher in T1 followed by T2. Farmers existing pattern with local varieties and imbalance fertilizer (T3) use may be decreased the crop yield. The rice equivalent yield of T1 was 109, 103 and 95% higher than T3 and the gross margin was 164, 153 and 133% higher in T1 than T3 at Dasiarchhara, Dahalakhagrabari and Banskata, respectively. The Benefit Cost Ratio for T1, T2 and T3 were 1.99, 1.78 and 1.28 in Dasiarchhara; 1.93, 1.81 and 1.27 in Dahalakhagrabari and 1.78, 1.71 and 1.25 in Banskata, respectively. There was a remarkable decrease in mineral N, P and K in the topsoil (0–15 cm) of T3 and T2 treatments at Dasiarchhara and Dahalakhagrabari, and a generally less marked decline under the same treatments at Banskata. The same practices (T1) exhibited the greatest nutrients uptake by the test crops. The apparent balance of N, P and K was negative in most cases, where it was less negative in T1 treatment. However, from the experimentation, it is revealed that balanced fertilization (STB) and inclusion of National Agricultural Research Institutes developed improved crops varieties in cropping pattern may increase the crop productivity, farm efficiency and farmer’s income in a remarkable level.

Keywords: cropping pattern, fertilizer management, nutrient balance, previous enclaves

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5 Direct and Residual Effects of Boron and Zinc on Growth and Nutrient Status of Rice and Wheat Crop

Authors: M. Saleem, M. Shahnawaz, A. W. Gandahi, S. M. Bhatti

Abstract:

The micronutrients boron and zinc deficiencies are extensive in the areas of rice-wheat cropping system. Optimum levels of these nutrients in soil are necessary for healthy crop growth. Since rice and wheat are major staple food of worlds’ populace, the higher yields and nutrition status of these crops has direct effect on the health of human being and economy of the country. A field study was conducted to observe the direct and residual effect of two selected micronutrients boron (B) and zinc (Zn)) on rice and wheat crop growth and its grain nutrient status. Each plot received either B or Zn at the rates of 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 kg B ha⁻¹, and 5, 10, 15 and 20 kg Zn ha⁻¹, combined B and Zn application at 1 kg B and 5 kg Zn ha⁻¹, 2 kg B and 10 kg Zn ha⁻¹. Colemanite ore were used as source of B and zinc sulfate for Zn. The second season wheat crop was planted in the same plots after the interval period of 30 days and during this time gap soil was fallow. Boron and Zn application significantly enhanced the plant height, number of tillers, Grains panicle⁻¹ seed index fewer empty grains panicle⁻¹ and yield of rice crop at all defined levels as compared to control. The highest yield (10.00 tons/ha) was recorded at 2 Kg B, 10 Kg Zn ha⁻¹ rates. Boron and Zn concentration in grain and straw significantly increased. The application of B also improved the nutrition status of rice as B, protein and total carbohydrates content of grain augmented. The analysis of soil samples collected after harvest of rice crop showed that the B and Zn content in post-harvest soil samples was high in colemanite and zinc sulfate applied plots. The residual B and Zn were also effectual for the second season wheat crop, as the growth parameters plant height, number of tillers, earhead length, weight 1000 grains, B and Zn content of grain significantly improved. The highest wheat grain yield (4.23 tons/ha) was recorded at the residual rates of 2 kg B and 10 kg Zn ha⁻¹ than the other treatments. This study showed that one application of B and Zn can increase crop yields for at least two consecutive seasons and the mineral colemanite can confidently be used as source of B for rice crop because very small quantities of these nutrients are consumed by first season crop and remaining amount was present in soil which were used by second season wheat crop for healthy growth. Consequently, there is no need to apply these micronutrients to the following crop when it is applied on the previous one.

Keywords: residual boron, zinc, rice, wheat

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4 Tourism Related Activities and Floating Garden in Inle Lake, Myanmar

Authors: Thel Phyu Phyu Soe

Abstract:

Myanmar started its new political movement in 2011, opening up to trade, encouraging foreign investment, deepening its financial sectors. The tourism is one of the key sectors to make reform process from the perspective of green economy and green growth. The Inle Lake, second largest lake, famous for broad diversity of cultural and natural assets, become one of the country’s main tourism destination. In the study area, local livelihoods are based on a combination of farming (mainly floating garden) wage labor, tourism, and small business. But the Inle lake water body or water surface area decreased by 96.44 km² within 20 years, from 67.98 km² in 1990 to 56.63 km² in 2010. Floating garden cultivation (hydro phonic farm) is a distinguished characteristic of Inle Lake. Two adjacent villages (A and B) were selected to compare the relationship between tourism access and agricultural production. Ground truthing, focus group discussion, and in-depth questionnaires with floating gardeners were carried out. In A village, 57% of the respondents relied tourism as their major income sources, while almost all the households in B village relied floating gardens as major livelihood. Both satellite image interpretation and community studies highlighted that around 80% of the floating garden become fallow after severe drought in 2010 and easy income access to tourism related activities. The villagers can get 20-30 US$ for round trip guiding to major tourist attraction places.Even though tourism is the major livelihood options for the A village, the poorest households (less than 1500 US$ per year) are those who didn’t own transportation property for tourism related activities. In B village, more than 70% of the households relied floating gardens as their major income sources and less participated in tourism related activities because they don’t have motorboat stand connected to the major tourist attraction areas. Access to tourism related activities (having boat stand where they can guide tourists by boat and sell local products and souvenirs) have much impacted on changes in local people livelihood options. However, tourism may have impacts that are beneficial for one group of a society, but which are negative for another. Income inequality and negative impacts can only be managed effectively if they have been identified, measured and evaluated. The severe drought in 2010, instability of lake water level, high expenses for agriculture assisted the local people to participate in easy access tourism related activities.

Keywords: diminishing, floating garden, livelihood, tourism-related income

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3 A Review on Agricultural Landscapes as a Habitat of Rodents

Authors: Nadeem Munawar, Tariq Mahmood, Paula Rivadeneira, Ali Akhter

Abstract:

In this paper, we review on rodent species which are common inhabitants of agricultural landscapes where they are an important prey source for a wide variety of avian, reptilian, and mammalian predators. Agricultural fields are surrounded by fallow land, which provide suitable sites for shelter and breeding for rodents, while shrubs, grasses, annual weeds and forbs may provide supplementary food. The assemblage of rodent’s fauna in the cropland habitats including cropped fields, meadows and adjacent field structures like hedgerows, woodland and field margins fluctuates seasonally. The mature agricultural crops provides good source of food and shelter to the rodents and these factors along with favorable climatic factors/season facilitate breeding activities of these rodent species. Changes in vegetation height and vegetative cover affect two important aspects of a rodent’s life: food and shelter. In addition, during non-crop period vegetation can be important for building nests above or below ground and it provides thermal protection for rodents from heat and cold. The review revealed that rodents form a very diverse group of mammals, ranging from tiny pigmy mice to big capybaras, from arboreal flying squirrels to subterranean mole rats, from opportunistic omnivores (e.g. Norway rats) to specialist feeders (e.g. the North African fat sand rats that feed on a single family of plants only). It is therefore no surprise that some species thrive well under the conditions that are found in agricultural fields. The review on the population dynamics of the rodent species indicated that they are agricultural pests probably due to the heterogeneous landscape and to the high rotativity of vegetable crop cultivation. They also cause damage to various crops, directly and indirectly, by gnawing, spoilage, contamination and hoarding activities, besides this behavior they have also significance importance in agricultural habitat. The burrowing activities of rodents alter the soil properties around their burrows which improve its aeration, infiltration, increase the water holding capacity and thus encourage plant growth. These properties are beneficial for the soil because they affect absorption of phosphorus, absorption zinc, copper, other nutrients and the uptake of water and thus rodents are known as indicator species in agricultural fields. Our review suggests that wide crop field’s borders, particularly those contiguous to various cropland fields, should be understood as priority sites for nesting, feeding, and cover for the rodent’s fauna. The goal of this review paper is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of understanding regarding rodent habitat and biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.

Keywords: agricultural landscapes, food, indicator species, shelter

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2 Influence of Disintegration of Sida hermaphrodita Silage on Methane Fermentation Efficiency

Authors: Marcin Zielinski, Marcin Debowski, Paulina Rusanowska, Magda Dudek

Abstract:

As a result of sonification, the destruction of complex biomass structures results in an increase in the biogas yield from the conditioned material. First, the amount of organic matter released into the solution due to disintegration was determined. This parameter was determined by changes in the carbon content in liquid phase of the conditioned substrate. The amount of carbon in the liquid phase increased with the prolongation of the sonication time to 16 min. Further increase in the duration of sonication did not cause a statistically significant increase in the amount of organic carbon in the liquid phase. The disintegrated material was then used for respirometric measurements for determination of the impact of the conditioning process used on methane fermentation effectiveness. The relationship between the amount of energy introduced into the lignocellulosic substrate and the amount of biogas produced has been demonstrated. Statistically significant increase in the amount of biogas was observed until sonication of 16 min. Further increase in energy in the conditioning process did not significantly increase the production of biogas from the treated substrate. The biogas production from the conditioned substrate was 17% higher than from the reference biomass at that time. The ultrasonic disintegration method did not significantly affect the observed biogas composition. In all series, the methane content in the produced biogas from the conditioned substrate was similar to that obtained with the raw substrate sample (51.1%). Another method of substrate conditioning was hydrothermal depolymerization. This method consists in application of increased temperature and pressure to substrate. These phenomena destroy the structure of the processed material, the release of organic compounds to the solution, which should lead to increase the amount of produced biogas from such treated biomass. The hydrothermal depolymerization was conducted using an innovative microwave heating method. Control measurements were performed using conventional heating. The obtained results indicate the relationship between depolymerization temperature and the amount of biogas. Statistically significant value of the biogas production coefficients increased as the depolymerization temperature increased to 150°C. Further raising the depolymerization temperature to 180°C did not significantly increase the amount of produced biogas in the respirometric tests. As a result of the hydrothermal depolymerization obtained using microwave at 150°C for 20 min, the rate of biogas production from the Sida silage was 780 L/kg VS, which accounted for nearly 50% increase compared to 370 L/kg VS obtained from the same silage but not depolymerised. The study showed that by microwave heating it is possible to effectively depolymerized substrate. Significant differences occurred especially in the temperature range of 130-150ºC. The pre-treatment of Sida hermaphrodita silage (biogas substrate) did not significantly affect the quality of the biogas produced. The methane concentration was about 51.5% on average. The study was carried out in the framework of the project under program BIOSTRATEG funded by the National Centre for Research and Development No. 1/270745/2/NCBR/2015 'Dietary, power, and economic potential of Sida hermaphrodita cultivation on fallow land'.

Keywords: disintegration, biogas, methane fermentation, Virginia fanpetals, biomass

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1 Understanding Responses of the Bee Community to an Urbanizing Landscape in Bengaluru, South India

Authors: Chethana V. Casiker, Jagadishakumara B., Sunil G. M., Chaithra K., M. Soubadra Devy

Abstract:

A majority of the world’s food crops depends on insects for pollination, among which bees are the most dominant taxon. Bees pollinate vegetables, fruits and oilseeds which are rich in essential micronutrients. Besides being a prerequisite for a nutritionally secure diet, agrarian economies such as India depend heavily on pollination for good yield and quality of the product. As cities all over the world expand rapidly, large tracts of green spaces are being built up. This, along with high usage of agricultural chemicals has reduced floral diversity and shrunk bee habitats. Indeed, pollinator decline is being reported from various parts of the world. Further, the FAO has reported a huge increase in the area of land under cultivation of pollinator-dependent crops. In the light of increasing demand for pollination and disappearing natural habitats, it is critical to understand whether and how urban spaces can support pollinators. To this end, this study investigates the influence of landscape and local habitat quality on bee community dynamics. To capture the dynamics of expanding cityscapes, the study employs a space for time substitution, wherein a transect along the gradient of urbanization substitutes a timeframe of increasing urbanization. This will help understand how pollinators would respond to changes induced by increasing intensity of urbanization in the future. Bengaluru, one of the fastest growing cities of Southern India, is an excellent site to study impacts associated with urbanization. With sites moving away from the Bengaluru’s centre and towards its peripheries, this study captures the changes in bee species diversity and richness along a gradient of urbanization. Bees were sampled under different land use types as well as in different types of vegetation, including plantations, croplands, fallow land, parks, lake embankments, and private gardens. The relationship between bee community metrics and key drivers such as a percentage of built-up area, land use practices, and floral resources was examined. Additionally, data collected using questionnaire interviews were used to understand people’s perceptions towards and level of dependence on pollinators. Our results showed that urban areas are capable of supporting bees. In fact, a greater diversity of bees was recorded in urban sites compared to adjoining rural areas. This suggests that bees are able to seek out patchy resources and survive in small fragments of habitat. Bee abundance and species richness correlated positively with floral abundance and richness, indicating the role of vegetation in providing forage and nesting sites which are crucial to their survival. Bee numbers were seen to decrease with increase in built-up area demonstrating that impervious surfaces could act as deterrents. Findings from this study challenge the popular notion of cities being biodiversity-bare spaces. There is indeed scope for conserving bees in urban landscapes, provided that there are city-scale planning and local initiative. Bee conservation can go hand in hand with efforts such as urban gardening and terrace farming that could help cities urbanize sustainably.

Keywords: bee, landscape ecology, urbanization, urban pollination

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