Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 50

Search results for: grassland

50 Woody Plant Encroachment Effects on the Physical Properties of Vertic Soils in Bela-Bela, Limpopo Province

Authors: Rebone E. Mashapa, Phesheya E. Dlamini, Sandile S. Mthimkhulu

Abstract:

Woody plant encroachment, a land cover transformation that reduces grassland productivity may influence soil physical properties. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of woody plant encroachment on physical properties of vertic soils in a savanna grassland. In this study, we quantified and compared soil bulk density, aggregate stability and porosity in the top and subsoil of an open and woody encroached savanna grassland. The results revealed that soil bulk density increases, while porosity and mean weight diameter decreases with depth in both open and woody encroached grassland soil. Compared to open grassland, soil bulk density was 11% and 10% greater in the topsoil and subsoil, while porosity was 6% and 9% lower in the topsoil and subsoil of woody encroached grassland. Mean weight diameter, an indicator of soil aggregation increased by 38% only in the subsoil of encroached grasslands due to increasing clay content with depth. These results suggest that woody plant encroachment leads to compaction of vertic soils, which in turn reduces pore size distribution.

Keywords: soil depth, soil physical properties, vertic soils, woody plant encroachment

Procedia PDF Downloads 61
49 Assessing Vertical Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon Stocks in Westleigh Soil under Shrub Encroached Rangeland, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Authors: Abel L. Masotla, Phesheya E. Dlamini, Vusumuzi E. Mbanjwa

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Accurate quantification of the vertical distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) in relation to land cover transformations, associated with shrub encroachment is crucial because deeper lying horizons have been shown to have greater capacity to sequester SOC. Despite this, in-depth soil carbon dynamics remain poorly understood, especially in arid and semi-arid rangelands. The objective of this study was to quantify and compare the vertical distribution of soil organic carbon stocks (SOCs) in shrub-encroached and open grassland sites. To achieve this, soil samples were collected vertically at 10 cm depth intervals under both sites. The results showed that SOC was on average 19% and 13% greater in the topsoil and subsoil respectively, under shrub-encroached grassland compared to open grassland. In both topsoil and subsoil, lower SOCs were found under shrub-encroached (4.53 kg m⁻² and 3.90 kgm⁻²) relative to open grassland (4.39 kgm⁻² and 3.67 kgm⁻²). These results demonstrate that deeper soil horizon play a critical role in the storage of SOC in savanna grassland.

Keywords: savanna grasslands, shrub-encroachment, soil organic carbon, vertical distribution

Procedia PDF Downloads 51
48 Grassland Phenology in Different Eco-Geographic Regions over the Tibetan Plateau

Authors: Jiahua Zhang, Qing Chang, Fengmei Yao

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Studying on the response of vegetation phenology to climate change at different temporal and spatial scales is important for understanding and predicting future terrestrial ecosystem dynamics andthe adaptation of ecosystems to global change. In this study, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset and climate data were used to analyze the dynamics of grassland phenology as well as their correlation with climatic factors in different eco-geographic regions and elevation units across the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that during 2003–2012, the start of the grassland greening season (SOS) appeared later while the end of the growing season (EOS) appeared earlier following the plateau’s precipitation and heat gradients from southeast to northwest. The multi-year mean value of SOS showed differences between various eco-geographic regions and was significantly impacted by average elevation and regional average precipitation during spring. Regional mean differences for EOS were mainly regulated by mean temperature during autumn. Changes in trends of SOS in the central and eastern eco-geographic regions were coupled to the mean temperature during spring, advancing by about 7d/°C. However, in the two southwestern eco-geographic regions, SOS was delayed significantly due to the impact of spring precipitation. The results also showed that the SOS occurred later with increasing elevation, as expected, with a delay rate of 0.66 d/100m. For 2003–2012, SOS showed an advancing trend in low-elevation areas, but a delayed trend in high-elevation areas, while EOS was delayed in low-elevation areas, but advanced in high-elevation areas. Grassland SOS and EOS changes may be influenced by a variety of other environmental factors in each eco-geographic region.

Keywords: grassland, phenology, MODIS, eco-geographic regions, elevation, climatic factors, Tibetan Plateau

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47 Grassland Development on Evacuated Sites for Wildlife Conservation in Satpura Tiger Reserve, India

Authors: Anjana Rajput, Sandeep Chouksey, Bhaskar Bhandari, Shimpi Chourasia

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Ecologically, grassland is any plant community dominated by grasses, whether they exist naturally or because of management practices. Most forest grasslands are anthropogenic and established plant communities planted for forage production, though some are established for soil and water conservation and wildlife habitat. In Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India, most of the grasslands have been established on evacuated village sites. Total of 42 villages evacuated, and study was carried out in 23 sites to evaluate habitat improvement. Grasslands were classified into three categories, i.e., evacuated sites, established sites, and controlled sites. During the present study impact of various management interventions on grassland health was assessed. Grasslands assessment was done for its composition, status of palatable and non-palatable grasses, the status of herbs and legumes, status of weeds species, and carrying capacity of particular grassland. Presence of wild herbivore species in the grasslands with their abundance, availability of water resources was also assessed. Grassland productivity is dependent mainly on the biotic and abiotic components of the area, but management interventions may also play an important role in grassland composition and productivity. Variation in the status of palatable and non-palatable grasses, legumes, and weeds was recorded and found effected by management intervention practices. Overall in all the studied grasslands, the most dominant grasses recorded are Themeda quadrivalvis, Dichanthium annulatum, Ischaemum indicum, Oplismenus burmanii, Setaria pumilla, Cynodon dactylon, Heteropogon contortus, and Eragrostis tenella. Presence of wild herbivores, i.e., Chital, Sambar, Bison, Bluebull, Chinkara, Barking deer in the grassland area has been recorded through the installation of camera traps and estimated their abundance. Assessment of developed grasslands was done in terms of habitat suitability for Chital (Axis axis) and Sambar (Rusa unicolor). The parameters considered for suitability modeling are biotic and abiotic life requisite components existing in the area, i.e., density of grasses, density of legumes, availability of water, site elevation, site distance from human habitation. Findings of the present study would be useful for further grassland management and animal translocation programmes.

Keywords: carrying capacity, dominant grasses, grassland, habitat suitability, management intervention, wild herbivore

Procedia PDF Downloads 51
46 Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Litter Decomposition and Nutrient Release in a Temperate Grassland in Northern China

Authors: Lili Yang, Jirui Gong, Qinpu Luo, Min Liu, Bo Yang, Zihe Zhang

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Anthropogenic activities have increased nitrogen (N) inputs to grassland ecosystems. Knowledge of the impact of N addition on litter decomposition is critical to understand ecosystem carbon cycling and their responses to global climate change. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of N addition and litter types on litter decomposition of a semi-arid temperate grassland during growing and non-growing seasons in Inner Mongolia, northern China, and to identify the relation between litter decomposition and C: N: P stoichiometry in the litter-soil continuum. Six levels of N addition were conducted: CK, N1 (0 g Nm−2 yr−1), N2 (2 g Nm−2 yr−1), N3 (5 g Nm−2 yr−1), N4 (10 g Nm−2 yr−1) and N5 (25 g Nm−2 yr−1). Litter decomposition rates and nutrient release differed greatly among N addition gradients and litter types. N addition promoted litter decomposition of S. grandis, but exhibited no significant influence on L. chinensis litter, indicating that the S. grandis litter decomposition was more sensitive to N addition than L. chinensis. The critical threshold for N addition to promote mixed litter decomposition was 10 -25g Nm−2 yr−1. N addition altered the balance of C: N: P stoichiometry between litter, soil and microbial biomass. During decomposition progress, the L. chinensis litter N: P was higher in N2-N4 plots compared to CK, while the S. grandis litter C: N was lower in N3 and N4 plots, indicating that litter N or P content doesn’t satisfy microbial decomposers with the increasing of N addition. As a result, S. grandis litter exhibited net N immobilization, while L. chinensis litter net P immobilization. Mixed litter C: N: P stoichiometry satisfied the demand of microbial decomposers, showed net mineralization during the decomposition process. With the increasing N deposition in the future, mixed litter would potentially promote C and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystem by increasing litter decomposition and nutrient release.

Keywords: C: N: P stoichiometry, litter decomposition, nitrogen addition, nutrient release

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45 Stabilization of Soil Organic Carbon within Silt+Clay Fraction in Shrub-Encroached Rangeland Shallow Soil at the University of Limpopo Syferkuil Experimental Farm

Authors: Millicent N. Khumalo, Phesheya E. Dlamini

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Shrub-encroachment leads to a gain or loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) in previously open rangelands. The stabilization mechanisms controlling the storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) within aggregates of shrub-encroached grassland soils are poorly understood, especially in shallow plinthic soils. In this study, physical fractionation of surface soils (0- 10 cm) collected from open and shrub-encroached grasslands was conducted to determine the distribution of SOC within macro-and- microaggregates. Soil aggregates were classified into four fractions by a wet-sieving procedure, namely >2000 (large macro-aggregates), 212-2000 (small macro-aggregates), 50-212 (microaggregates) and < 50µm (silt+clay). In both shrub-encroached and open grassland soils, SOC was greater in the silt+clay fraction. In this fraction, SOC was on average 133% greater in shrub-encroached compared to open grassland. The greater SOC within the silt+clay fraction is due to the greater surface area and thus more exchange sites for carbon absorption. This implies that the SOC physically protected within the silt+clay is stored long-term.

Keywords: aggregate fractions, shrub-encroachment, soil organic carbon, stabilization

Procedia PDF Downloads 50
44 Yield and Sward Composition Responses of Natural Grasslands to Treatments Meeting Sustainability

Authors: D. Díaz Fernández, I. Csízi, K. Pető, G. Nagy

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An outstanding part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be managed, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition, these ecosystems have an important role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but, looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. Three rates of compost (10 t/ha, 20 t/ha, 30 t/ha) were tested on 3 m X 10 m experimental plots. Every treatment had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots, measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield of pasture showed positive responses to the rates of composts. The increase in dry matter yield was partly due to some positive changes in sward composition. It means that the proportions of grass species with higher yield potential increased in ground cover of the sward without depressing out valuable native species of diverse natural grasslands. The research results indicate that the use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.

Keywords: compost application, dry matter yield, native grassland, sward composition

Procedia PDF Downloads 172
43 Biophysical Assessment of the Ecological Condition of Wetlands in the Parkland and Grassland Natural Regions of Alberta, Canada

Authors: Marie-Claude Roy, David Locky, Ermias Azeria, Jim Schieck

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It is estimated that up to 70% of the wetlands in the Parkland and Grassland natural regions of Alberta have been lost due to various land-use activities. These losses include ecosystem function and services they once provided. Those wetlands remaining are often embedded in a matrix of human-modified habitats and despite efforts taken to protect them the effects of land-uses on wetland condition and function remain largely unknown. We used biophysical field data and remotely-sensed human footprint data collected at 322 open-water wetlands by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) to evaluate the impact of surrounding land use on the physico-chemistry characteristics and plant functional traits of wetlands. Eight physio-chemistry parameters were assessed: wetland water depth, water temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and dissolved organic carbon. Three plant functional traits were evaluated: 1) origin (native and non-native), 2) life history (annual, biennial, and perennial), and 3) habitat requirements (obligate-wetland and obligate-upland). Intensity land-use was quantified within a 250-meter buffer around each wetland. Ninety-nine percent of wetlands in the Grassland and Parkland regions of Alberta have land-use activities in their surroundings, with most being agriculture-related. Total phosphorus in wetlands increased with the cover of surrounding agriculture, while salinity, total nitrogen, and dissolved organic carbon were positively associated with the degree of soft-linear (e.g. pipelines, trails) land-uses. The abundance of non-native and annual/biennial plants increased with the amount of agriculture, while urban-industrial land-use lowered abundance of natives, perennials, and obligate wetland plants. Our study suggests that land-use types surrounding wetlands affect the physicochemical and biological conditions of wetlands. This research suggests that reducing human disturbances through reclamation of wetland buffers may enhance the condition and function of wetlands in agricultural landscapes.

Keywords: wetlands, biophysical assessment, land use, grassland and parkland natural regions

Procedia PDF Downloads 223
42 Impacts of Tillage on Biodiversity of Microarthropod Communities in Two Different Crop Systems

Authors: Leila Ramezani, Mohammad Saeid Mossadegh

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Different uses of land by humans alter the physico chemical characteristics of the soil and affect the soil microhabitat. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of tillage in three different human land uses on microarthropods biodiversity in Khuzestan province, southwest of Iran. Three microhabitats including a permanent grassland with old Date-Palms around and no till system, and two wheat fields, one with conservative agricultural practices and low till system and the other with conventional agricultural practices (deep tillage), were compared for the biodiversity of the two main groups of soil microarthropods (Oribatida and Collembola). Soil samples were collected from the top to a depth of 15 cm bimonthly during a period of two years. Significant differences in the biodiversity index of microarthropods were observed between the different tillage systems (F = 36.748, P =0.000). Indeed, analysis of species diversity showed that the diversity index at the conservative field with low till (2.58 ± 0.01) was higher (p < 0.05) than the conventional tilled field (2.45 ± 0.08) and the diversity of natural grassland was the highest (2.79 ± 0.19, p < 0.05). Indeed, the index of biodiversity and population abundance differed significantly in different seasons (p < 0.00).

Keywords: biodiversity, Collembola, microarthropods, Oribatida

Procedia PDF Downloads 86
41 Assessment of the Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken Fern) Invasion on the Grassland Plateau in Nyika National Park

Authors: Andrew Kanzunguze, Lusayo Mwabumba, Jason K. Gilbertson, Dominic B. Gondwe, George Z. Nxumayo

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Knowledge about the spatio-temporal distribution of invasive plants in protected areas provides a base from which hypotheses explaining proliferation of plant invasions can be made alongside development of relevant invasive plant monitoring programs. The aim of this study was to investigate the spatio-temporal distribution of bracken fern on the grassland plateau of Nyika National Park over the past 30 years (1986-2016) as well as to determine the current extent of the invasion. Remote sensing, machine learning, and statistical modelling techniques (object-based image analysis, image classification and linear regression analysis) in geographical information systems were used to determine both the spatial and temporal distribution of bracken fern in the study area. Results have revealed that bracken fern has been increasing coverage on the Nyika plateau at an estimated annual rate of 87.3 hectares since 1986. This translates to an estimated net increase of 2,573.1 hectares, which was recorded from 1,788.1 hectares (1986) to 4,361.9 hectares (2016). As of 2017 bracken fern covered 20,940.7 hectares, approximately 14.3% of the entire grassland plateau. Additionally, it was observed that the fern was distributed most densely around Chelinda camp (on the central plateau) as well as in forest verges and roadsides across the plateau. Based on these results it is recommended that Ecological Niche Modelling approaches be employed to (i) isolate the most important factors influencing bracken fern proliferation as well as (ii) identify and prioritize areas requiring immediate control interventions so as to minimize bracken fern proliferation in Nyika National Park.

Keywords: bracken fern, image classification, Landsat-8, Nyika National Park, spatio-temporal distribution

Procedia PDF Downloads 90
40 The Alliance for Grassland Renewal: A Model for Teaching Endophyte Technology

Authors: C. A. Roberts, J. G. Andrae, S. R. Smith, M. H. Poore, C. A. Young, D. W. Hancock, G. J. Pent

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To the author’s best knowledge, there are no published reports of effective methods for teaching fescue toxicosis and grass endophyte technology in the USA. To address this need, a group of university scientists, industry representatives, government agents, and livestock producers formed an organization called the Alliance for Grassland Renewal. One goal of the Alliance was to develop a teaching method that could be employed across all regions in the USA and all sectors of the agricultural community. The first step in developing this method was identification of experts who were familiar with the science and management of fescue toxicosis. The second step was curriculum development. Experts wrote a curriculum that addressed all aspects of toxicosis and management, including toxicology, animal nutrition, pasture management, economics, and mycology. The curriculum was created for presentation in lectures, laboratories, and in the field. The curriculum was in that it could be delivered across state lines, regardless of peculiar, in-state recommendations. The curriculum was also unique as it was unanimously supported by private companies otherwise in competition with each other. The final step in developing this teaching method was formulating a delivery plan. All experts, including university, industry, government, and production, volunteered to travel from any state in the USA, converge in one location, teach a 1-day workshop, then travel to the next location. The results of this teaching method indicate widespread success. Since 2012, experts across the entire USA have converged to teach Alliance workshops in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, with ongoing workshops in Arkansas and Tennessee. Data from post-workshop surveys indicate that instruction has been effective, as at least 50% of the participants stated their intention to adopt the endophyte technology presented in these workshops. The teaching method developed by the Alliance for Grassland Renewal has proved to be effective, and the Alliance continues to expand across the USA.

Keywords: endophyte, Epichloe coenophiala, ergot alkaloids, fescue toxicosis, tall fescue

Procedia PDF Downloads 46
39 Effect of Human Use, Season and Habitat on Ungulate Densities in Kanha Tiger Reserve

Authors: Neha Awasthi, Ujjwal Kumar

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Density of large carnivores is primarily dictated by the density of their prey. Therefore, optimal management of ungulates populations permits harbouring of viable large carnivore populations within protected areas. Ungulate density is likely to respond to regimes of protection and vegetation types. This has generated the need among conservation practitioners to obtain strata specific seasonal species densities for habitat management. Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) of 2074 km2 area comprises of two distinct management strata: The core (940 km2), devoid of human settlements and buffer (1134 km2) which is a multiple use area. In general, four habitat strata, grassland, sal forest, bamboo-mixed forest and miscellaneous forest are present in the reserve. Stratified sampling approach was used to access a) impact of human use and b) effect of habitat and season on ungulate densities. Since 2013 to 2016, ungulates were surveyed in winter and summer of each year with an effort of 1200 km walk in 200 spatial transects distributed throughout Kanha Tiger Reserve. We used a single detection function for each species within each habitat stratum for each season for estimating species specific seasonal density, using program DISTANCE. Our key results state that the core area had 4.8 times higher wild ungulate biomass compared with the buffer zone, highlighting the importance of undisturbed area. Chital was found to be most abundant, having a density of 30.1(SE 4.34)/km2 and contributing 33% of the biomass with a habitat preference for grassland. Unlike other ungulates, Gaur being mega herbivore, showed a major seasonal shift in density from bamboo-mixed and sal forest in summer to miscellaneous forest in winter. Maximum diversity and ungulate biomass were supported by grassland followed by bamboo-mixed habitat. Our study stresses the importance of inviolate core areas for achieving high wild ungulate densities and for maintaining populations of endangered and rare species. Grasslands accounts for 9% of the core area of KTR maintained in arrested stage of succession, therefore enhancing this habitat would maintain ungulate diversity, density and cater to the needs of only surviving population of the endangered barasingha and grassland specialist the blackbuck. We show the relevance of different habitat types for differential seasonal use by ungulates and attempt to interpret this in the context of nutrition and cover needs by wild ungulates. Management for an optimal habitat mosaic that maintains ungulate diversity and maximizes ungulate biomass is recommended.

Keywords: distance sampling, habitat management, ungulate biomass, diversity

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38 Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Lake Ol Bolossat Catchment, Nyandarua County, Kenya

Authors: John Wangui, Charles Gachene, Stephen Mureithi, Boniface Kiteme

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Land use changes caused by demographic, natural variability, economic, technological and policy factors affect the goods and services derived from an ecosystem. In the past few decades, Lake Ol Bolossat catchment in Nyandarua County Kenya has been facing challenges of land cover changes threatening its capacity to perform ecosystems functions and adversely affecting communities and ecosystems downstream. This study assessed land cover changes in the catchment for a period of twenty eight years (from 1986 to 2014). Analysis of three Landsat images i.e. L5 TM 1986, L5 TM 1995 and L8 OLI/TIRS 2014 was done using ERDAS 9.2 software. The results show that dense forest, cropland and area under water increased by 27%, 29% and 3% respectively. On the other hand, open forest, dense grassland, open grassland, bushland and shrubland decreased by 3%, 3%, 11%, 26% and 1% respectively during the period under assessment. The lake was noted to have increased due to siltation caused by soil erosion causing a reduction in Lake’s depth and consequently causing temporary flooding of the wetland. The study concludes that the catchment is under high demographic pressure which would lead to resource use conflicts and therefore formulation of mitigation measures is highly recommended.

Keywords: land cover, land use change, land degradation, Nyandarua, Remote sensing

Procedia PDF Downloads 277
37 Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Cocoa Belt of Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria

Authors: Emmanuel Dada, Adebayo-Victoria Tobi Dada

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The study evaluates land use and land cover changes in the cocoa belt of Ondo state to quantify its effect on the expanse of land occupied by cocoa plantation as the most suitable region for cocoa raisin in Nigeria. Time series of satellite imagery from Landsat-7 ETM+ and Landsat-8 TIRS covering years 2000 and 2015 respectively were used. The study area was classified into six land use themes of cocoa plantation, settlement, water body, light forest and grassland, forest, and bar surface and rock outcrop. The analyses revealed that out of total land area of 997714 hectares of land of the study area, cocoa plantation land use increased by 10.3% in 2015 from 312260.6 ha in 2000. Forest land use also increased by 6.3% in 2015 from 152144.1 ha in the year 2000, water body reduced from 2954.5 ha in the year 2000 by 0.1% in 2015, settlement land use increased by 3% in 2015 from 15194.6 ha in 2000, light forest and grassland area reduced by 10.4% between 2000 and 2015 and 9.1% reduction in bar surface and rock outcrop land use between the year 2000 and 2015 respectively. The reasons for different ranges in the changes observed in the land use and land cover in the study area could be due to increase in the incentive to cocoa farmers from both government and non-governmental organizations, developed new cocoa breed that thrive better in the light forest, rapid increased in the population of cocoa farmers’ settlements, and government promulgation of forest reserve law.

Keywords: satellite imagery, land use and land cover change, area of land

Procedia PDF Downloads 142
36 Landscape Pattern Evolution and Optimization Strategy in Wuhan Urban Development Zone, China

Authors: Feng Yue, Fei Dai

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With the rapid development of urbanization process in China, its environmental protection pressure is severely tested. So, analyzing and optimizing the landscape pattern is an important measure to ease the pressure on the ecological environment. This paper takes Wuhan Urban Development Zone as the research object, and studies its landscape pattern evolution and quantitative optimization strategy. First, remote sensing image data from 1990 to 2015 were interpreted by using Erdas software. Next, the landscape pattern index of landscape level, class level, and patch level was studied based on Fragstats. Then five indicators of ecological environment based on National Environmental Protection Standard of China were selected to evaluate the impact of landscape pattern evolution on the ecological environment. Besides, the cost distance analysis of ArcGIS was applied to simulate wildlife migration thus indirectly measuring the improvement of ecological environment quality. The result shows that the area of land for construction increased 491%. But the bare land, sparse grassland, forest, farmland, water decreased 82%, 47%, 36%, 25% and 11% respectively. They were mainly converted into construction land. On landscape level, the change of landscape index all showed a downward trend. Number of patches (NP), Landscape shape index (LSI), Connection index (CONNECT), Shannon's diversity index (SHDI), Aggregation index (AI) separately decreased by 2778, 25.7, 0.042, 0.6, 29.2%, all of which indicated that the NP, the degree of aggregation and the landscape connectivity declined. On class level, the construction land and forest, CPLAND, TCA, AI and LSI ascended, but the Distribution Statistics Core Area (CORE_AM) decreased. As for farmland, water, sparse grassland, bare land, CPLAND, TCA and DIVISION, the Patch Density (PD) and LSI descended, yet the patch fragmentation and CORE_AM increased. On patch level, patch area, Patch perimeter, Shape index of water, farmland and bare land continued to decline. The three indexes of forest patches increased overall, sparse grassland decreased as a whole, and construction land increased. It is obvious that the urbanization greatly influenced the landscape evolution. Ecological diversity and landscape heterogeneity of ecological patches clearly dropped. The Habitat Quality Index continuously declined by 14%. Therefore, optimization strategy based on greenway network planning is raised for discussion. This paper contributes to the study of landscape pattern evolution in planning and design and to the research on spatial layout of urbanization.

Keywords: landscape pattern, optimization strategy, ArcGIS, Erdas, landscape metrics, landscape architecture

Procedia PDF Downloads 87
35 Land Cover Change Analysis Using Remote Sensing

Authors: Tahir Ali Akbar, Hirra Jabbar

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Land cover change analysis plays a significant role in understanding the trends of urban sprawl and land use transformation due to anthropogenic activities. In this study, the spatio-temporal dynamics of major land covers were analyzed in the last twenty years (1988-2016) for District Lahore located in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. The Landsat satellite imageries were downloaded from USGS Global Visualization Viewer of Earth Resources Observation and Science Center located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota USA. The imageries included: (i) Landsat TM-5 for 1988 and 2001; and (ii) Landsat-8 OLI for 2016. The raw digital numbers of Landsat-5 images were converted into spectral radiance and then planetary reflectance. The digital numbers of Landsat-8 image were directly converted into planetary reflectance. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was used to classify the processed images into six major classes of water, buit-up, barren land, shrub and grassland, sparse vegetation and dense vegetation. The NDVI output results were improved by visual interpretation using high-resolution satellite imageries. The results indicated that the built-up areas were increased to 21% in 2016 from 10% in 1988. The decrease in % areas was found in case of water, barren land and shrub & grassland. There were improvements in percentage of areas for the vegetation. The increasing trend of urban sprawl for Lahore requires implementation of GIS based spatial planning, monitoring and management system for its sustainable development.

Keywords: land cover changes, NDVI, remote sensing, urban sprawl

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34 Significant Influence of Land Use Type on Earthworm Communities but Not on Soil Microbial Respiration in Selected Soils of Hungary

Authors: Tsedekech Gebremeskel Weldmichael, Tamas Szegi, Lubangakene Denish, Ravi Kumar Gangwar, Erika Micheli, Barbara Simon

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Following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, soil biodiversity has been recognized globally as a crucial player in guaranteeing the functioning of soil and a provider of several ecosystem services essential for human well-being. The microbial fraction of the soil is a vital component of soil fertility as soil microbes play key roles in soil aggregate formation, nutrient cycling, humification, and degradation of pollutants. Soil fauna, such as earthworms, have huge impacts on soil organic matter dynamics, nutrient cycling, and infiltration and distribution of water in the soil. Currently, land-use change has been a global concern as evidence accumulates that it adversely affects soil biodiversity and the associated ecosystem goods and services. In this study, we examined the patterns of soil microbial respiration (SMR) and earthworm (abundance, biomass, and species richness) across three land-use types (grassland, arable land, and forest) in Hungary. The objectives were i) to investigate whether there is a significant difference in SMR and earthworm (abundance, biomass, and species richness) among land-use types. ii) to determine the key soil properties that best predict the variation in SMR and earthworm communities. Soil samples, to a depth of 25 cm, were collected from the surrounding areas of seven soil profiles. For physicochemical parameters, soil organic matter (SOM), pH, CaCO₃, E₄/E₆, available nitrogen (NH₄⁺-N and NO₃⁻-N), potassium (K₂O), phosphorus (P₂O₅), exchangeable Ca²⁺, Mg²⁺, soil moisture content (MC) and bulk density were measured. The analysis of SMR was determined by basal respiration method, and the extraction of earthworms was carried out by hand sorting method as described by ISO guideline. The results showed that there was no statistically significant difference among land-use types in SMR (p > 0.05). However, the highest SMR was observed in grassland soils (11.77 mgCO₂ 50g⁻¹ soil 10 days⁻¹) and lowest in forest soils (8.61 mgCO₂ 50g⁻¹ soil 10 days⁻¹). SMR had strong positive correlations with exchangeable Ca²⁺ (r = 0.80), MC (r = 0.72), and exchangeable Mg²⁺(r = 0.69). We found a pronounced variation in SMR among soil texture classes (p < 0.001), where the highest value in silty clay loam soils and the lowest in sandy soils. This study provides evidence that agricultural activities can negatively influence earthworm communities, in which the arable land had significantly lower earthworm communities compared to forest and grassland respectively. Overall, in our study, land use type had minimal effects on SMR whereas, earthworm communities were profoundly influenced by land-use type particularly agricultural activities related to tillage. Exchangeable Ca²⁺, MC, and texture were found to be the key drivers of the variation in SMR.

Keywords: earthworm community, land use, soil biodiversity, soil microbial respiration, soil property

Procedia PDF Downloads 59
33 Land Use Dynamics of Ikere Forest Reserve, Nigeria Using Geographic Information System

Authors: Akintunde Alo

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The incessant encroachments into the forest ecosystem by the farmers and local contractors constitute a major threat to the conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity in Nigeria. To propose a viable monitoring system, this study employed Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to assess the changes that occurred for a period of five years (between 2011 and 2016) in Ikere forest reserve. Landsat imagery of the forest reserve was obtained. For the purpose of geo-referencing the acquired satellite imagery, ground-truth coordinates of some benchmark places within the forest reserve was relied on. Supervised classification algorithm, image processing, vectorization and map production were realized using ArcGIS. Various land use systems within the forest ecosystem were digitized into polygons of different types and colours for 2011 and 2016, roads were represented with lines of different thickness and colours. Of the six land-use delineated, the grassland increased from 26.50 % in 2011 to 45.53% in 2016 of the total land area with a percentage change of 71.81 %. Plantations of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis on the other hand reduced from 62.16 % in 2011 to 27.41% in 2016. The farmland and degraded land recorded percentage change of about 176.80 % and 8.70 % respectively from 2011 to 2016. Overall, the rate of deforestation in the study area is on the increase and becoming severe. About 72.59% of the total land area has been converted to non-forestry uses while the remnant 27.41% is occupied by plantations of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis. Interestingly, over 55 % of the plantation area in 2011 has changed to grassland, or converted to farmland and degraded land in 2016. The rate of change over time was about 9.79 % annually. Based on the results, rapid actions to prevail on the encroachers to stop deforestation and encouraged re-afforestation in the study area are recommended.

Keywords: land use change, forest reserve, satellite imagery, geographical information system

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32 Large Herbivores Benefit Plant Growth via Diverse and Indirect Pathways in a Temperate Grassland

Authors: Xiaofei Li, Zhiwei Zhong, Deli Wang

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Large herbivores affect plant growth not only through their direct, consumptive effects, but also through indirect effects that alter species interactions. Indirect effects can be either positive or negative, therefore having the potential to mitigate or enhance the direct impacts of herbivores. However, until recently, we know considerably less about the indirect effects than the direct effects of large herbivores on plants, and few studies have explored multiple indirect pathways simultaneously. Here, we investigated how large domestic herbivores, cattle (Bos taurus), can shape population growth of an intermediately preferred forb species, Artemsisa scoparia, through diverse pathways in a temperate grassland of northeast China. We found that, although exposure to direct consumption of cattle, A. scoparia growth was not inhibited, but rather showed a significant increase in the grazed than ungrazed areas. This unexpected result was due to grazing-induced multiple indirect, positive effects overwhelmed the direct, negative consumption effects of cattle on plant growth. The much more intensive consumption on the dominant Leymus chinensis grass, ground litter removal, and increases in ant nest abundance induced by cattle, exerted significant indirect, positive effects on A. scoparia growth. These pathways benefited A.scoparia growth by lessening interspecific competition, mitigating negative effects of litter accumulation, and increasing soil nutrient availability, respectively. Our results highlight the need to integrate indirect effects into the traditional food web theory, which is based primary on direct, trophic linkages, to fully understand community organization and dynamics. Large herbivores are important conservation and management targets, our results suggest that these mammals should be managed with the understanding that they can affect primary producers through diverse paths.

Keywords: grasslands, large herbivores, plant growth, indirect effects

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31 Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts of Urban Sprawl: a Case Study of Adigrat City, Ethiopia

Authors: Fikre Belay Tekulu

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This thesis presents the socio-economic and environmental impacts of urban sprawl in the case of Adigrat city, Tigray Region, Ethiopia. The main objective of this research is to assess major causes, trends, and socio-economic and environmental impacts of the urban sprawl of Adigrat city. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods as questionnaires, interviews, and observation used for data collection. Simple random sampling has been used to select the participants. The land use and land cover change for agricultural land and forest and grassland resource analysis is done with the aid of GIS. Urban sprawl is mainly caused by the rapid population growth, increase in the living and property cost in the core of the city, land demand and land speculation and the growth of transport, and an increase in income of people and demand of more living space. The study indicates 15726.24 hectares (515.49 percent) of new land added to the city jurisdiction from its adjacent Gantafeshum Wereda between 1986 and 2018. The population of Adigrat city increased by 9.045 percent per year, while the city expanded 16.01 percent per annum and theLCR was 0.0233 hectares per person between 1986 and 2018. Built-up area increased by 35.27 percent per annum, while agricultural land, forests, and grassland cover decreased by 1.68 percent and 1.26 percent per annum, respectively, in the last thirty three years. This rapid growth of urban sprawl brought social-economic and environmental change in the city that has been observed by the city residents. Therefore, the city administration should need strong, integrated, effective, and efficient work with its neighbor rural area and also done timely preparation, implementation, supervision, and evaluation of the structural plan of the city to bring out sustainable development of the city.

Keywords: causes, trends, urban sprawl, land use and land cover, GIS

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30 The Effect of Season, Fire and Slope Position on Seriphium plumosum L. Forage Quality in South African Grassland Communities

Authors: Hosia T. Pule, Julius T. Tjelele, Michelle J. Tedder, Dawood Hattas

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Acceptability of plant material to herbivores is influenced by, among other factors; nutrients, plant secondary metabolites and growth stage of the plants. However, the effect of these factors on Seriphium plumosum L. acceptability to livestock is still not clearly understood, despite its importance in managing its encroachment in grassland communities. The study used 2 x 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance to investigate the effect of season (wet and dry), fire, slope position (top and bottom) and their interaction on Seriphium plumosum chemistry. We tested the hypothesis that S. plumosum chemistry varies temporally, spatially and pre- and post-fire treatment. Seriphium plumosum edible material was collected during the wet and dry season from burned and unburned areas on both top and bottom slopes before being analysed for protein (CP) content, neutral detergent fibre (NDF), total phenolics (TP) and condensed tannins (CT). Season had a significant effect on S. plumosum protein content, neutral detergent fibre, total phenolics and condensed tannins. Fire had a significant effect on CP. Interaction of season x fire had a significant effect on NDF and CP (p < 0.05). Seriphium plumosum in the wet season (6.69% ± 0.20 (SE)) had significantly higher CP than in the dry season (5.22% ± 0.13). NDF was significantly higher (58.01% ± 0.41) in the dry season than in the wet season (53.17% ± 0.34), while TP were significantly higher in the dry season (14.44 mg/gDw ± 1.03) than in the wet season (11.08 mg/gDw ± 1.07). CT in the wet season were significantly higher (1.56 mg/gDw ± 0.13) than in the dry season (1 mg/gDw ± 0.03). CP was significantly higher in burned (6. 31 % ± 0.22) than in unburned S. plumosum edible material (5.60 % ± 0.15). Seriphium plumosum CP was significantly higher in wet season x burned (7.34 % ± 0.31) than wet season x unburned (6.08 % ± 0.20) material and dry season x burned (5.34 % ± 0.18) and unburned (5.09 % ± 0.18) material were similar. NDF was similar in dry season x burned (58.31% ± 0.54) and dry season x unburned (57.69 % ± 0.62) material and significantly higher than similar wet season x burned (52.43% ± 0.45) and wet season x post-unburned (53.88% ± 0.47) material. This study suggests integrating fire, browsers, and supplements as encroacher S. plumosum control agents, especially in the wet season, following fire due to high S. plumosum CP content.

Keywords: acceptability, chemistry, edible material, encroachment, phenolics, tannins

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29 Alkaloid Levels in Experimental Lines of Ryegrass in Southtern Chile

Authors: Leonardo Parra, Manuel Chacón-Fuentes, Andrés Quiroz

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One of the most important factors in beef and dairy production in the world as well as also in Chile, is related to the correct choice of cultivars or mixtures of forage grasses and legumes to ensure high yields and quality of grassland. However, a great problem is the persistence of the grasses as a result of the action of different hypogeous as epigean pests. The complex insect pests associated with grassland include white grubs (Hylamorpha elegans, Phytoloema herrmanni), blackworm (Dalaca pallens) and Argentine stem weevil (Listronotus bonariensis). In Chile, the principal strategy utilized for controlling this pest is chemical control, through the use of synthetic insecticides, however, underground feeding habits of larval and flight activity of adults makes this uneconomic method. Furthermore, due to problems including environmental degradation, development of resistance and chemical residues, there is a worldwide interest in the use of alternative environmentally friendly pest control methods. In this sense, in recent years there has been an increasing interest in determining the role of endophyte fungi in controlling epigean and hypogeous pest. Endophytes from ryegrass (Lolium perenne), establish a biotrophic relationship with the host, defined as mutualistic symbiosis. The plant-fungi association produces a “cocktail of alkaloids” where peramine is the main toxic substance present in endophyte of ryegrass and responsible for damage reduction of L. bonariensis. In the last decade, few studies have been developed on the effectiveness of new ryegrass cultivars carriers of endophyte in controlling insect pests. Therefore, the aim of this research is to provide knowledge concerning to evaluate the alkaloid content, such as peramine and Lolitrem B, present in new experimental lines of ryegrass and feasible to be used in grasslands of southern Chile. For this, during 2016, ryegrass plants of six experimental lines and two commercial cultivars sown at the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Carrillanca (Vilcún, Chile) were collected and subjected to a process of chemical extraction to identify and quantify the presence of peramine and lolitrem B by the technique of liquid chromatography of high resolution (HPLC). The results indicated that the experimental lines EL-1 and EL-3 had high content of peramine (0.25 and 0.43 ppm, respectively) than with lolitrem B (0.061 and 0.19 ppm, respectively). Furthermore, the higher contents of lolitrem B were detected in the EL-4 and commercial cultivar Alto (positive control) with 0.08 and 0.17 ppm, respectively. Peramine and lolitrem B were not detected in the cultivar Jumbo (negative control). These results suggest that EL-3 would have potential as future cultivate because it has high content of peramine, alkaloid responsible for controlling insect pest. However, their current role on the complex insects attacking ryegrass grasslands should be evaluated. The information obtained in this research could be used to improve control strategies against hypogeous and epigean pests of grassland in southern Chile and also to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides.

Keywords: HPLC, Lolitrem B, peramine, pest

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28 Modeling Biomass and Biodiversity across Environmental and Management Gradients in Temperate Grasslands with Deep Learning and Sentinel-1 and -2

Authors: Javier Muro, Anja Linstadter, Florian Manner, Lisa Schwarz, Stephan Wollauer, Paul Magdon, Gohar Ghazaryan, Olena Dubovyk

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Monitoring the trade-off between biomass production and biodiversity in grasslands is critical to evaluate the effects of management practices across environmental gradients. New generations of remote sensing sensors and machine learning approaches can model grasslands’ characteristics with varying accuracies. However, studies often fail to cover a sufficiently broad range of environmental conditions, and evidence suggests that prediction models might be case specific. In this study, biomass production and biodiversity indices (species richness and Fishers’ α) are modeled in 150 grassland plots for three sites across Germany. These sites represent a North-South gradient and are characterized by distinct soil types, topographic properties, climatic conditions, and management intensities. Predictors used are derived from Sentinel-1 & 2 and a set of topoedaphic variables. The transferability of the models is tested by training and validating at different sites. The performance of feed-forward deep neural networks (DNN) is compared to a random forest algorithm. While biomass predictions across gradients and sites were acceptable (r2 0.5), predictions of biodiversity indices were poor (r2 0.14). DNN showed higher generalization capacity than random forest when predicting biomass across gradients and sites (relative root mean squared error of 0.5 for DNN vs. 0.85 for random forest). DNN also achieved high performance when using the Sentinel-2 surface reflectance data rather than different combinations of spectral indices, Sentinel-1 data, or topoedaphic variables, simplifying dimensionality. This study demonstrates the necessity of training biomass and biodiversity models using a broad range of environmental conditions and ensuring spatial independence to have realistic and transferable models where plot level information can be upscaled to landscape scale.

Keywords: ecosystem services, grassland management, machine learning, remote sensing

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27 Flood Hazard Assessment and Land Cover Dynamics of the Orai Khola Watershed, Bardiya, Nepal

Authors: Loonibha Manandhar, Rajendra Bhandari, Kumud Raj Kafle

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Nepal’s Terai region is a part of the Ganges river basin which is one of the most disaster-prone areas of the world, with recurrent monsoon flooding causing millions in damage and the death and displacement of hundreds of people and households every year. The vulnerability of human settlements to natural disasters such as floods is increasing, and mapping changes in land use practices and hydro-geological parameters is essential in developing resilient communities and strong disaster management policies. The objective of this study was to develop a flood hazard zonation map of Orai Khola watershed and map the decadal land use/land cover dynamics of the watershed. The watershed area was delineated using SRTM DEM, and LANDSAT images were classified into five land use classes (forest, grassland, sediment and bare land, settlement area and cropland, and water body) using pixel-based semi-automated supervised maximum likelihood classification. Decadal changes in each class were then quantified using spatial modelling. Flood hazard mapping was performed by assigning weights to factors slope, rainfall distribution, distance from the river and land use/land cover on the basis of their estimated influence in causing flood hazard and performing weighed overlay analysis to identify areas that are highly vulnerable. The forest and grassland coverage increased by 11.53 km² (3.8%) and 1.43 km² (0.47%) from 1996 to 2016. The sediment and bare land areas decreased by 12.45 km² (4.12%) from 1996 to 2016 whereas settlement and cropland areas showed a consistent increase to 14.22 km² (4.7%). Waterbody coverage also increased to 0.3 km² (0.09%) from 1996-2016. 1.27% (3.65 km²) of total watershed area was categorized into very low hazard zone, 20.94% (60.31 km²) area into low hazard zone, 37.59% (108.3 km²) area into moderate hazard zone, 29.25% (84.27 km²) area into high hazard zone and 31 villages which comprised 10.95% (31.55 km²) were categorized into high hazard zone area.

Keywords: flood hazard, land use/land cover, Orai river, supervised maximum likelihood classification, weighed overlay analysis

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26 Physiological Responses of Dominant Grassland Species to Different Grazing Intensity in Inner Mongolia, China

Authors: Min Liu, Jirui Gong, Qinpu Luo, Lili Yang, Bo Yang, Zihe Zhang, Yan Pan, Zhanwei Zhai

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Grazing disturbance is one of the important land-use types that affect plant growth and ecosystem processes. In order to study the responses of dominant species to grazing in the semiarid temperate grassland of Inner Mongolia, we set five grazing intensity plots: a control and four levels of grazing (light (LG), moderate (MG), heavy (HG) and extreme heavy grazing (EHG)) to test the morphological and physiological responses of Stipa grandis, Leymus chinensis at the individual levels. With the increase of grazing intensity, Stipa grandis and Leymus chinensis both exhibited reduced plant height, leaf area, stem length and aboveground biomass, showing a significant dwarf phenomenon especially in HG and EHG plots. The photosynthetic capacity decreased along the grazing gradient. Especially in the MG plot, the two dominant species have lowest net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and water use efficiency (WUE). However, in the HG and EHG plots, the two species had high light saturation point (LSP) and low light compensation point (LCP), indicating they have high light-use efficiency. They showed a stimulation of compensatory photosynthesis to the remnant leaves as compared with grasses in MG plot. For Leymus chinensis, the lipid peroxidation level did not increase with the low malondialdehyde (MDA) content even in the EHG plot. It may be due to the high enzymes activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) to reduce the damage of reactive oxygen species. Meanwhile, more carbohydrate was stored in the leaf of Leymus chinensis to provide energy to the plant regrowth. On the contrary, Stipa grandis showed the high level of lipid peroxidation especially in the HG and EHG plots with decreased antioxidant enzymes activity. The soluble protein content did not change significantly in the different plots. Therefore, with the increase of grazing intensity, plants changed morphological and physiological traits to defend themselves effectively to herbivores. Leymus chinensis is more resistant to grazing than Stipa grandis in terms of tolerance traits, particularly under heavy grazing pressure.

Keywords: antioxidant enzymes activity, grazing density, morphological responses, photosynthesis

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25 Extraction and Quantification of Peramine Present in Dalaca pallens, a Pest of Grassland in Southtern Chile

Authors: Leonardo Parra, Daniel Martínez, Jorge Pizarro, Fernando Ortega, Manuel Chacón-Fuentes, Andrés Quiroz

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Control of Dalaca pallens or blackworms, one of the most important hypogeous pest in grassland in southern Chile, is based on the use of broad-spectrum insecticides such as organophosphates and pyrethroids. However, the rapid development of insecticide resistance in field populations of this insect and public concern over the environmental impact of these insecticides has resulted in the search for other control methods. Specifically, the use of endophyte fungi for controlling pest has emerged as an interesting and promising strategy. Endophytes from ryegrass (Lolium perenne), establish a biotrophic relationship with the host, defined as mutualistic symbiosis. The plant-fungi association produces alkaloids where peramine is the main toxic substance against Listronotus bonariensis, the most important epigean pest of ryegrass. Nevertheless, the effect of peramina on others pest insects, such as D. pallens, to our knowledge has not been studied, and also its possible metabolization in the body of the larvae. Therefore, we addressed the following research question: Do larvae of D. pallens store peramine after consumption of ryegrass endophyte infected (E+)? For this, specimens of blackworms were fed with ryegrass plant of seven experimental lines and one commercial cultivar endophyte free (E-) sown at the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias Carillanca (Vilcún, Chile). Once the feeding period was over, ten larvae of each treatment were examined. Individuals were dissected, and their gut was removed to exclude any influence of remaining material. The rest of the larva's body was dried at 60°C by 24-48 h and ground into a fine powder using a mortar. 25 mg of dry powder was transferred to a microcentrifuge tube and extracted in 1 mL of a mixture of methanol:water:formic acid. Then, the samples were centrifuged at 16,000 rpm for 3 min, and the supernatant was colected and injected in the liquid chromatography of high resolution (HPLC). The results confirmed the presence of peramine in the larva's body of D. pallens. The insects that fed the experimental lines LQE-2 and LQE-6 were those where peramine was present in high proportion (0.205 and 0.199 ppm, respectively); while LQE-7 and LQE-3 obtained the lowest concentrations of the alkaloid (0.047 and 0.053 ppm, respectively). Peramine was not detected in the insects when the control cultivar Jumbo (E-) was tested. These results evidenced the storage and metabolism of peramine during consumption of the larvae. However, the effect of this alkaloid present in 'future ryegrass cultivars' (LQE-2 and LQE-6) on the performance and survival of blackworms must be studied and confirmed experimentally.

Keywords: blackworms, HPLC, alkaloid, pest

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24 Utilization of Juncus acutus as Alternative Feed Resource in Ruminants

Authors: Nurcan Cetinkaya

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The aim of this paper is to bring about the utilization of Juncus acutus as an alternative roughage resource in ruminant nutrition. In Turkey, JA is prevailing plant of the natural grassland in Kizilirmak Delta, Samsun. Crude nutrient values such as crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), organic matter (OM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and acid detergent lignin(ADL) including antioxidant activity, total phenolic and flavonoid compounds, total organic matter digestibility (OMD) and metabolisable energy (ME) values of Juncus acutus stem, seed, and also its mixture with maize silage were estimated. and published. Furthermore, the effects of JA over rumen cellulolitic bacteria were studied. The obtained results from different studies conducted on JA by our team show that Juncus acutus may be a new roughage source in ruminant nutrition.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, cellulolytic bacteria, Juncus acutus, organic matter digestibility

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23 Biodiversity and Distribution of Tettigonioidea, Ensifera of Pakistan

Authors: Riffat Sultana Pathan, Waheed Ali Panhwar, Muhammad Saeed Wagan

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Tettigonioidea are phytophagous insects damaging agricultural crops, forest, fruit orchards, berry shrubs, and grasses. The material was collected from different agricultural fields of rice, sugarcane, wheat, maize surrounding by different grasses. Beside this, forest, hilly areas, semi-desert and desert regions were also inspected time to time. All material was captured, killed and stored by using the standard entomological method. As a result of extensive survey fair numbers were captured from the different climatic zone of country. Seven sub-families of Tettigonioidea viz: Pseudophyllinae, Phaneropterinae, Conocephalinae, Tettigoniinae, Hexacentrinae, Mecopodinae and Decticinae came in collection. This fauna contributes 29 new records to Pakistan and 5 new species to science. Beside this, a brief description of each supra-generic category of Tettigonioidea along with photographs and synonymy is also documented. In addition to this, detailed list of host plants from Pakistan was also composed. This study provides important data for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of Tettigonioidea biodiversity conservation and grassland restoration in Pakistan.

Keywords: agriculture, conocephalinae, pest, phaneropterinae, tettigoniidae

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22 Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing of landscape Dynamics and Pattern Changes in Dire District, Southern Oromia, Ethiopia

Authors: K. Berhanu

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Improper land use results in land degradation and decline in agricultural productivity. Hence, in order to get maximum benefits out of land, proper utilization of its resources is inevitable. The present study was aimed at identifying the landcover changes in the study area in the last 25 years and determines the extent and direction of change that has occurred. The study made use of Landsat TM 1986 and 2011 Remote Sensing Satellite Image for analysis to determine the extent and pattern of rangeland change. The results of the landuse/landcover change detection showed that in the last 25 years, 3 major changes were observed, grassland and open shrub-land resource significantly decreased at a rate of 17.1km2/year and 12 km2/year/, respectively. On the other hand in 25 years dense bushland, open bush land, dense shrubland and cultivated land has shown increment in size at a rate of 0.23km2/year,13.5 km2/year, 6.3 km2/year and 0.2 km2/year, respectively within 25 years. The expansion of unpalatable woody species significantly reduced the rangeland size and availability of grasses. The consequence of the decrease in herbaceous biomass production might result in high risk of food insecurity in the area unless proper interventions are made in time.

Keywords: GIS and remote sensing, Dire District, land use/land cover, land sat TM

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21 Evaluation of Heavy Metal Concentrations of Stem and Seed of Juncus acutus for Grazing Animals and Birds in Kızılırmak Delta

Authors: N. Cetinkaya, F. Erdem

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Juncus acutus (Juncaceae) is a perennial wetland plant and it is commonly known as spiny rush or sharp rush. It is the most abundant plant in Kizilirmak grassland, Samsun, Turkey. Heavy metals are significant environmental contaminants in delta and their toxicity is an increasing problem for animals whose natural habitat is delta. The objective of this study was to evaluate heavy metal concentrations mainly As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg in stem and seed of Juncus acutus for grazing animals and birds in delta. The Juncus acutus stem and seed samples were collected from Kizilirmak Delta in July, August and September. Heavy metal concentrations of collected samples were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). The obtained mean values of three months for As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg of stem and seed samples of Juncus acutus were 0.11 and 0.23 mg/kg; 0.07 and 0.11 mg/kg; 0.02 and 0.02 mg/kg; 5.26 and 1.75 mg/kg; 0.05 and not detectable in July respectively. Hg was not detected in both stem and seed of Juncus acutus, Pb concentration was determined only in stem of Juncus acutus but not in seed. There were no significant differences between the values of three months for As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg of stem and seed samples of Juncus acutus. The obtained As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg results of stem and seed of Juncus acutus show that seed and stem of Juncus acutus may be safely consumed for grazing animals and birds regarding to heavy metals contamination in Kizilirmak Delta.

Keywords: heavy metals, Juncus acutus, Kizilirmak Delta, wetland

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