Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2793

Search results for: invasive species

2793 Assessing the Impacts of Frugivorous Birds on Dispersal and Recruitment of Invasive Phytolacca Americana in an Urban Landscape

Authors: Ning Li, Yaner Yan, Yajun Qiao, Shu-qing An


Although seed dispersal is considered to be a key process determining the spatial structure and spread of invasive plant populations, few studies have explicitly addressed the link between dispersal vector behaviour, and seedling recruitment to gain insight into the process of exotic species invasion within a urban landscape. The present study tests the effects of native bird species on the dispersal and recruitment of invasive Phytolacca Americana in an urban garden. We found the invasive population of American pokeweed attracted both generalist species and specialist species to forage and disperse its seeds, with generalists Pycnonotus sinensis and Urocissa erythrorhyncha being by far the most important dispersers. Seedling numbers of P. Americana was strongly affected by perching behavior of bird dispersers. Moreover, two main disperser species, P. sinensis and U. erythrorhyncha govern a high quality dispersal service for P. Americana. Our results highlight the ability of invasive P. americana to recruit seed dispersal agents in urban habitats. However, if the newly recruited species could use the seedling safe site for perching shelter, the invasive plants will get a high regenerate rate in the invasive new habitats thus enhancing their invasive ability.

Keywords: frugivorous birds, phytolacca americana, seed dispersal, urban landscape

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2792 Cryptic Diversity: Identifying Two Morphologically Similar Species of Invasive Apple Snails in Peninsular Malaysia

Authors: Suganiya Rama Rao, Yoon-Yen Yow, Thor-Seng Liew, Shyamala Ratnayeke


Invasive snails in the genus Pomacea have spread across Southeast Asia including Peninsular Malaysia. Apart from significant economic costs to wetland crops, very little is known about the snails’ effects on native species, and wetland function through their alteration of macrophyte communities. This study was conducted to establish diagnostic characteristics of Pomacea species in the Malaysian environment using genetic and morphological criteria. Snails were collected from eight localities in northern and central regions of Peninsular Malaysia. The mitochondrial COI gene of 52 adult snails was amplified and sequenced. Maximum likelihood analysis was used to analyse species identity and assess phylogenetic relationships among snails from different geographic locations. Shells of the two species were compared using geometric morphometric analysis and covariance analyses. Shell height accounted for most of the observed variation between P. canaliculata and P. maculata, with the latter possessing a smaller mean ratio of shell height: aperture height (p < 0.0001) and shell height to shell width (give p < 0.0001). Genomic and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated the presence of two monophyletic taxa, P. canaliculata and P. maculata, in Peninsular Malaysia samples. P. maculata co-occurred with P. canaliculata in 5 localities, but samples from 3 localities contained only P. canaliculata. This study is the first to confirm the presence of two of the most invasive species of Pomacea in Peninsular Malaysia using a genomic approach. P. canaliculata appears to be the more widespread species. Despite statistical differences, both quantitative and qualitative morphological characteristics demonstrate much interspecific overlap and intraspecific variability; thus morphology alone cannot reliably verify species identity. Molecular techniques for distinguishing between these two highly invasive Pomacea species are needed to understand their specific ecological niches and develop effective protocols for their management.

Keywords: Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea maculata, invasive species, phylog enetic analysis, geometric morphometric analysis

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2791 Invasive Ranges of Gorse (Ulex europaeus) in South Australia and Sri Lanka Using Species Distribution Modelling

Authors: Champika S. Kariyawasam


The distribution of gorse (Ulex europaeus) plants in South Australia has been modelled using 126 presence-only location data as a function of seven climate parameters. The predicted range of U. europaeus is mainly along the Mount Lofty Ranges in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island. Annual precipitation and yearly average aridity index appeared to be the highest contributing variables to the final model formulation. The Jackknife procedure was employed to identify the contribution of different variables to gorse model outputs and response curves were used to predict changes with changing environmental variables. Based on this analysis, it was revealed that the combined effect of one or more variables could make a completely different impact to the original variables on their own to the model prediction. This work also demonstrates the need for a careful approach when selecting environmental variables for projecting correlative models to climatically distinct area. Maxent acts as a robust model when projecting the fitted species distribution model to another area with changing climatic conditions, whereas the generalized linear model, bioclim, and domain models to be less robust in this regard. These findings are important not only for predicting and managing invasive alien gorse in South Australia and Sri Lanka but also in other countries of the invasive range.

Keywords: invasive species, Maxent, species distribution modelling, Ulex europaeus

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2790 Assessment of the Possible Effects of Biological Control Agents of Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Authors: Cristine P. Canlas, Crislene Mae L. Gever, Patricia Bea R. Rosialda, Ma. Nina Regina M. Quibod, Perry Archival C. Buenavente, Normandy M. Barbecho, Cynthia Adeline A. Layusa, Michael Day


Invasive plants have an impact on global biodiversity and ecosystem function, and their management is a complex and formidable task. Two of these invasive plant species, Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata, are found in the Philippines. Lantana camara has the ability to suppress the growth of and outcompete neighboring plants. Chromolaena odorata causes serious agricultural and economical damage and causes fire hazards during dry season. In addition, both species has been reported to poison livestock. One of the known global management strategies to control invasive plants is the introduction of biological control agents. These natural enemies of the invasive plants reduce population density and impacts of the invasive plants, resulting in the balance of the nature in their invasion. Through secondary data sources, interviews, and field validation (e.g. microhabitat searches, sweep netting, opportunistic sampling, photo-documentation), we investigated whether the biocontrol agents previously released by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in their Davao Research Center to control these invasive plants are still present and are affecting their respective host weeds. We confirm the presence of the biocontrol agent of L. camara, Uroplata girardi, which was introduced in 1985, and Cecidochares connexa, a biocontrol agent of C. odorata released in 2003. Four other biocontrol agents were found to affect L. camara. Signs of damage (e.g. stem galls in C. odorata, and leaf mines in L. camara) signify that these biocontrol agents have successfully established outside of their release site in Davao. Further investigating the extent of the spread of these biocontrol agents in the Philippines and their damage to the two weeds will contribute to the management of invasive plant species in the country.

Keywords: invasive alien species, biological control agent, entomology, worst weeds

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2789 Estimating Understory Species Diversity of West Timor Tropical Savanna, Indonesia: The Basis for Planning an Integrated Management of Agricultural and Environmental Weeds and Invasive Species

Authors: M. L. Gaol, I. W. Mudita


Indonesia is well known as a country covered by lush tropical rain forests, but in fact, the northeastern part of the country, within the areas geologically known as Lesser Sunda, the dominant vegetation is tropical savanna. Lesser Sunda is a chain of islands located closer to Australia than to islands in the other parts of the country. Among those of islands in the chain which is closes to Australia, and thereby most strongly affected by the hot and dry Australian climate, is the island of Timor, the western part of which belongs to Indonesia and the eastern part is a sovereign state East Timor. Regardless of being the most dominant vegetation cover, tropical savanna in West Timor, especially its understory, is rarely investigated. This research was therefore carried out to investigate the structure, composition and diversity of the understory of this tropical savanna as the basis for looking at the possibility of introducing other spesieis for various purposes. For this research, 14 terrestrial communities representing major types of the existing savannas in West Timor was selected with aid of the most recently available satellite imagery. At each community, one stand of the size of 50 m x 50 m most likely representing the community was as the site of observation for the type of savanna under investigation. At each of the 14 communities, 20 plots of 1 m x 1 m in size was placed at random to identify understory species and to count the total number of individuals and to estimate the cover of each species. Based on such counts and estimation, the important value of each species was later calculated. The results of this research indicated that the understory of savanna in West Timor consisted of 73 understory species. Of this number of species, 18 species are grasses and 55 are non-grasses. Although lower than non-grass species, grass species indeed dominated the savanna as indicated by their number of individuals (65.33 vs 34.67%), species cover (57.80 vs 42.20%), and important value (123.15 vs 76.85). Of the 14 communities, the lowest density of grass was 13.50/m2 and the highest was 417.50/m2. Of 18 grass species found, all were commonly found as agricultural weeds, whereas of 55 non-grass, 10 species were commonly found as agricultural weeds, environmental weeds, or invasive species. In terms of better managing the savanna in the region, these findings provided the basis for planning a more integrated approach in managing such agricultural and environmental weeds as well as invasive species by considering the structure, composition, and species diversity of the understory species existing in each site. These findings also provided the basis for better understanding the flora of the region as a whole and for developing a flora database of West Timor in future.

Keywords: tropical savanna, understory species, integrated management, weedy and invasive species

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2788 The Role of Non-Native Plant Species in Enhancing Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Thabiso Michael Mokotjomela, Jasper Knight


Intensification of agricultural food production in sub-Saharan Africa is of paramount importance as a means of increasing the food security of communities that are already experiencing a range of environmental and socio-economic stresses. However, achieving this aim faces several challenges including ongoing climate change, increased resistance of diseases and pests, extreme environmental degradation partly due to biological invasions, land tenure and management practices, socio-economic developments of rural populations, and national population growth. In particular, non-native plant species tend to display greater adaptation capacity to environmental stress than native species that form important food resource base for human beings, thus suggesting a potential for usage to shift accordingly. Based on review of the historical benefits of non-native plant species in food production in sub-Saharan Africa, we propose that use of non-invasive, non-native plant species and/or the genetic modification of native species might be viable options for future agricultural sustainability in this region. Coupled with strategic foresight planning (e.g. use of biological control agents that suppress plant species’ invasions), the consumptive use of already-introduced non-native species might help in containment and control of possible negative environmental impacts of non-native species on native species, ecosystems and biodiversity, and soil fertility and hydrology. Use of non-native species in food production should be accompanied by low cost agroecology practices (e.g. conservation agriculture and agrobiodiversity) that may promote the gradual recovery of natural capital, ecosystem services, and promote conservation of the natural environment as well as enhance food security.

Keywords: food security, invasive species, agroecology, agrobiodiversity, socio-economic stresses

Procedia PDF Downloads 266
2787 The Pitfalls of Short-Range Endemism: High Vulnerability to Ecological and Landscape Traps

Authors: Leanda Denise Mason, Philip William Bateman, Grant Wardell-Johnson


Ecological traps attract biota to low-quality habitats. Landscape traps are zones caught in a vortex of spiraling degradation. Here, we demonstrate how short-range endemic traits may make such taxa vulnerable to ecological and landscape traps. Three short-range endemic mygalomorph spider species were used in this study. Mygalomorphs can be long-lived ( > 40 years) and select sites for permanent burrows in their early dispersal phase. Spiderlings from two species demonstrated choice for microhabitats that correspond to where adults typically occur. An invasive veldt grass microhabitat was selected almost exclusively by spiderlings of the third species. Habitat dominated by veldt grass has lower prey diversity and abundance than undisturbed habitats and therefore acts as an ecological trap for this species. Furthermore, as a homogenising force, veldt grass can spread to form a landscape trap in naturally heterogeneous ecosystems. Selection of specialised microhabitats of short-range endemics may explain high extinction rates in old, stable landscapes undergoing (human-induced) rapid change.

Keywords: biotic homogenization, invasive species, mygalomorph, short-range endemic

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2786 Inhibitory Effects of Ambrosia trifida L. on the Development of Root Hairs and Protein Patterns of Radicles

Authors: Ji-Hyon Kil, Kew-Cheol Shim, Kyoung-Ae Park, Kyoungho Kim


Ambrosia trifida L. is designated as invasive alien species by the Act on the Conservation and Use of Biodiversity by the Ministry of Environment, Korea. The purpose of present paper was to investigate the inhibitory effects of aqueous extracts of A.trifida on the development of root hairs of Triticum aestivum L., and Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng and the electrophoretic protein patterns of their radicles. The development of root hairs was inhibited by increasing of aqueous extract concentrations. Through SDS-PAGE, the electrophoretic protein bands of extracted proteins from their radicles were appeared in controls, but protein bands of specific molecular weight disappeared or weakened in treatments. In conclusion, inhibitory effects of A. trifida made two receptor species changed morphologically, and at the molecular level in early growth stage.

Keywords: Ambrosia trifida L., invasive alien species, inhibitory effect, root hair, electrophoretic protein, radicle

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2785 Potential Impacts of Invasive House Crows (Corvus splendens) Bird Species in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt: Ecology, Control and Risk Management

Authors: Atef Mohamed Kamel Ahmed


House crows (Corvus splendens) have become well-established in Ismailia Governorate, Egypt, where they pose several and serious impacts on native biodiversity, ecosystems and humans health. However, there is a lack of literature on the status and effects of invasive birds in Egypt. Over the past 10 years in Ismailia, House crow have increased at a rate approaching (60000 birds)15% per annum; if this were allowed to continue, the population now 10909 birds and will exceed more by 2013, probably accompanied by an increase in geographical distribution in all Suez canal regions and an exacerbation of the problems caused. Population control is recommended, involving improvements in urban hygiene and the capture of adult crows using stupefying baits. Suitable baits and stupefacient doses were identified and these should be used annually, just before the breeding season. Control should be accompanied by studies of relevant aspects of the biology of house crows in Ismailia Governorate.

Keywords: environmental impact t, non-native invasive species, House crow birds, risk management, Ismailia-Egypt

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2784 Status of Alien Invasive Trees on the Grassland Plateau in Nyika National Park

Authors: Andrew Kanzunguze, Sopani Sichinga, Paston Simkoko, George Nxumayo, Cosmas, V. B. Dambo


Early detection of plant invasions is a necessary prerequisite for effective invasive plant management in protected areas. This study was conducted to determine the distribution and abundance of alien invasive trees in Nyika National Park (NNP). Data on species' presence and abundance were collected from belt transects (n=31) in a 100 square kilometer area on the central plateau. The data were tested for normality using the Shapiro-Wilk test; Mann-Whitney test was carried out to compare frequencies and abundances between the species, and geographical information systems were used for spatial analyses. Results revealed that Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii), Mexican Pine (Pinus patula) and Himalayan Raspberry (Rubus ellipticus) were the main alien invasive trees on the plateau. A. mearnsii was localized in the areas where it was first introduced, whereas P. patula and R. ellipticus were spread out beyond original points of introduction. R. ellipticus occurred as dense, extensive (up to 50 meters) thickets on the margins of forest patches and pine stands, whilst P. patula trees were frequent in the valleys, occurring most densely (up to 39 stems per 100 square meters) south-west of Chelinda camp on the central plateau with high variation in tree heights. Additionally, there were no significant differences in abundance between R. ellipticus (48) and P. patula (48) in the study area (p > 0.05) It was concluded that R. ellipticus and P. patula require more attention as compared to A. mearnsii. Howbeit, further studies into the invasion ecology of both P. patula and R. ellipticus on the Nyika plateau are highly recommended so as to assess the threat posed by the species on biodiversity, and recommend appropriate conservation measures in the national park.

Keywords: alien-invasive trees, Himalayan raspberry, Nyika National Park, Mexican pine

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2783 Evaluation of Invasive Tree Species for Production of Phosphate Bonded Composites

Authors: Stephen Osakue Amiandamhen, Schwaller Andreas, Martina Meincken, Luvuyo Tyhoda


Invasive alien tree species are currently being cleared in South Africa as a result of the forest and water imbalances. These species grow wildly constituting about 40% of total forest area. They compete with the ecosystem for natural resources and are considered as ecosystem engineers by rapidly changing disturbance regimes. As such, they are harvested for commercial uses but much of it is wasted because of their form and structure. The waste is being sold to local communities as fuel wood. These species can be considered as potential feedstock for the production of phosphate bonded composites. The presence of bark in wood-based composites leads to undesirable properties, and debarking as an option can be cost implicative. This study investigates the potentials of these invasive species processed without debarking on some fundamental properties of wood-based panels. Some invasive alien tree species were collected from EC Biomass, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. They include Acacia mearnsii (Black wattle), A. longifolia (Long-leaved wattle), A. cyclops (Red-eyed wattle), A. saligna (Golden-wreath wattle) and Eucalyptus globulus (Blue gum). The logs were chipped as received. The chips were hammer-milled and screened through a 1 mm sieve. The wood particles were conditioned and the quantity of bark in the wood was determined. The binding matrix was prepared using a reactive magnesia, phosphoric acid and class S fly ash. The materials were mixed and poured into a metallic mould. The composite within the mould was compressed at room temperature at a pressure of 200 KPa. After initial setting which took about 5 minutes, the composite board was demoulded and air-cured for 72 h. The cured product was thereafter conditioned at 20°C and 70% relative humidity for 48 h. Test of physical and strength properties were conducted on the composite boards. The effect of binder formulation and fly ash content on the properties of the boards was studied using fitted response surface technology, according to a central composite experimental design (CCD) at a fixed wood loading of 75% (w/w) of total inorganic contents. The results showed that phosphate/magnesia ratio of 3:1 and fly ash content of 10% was required to obtain a product of good properties and sufficient strength for intended applications. The proposed products can be used for ceilings, partitioning and insulating wall panels.

Keywords: invasive alien tree species, phosphate bonded composites, physical properties, strength

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2782 Effect of Climate Change on the Genomics of Invasiveness of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci Species Complex by Estimating the Effective Population Size via a Coalescent Method

Authors: Samia Elfekih, Wee Tek Tay, Karl Gordon, Paul De Barro


Invasive species represent an increasing threat to food biosecurity, causing significant economic losses in agricultural systems. An example is the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, which is a complex of morphologically indistinguishable species causing average annual global damage estimated at US$2.4 billion. The Bemisia complex represents an interesting model for evolutionary studies because of their extensive distribution and potential for invasiveness and population expansion. Within this complex, two species, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) have invaded well beyond their home ranges whereas others, such as Indian Ocean (IO) and Australia (AUS), have not. In order to understand why some Bemisia species have become invasive, genome-wide sequence scans were used to estimate population dynamics over time and relate these to climate. The Bayesian Skyline Plot (BSP) method as implemented in BEAST was used to infer the historical effective population size. In order to overcome sampling bias, the populations were combined based on geographical origin. The datasets used for this particular analysis are genome-wide SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) called separately in each of the following groups: Sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso), Europe (Spain, France, Greece and Croatia), USA (Arizona), Mediterranean-Middle East (Israel, Italy), Middle East-Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Iran) and Reunion Island. The non-invasive ‘AUS’ species endemic to Australia was used as an outgroup. The main findings of this study show that the BSP for the Sub-Saharan African MED population is different from that observed in MED populations from the Mediterranean Basin, suggesting evolution under a different set of environmental conditions. For MED, the effective size of the African (Burkina Faso) population showed a rapid expansion ≈250,000-310,000 years ago (YA), preceded by a period of slower growth. The European MED populations (i.e., Spain, France, Croatia, and Greece) showed a single burst of expansion at ≈160,000-200,000 YA. The MEAM1 populations from Israel and Italy and the ones from Iran and Turkmenistan are similar as they both show the earlier expansion at ≈250,000-300,000 YA. The single IO population lacked the latter expansion but had the earlier one. This pattern is shared with the Sub-Saharan African (Burkina Faso) MED, suggesting IO also faced a similar history of environmental change, which seems plausible given their relatively close geographical distributions. In conclusion, populations within the invasive species MED and MEAM1 exhibited signatures of population expansion lacking in non-invasive species (IO and AUS) during the Pleistocene, a geological epoch marked by repeated climatic oscillations with cycles of glacial and interglacial periods. These expansions strongly suggested the potential of some Bemisia species’ genomes to affect their adaptability and invasiveness.

Keywords: whitefly, RADseq, invasive species, SNP, climate change

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2781 Alien Plant Invasions Can Influence Global Warming by Accelerating Wetland Methane Emission, Terrestrial Methane Uptake and Terrestrial Nitrous Oxide Emission

Authors: Bahilu Bezabih, Weixin Ding, Junji Yuan, Deyan Liu, Zengming Chen, Jinhyun Kim, Hojeong Kang, Chris Freeman


Approximately 17% of the world's lands are considered highly vulnerable to alien plant invasion, which can dramatically alter carbon and nitrogen cycles and influence greenhouse-gas emissions in terrestrial and wetland ecosystems. Here, a dataset was compiled of 267 paired observational cases from 99 peer-reviewed articles and evaluate the effects of alien plant invasion on methane (CH₄) and nitrous oxide (N₂O) emissions using annual global net gas budgets for wetlands, grasslands, and forests. The average annual CH₄ emission rate in natural containing only native plant species was once 225 kg CH₄ ha⁻¹ but has increased to 412 kg CH₄ ha⁻¹ following displacement by invasive plants. The presence of invasive plants has increased annual atmospheric CH₄ uptake significantly from 2.14 kg CH₄ ha⁻¹ to 3.54 kg CH₄ ha⁻¹ in terrestrial ecosystems. Invasive plant species had no significant effect on annual N₂O emission rates from forest and wetland ecosystems but did cause a 70% increase in N₂O emissions from grassland ecosystems. The presence of the exotic plant's Spartina alterniflora, Phragmites australis, and Sonneratia apetala was associated with a severe increase in CH₄ emissions from wetlands. Conversely, Robinia pseudoacacia, Deschampsia flexuosa, and Eucalyptus urophylla were associated with an increase in atmospheric CH₄ uptake from forests, while S. apetala and Solidago canadensis stimulated N₂O emissions in wetlands and grassland ecosystems, respectively. Globally, annual CH₄ emissions from wetlands increased by 3.16 Tg CH₄ and atmospheric CH₄ uptake in forest and grassland ecosystems increased by 0.15 and 0.08 Tg CH₄, respectively, due to invasive plants. The cumulative increase in global annual N₂O emissions from wetland and terrestrial ecosystems under plant invasion is estimated to be 94.17 Tg N₂O. These findings suggest that alien plant invasion of wetland ecosystems would create a major additional source of CH₄ emission, while CH₄ uptake and N₂O emissions would markedly increase from invaded forest and grassland ecosystems, respectively.

Keywords: invasive species, native plant, methane, nitrous oxide, wetland ecosystem, terrestrial ecosystem

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2780 Acacia mearnsii De Wild-A New Scourge on Cork Oak Forests of El Kala National Park (North-Eastern Algeria)

Authors: Samir Chekchaki, ArifaBeddiar


Nowadays, more and more species are introduced outside their natural range. If most of them remain difficult, some may adopt a much more dynamic behavior. Indeed, we have witnessed in recent decades, the development of high forests of Acacia mearnsii in El Kala National Park. Introduced indefinitely, this leguminous intended to make money (nitrogen supply for industrial plantations of Eucalyptus), became one of the most invasive and more costly in terms of forest management. It has crossed all barriers: it has acclimatized, naturalized and then expanded through diverse landscapes; entry into competition with native species such as cork oak and altered ecosystem functioning. Therefore, it is interesting to analyze this new threat by relying on plants as bio-indicator for assessing biodiversity at different scales. We have identified the species present in several plots distributed in a range of vegetation types subjected to different degrees of disturbance by using the braun-blanquet method. Fifty-six species have been recorded. They are distributed in 48 genera and 29 families. The analysis of the relative frequency of species correlated with relative abundance clearly shows that the Acacia mearnsii feels marginalized. The ecological analysis of this biological invasion shows that disruption of either natural or anthropogenic origin (fire, prolonged drought, cut) represent the factors that exacerbate invasion by opening invasion windows. The lifting of seeds of Acacia mearnsii lasting physical dormancy (and variable) is ensured by the thermal shock in relation to its heliophilous character.

Keywords: Acacia mearnsii De Wild, El Kala National park, fire, invasive, vegetation

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2779 Microbiological Analysis of Soil from Onu-Ebonyi Contaminated with Inorganic Fertilizer

Authors: M. N. Alo, U. C. C. Egbule, J. O. Orji, C. J. Aneke


Microbiological analysis of soil from Onu-Ebonyi Izzi local government area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria contaminated with inorganic fertilizer was carried out with a view to determine the effect of the fertilizer on the microbial flora of the soil. soil samples were analyzed for microbial burden. the result showed that the following organisms were isolated with their frequency of their occurrence as follows:pseudomonas species (33.3%) and aspergillus species (54.4%) had the highest frequncy of occurence in the whole sample of batches, while streptococcus species had 6.0% and Geotrichum species (5.3%) had the least and other predominant microorganism isolated: bacillus species,staphylococcus species and vibrio species, Escherichia species, rhzizopus species, mucor species and fusaruim species. From the result, it could be concluded that the soil was contaminated and this could affect adversely the fertility of the soil .

Keywords: soil, bacteria, fungi, inorganic fertilizer, Onu- Ebonyi

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2778 A Non-Invasive Method for Assessing the Adrenocortical Function in the Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus)

Authors: V. W. Kamgang, A. Van Der Goot, N. C. Bennett, A. Ganswindt


The roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) is the second largest antelope species in Africa. These past decades, populations of roan antelope are declining drastically throughout Africa. This situation resulted in the development of intensive breeding programmes for this species in Southern African, where they are popular game ranching herbivores in with increasing numbers in captivity. Nowadays, avoidance of stress is important when managing wildlife to ensure animal welfare. In this regard, a non-invasive approach to monitor the adrenocortical function as a measure of stress would be preferable, since animals are not disturbed during sample collection. However, to date, a non-invasive method has not been established for the roan antelope. In this study, we validated a non-invasive technique to monitor the adrenocortical function in this species. Herein, we performed an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test at Lapalala reserve Wilderness, South Africa, using adult captive roan antelopes to determine the stress-related physiological responses. Two individually housed roan antelope (a male and a female) received an intramuscular injection with Synacthen depot (Norvatis) loaded into a 3ml syringe (Pneu-Dart) at an estimated dose of 1 IU/kg. A total number of 86 faecal samples (male: 46, female: 40) were collected 5 days before and 3 days post-injection. All samples were then lyophilised, pulverized and extracted with 80% ethanol (0,1g/3ml) and the resulting faecal extracts were analysed for immunoreactive faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) concentrations using five enzyme immunoassays (EIAs); (i) 11-oxoaetiocholanolone I (detecting 11,17 dioxoandrostanes), (ii) 11-oxoaetiocholanolone II (detecting fGCM with a 5α-pregnane-3α-ol-11one structure), (iii) a 5α-pregnane-3β-11β,21-triol-20-one (measuring 3β,11β-diol CM), (iv) a cortisol and (v) a corticosterone. In both animals, all EIAs detected an increase in fGCM concentration 100% post-ACTH administration. However, the 11-oxoaetiocholanolone I EIA performed best, with a 20-fold increase in the male (baseline: 0.384 µg/g, DW; peak: 8,585 µg/g DW) and a 17-fold in the female (baseline: 0.323 µg/g DW, peak: 7,276 µg/g DW), measured 17 hours and 12 hours post-administration respectively. These results are important as the ability to assess adrenocortical function non-invasively in roan can now be used as an essential prerequisite to evaluate the effects of stressful circumstances; such as variation of environmental conditions or reproduction in other to improve management strategies for the conservation of this iconic antelope species.

Keywords: adrenocorticotropic hormone challenge, adrenocortical function, captive breeding, non-invasive method, roan antelope

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2777 The Retrospective Investigation of the Impacts of Alien Taxa on Human Health: A Case Study of Two Poison Information Centers

Authors: Moleseng Claude Moshobane


Alien species cause considerable negative impacts on biodiversity, economy and public health. Impacts of alien species on public health have received a degree of attention worldwide, largely in developed countries, but scarce in developing countries. Here, we provide a review of human exposures and poisonings cases from native and alien plant species reported to poison information centers. A retrospective review of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre (TPIC) and Poisons Information Centre (PIC) at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital (RCWMCH) was conducted over approximately 2-year period (1 June 2015 through to 06 March 2017). Combined, TPIC and PIC handled 626 cases during the 2-year period. Toxicity cases were more abundant in Gauteng (47.1%), followed by Western Cape (29.4%). The primary mechanism of injury was ingestion (96.7%), and all cases were predominantly accidental. Most reported cases involved infants (20.6%), with few fully-grown adults related cases (5.8%). Adults presented minor to moderate toxicity, while infants none to minor toxicity. We conclude that reported toxicity cases on human health are biased towards few alien species and that several cases relate to unknown species of mushrooms. Public awareness is essential to reducing the poisoning incidences.

Keywords: alien species, poisoning, invasive species, public health

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2776 Invasion of Scaevola sericea (Goodeniaceae) in Cuba: Invasive Dynamic and Density-Dependent Relationship with the Native Species Tournefortia gnaphalodes (Boraginaceae)

Authors: Jorge Ferro-Diaz, Lazaro Marquez-Llauger, Jose Alberto Camejo-Lamas, Lazaro Marquez-Govea


The invasion of Scaevola sericea Vahl (Goodeniaceae) in Cuba is a recent process, this exotic invasive species was reported for the first time, in the national territory, by 2008. S. sericea is native to the coasts around the Indian Ocean and western Pacific, common on sandy beaches; it has expanded rapidly around the planet by either natural or anthropic causes, mainly due to its use in hotel gardening. Cuba is highly vulnerable to the colonization of these species, mainly due to tropical hurricanes which have increased in the last decades; it also affects other native species such as Tournefortia gnaphalodes (L.) R. Br. (Boraginaceae) that show invasive manifestations because of the unbalanced state of demographic processes of littoral vegetation, which has been studied by authors during the last 10 years. The fast development of Cuban tourism has encouraged the use of exotic species in gardening that invade large sectors of sandy coasts. Taking into account the importance of assessing the impacts dimensions and adopting effective control measures, a monitoring program for the invasion of S. sericea in Cuba was undertaken. The program has been implemented since 2013 and the main objective was to identify invasive patterns and interactions with other native species of coastal vegetation. This experience also aimed to validate the design and propose a standardized monitoring protocol to be applied throughout the country. In the Cuban territory, 12 sites were chosen, where there were established 24 permanent plots of 100 m2; measurements were taken twice a year taking into consideration variables such as abundance, plant height, soil cover, flora and companion vegetation, density and frequency; other physical variables of the beaches were also measured. Similarly, for associated individuals of T. gnaphalodes, the same variables were measured. The results of these first four years allowed us to document patterns of S. sericea invasion, highlighting the use of adventitious roots to enhance their colonization, and to characterize demographic indicators, ecosystem affections, and interactions with native plants. A density-dependent relationship with T. gnaphalodes was documented, finding a controlling effect on S. sericea, so that a manipulation experiment was applied to evaluate possible management actions to be incorporated in the Plans of the protected areas involved. With these results, it was concluded, for the evaluated sites, that S. sericea has had an invasion dynamics ruled by effects of coastal dynamics, more intense in beaches with affectations to the native vegetation, and more controlled in beaches with more preserved vegetation. It was found that when S. sericea is established, the mechanism that most reinforces its invasion is the use of adventitious roots, used to expand the patches and colonize beach sectors. It was also found that when the density of T. gnaphalodes increases, it detains the expansion of S. sericea and reduces its colonization possibilities, behaving as a natural controller of its biological invasion. The results include a proposal of a new Monitoring Protocol for Scaevola sericea in Cuba, with the possibility of extending its implementation to other countries in the region.

Keywords: biological invasion, exotic invasive species, plant interactions, Scaevola sericea

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2775 A Predator-Prey Model with Competitive Interaction amongst the Preys

Authors: Titus G. Kassem, Izang A. Nyam


A mathematical model is constructed to study the effect of predation on two competing species in which one of the competing species is a prey to the predator whilst the other species are not under predation. Conditions for the existence and stability of equilibrium solutions were determined. Numerical simulation results indicate the possibility of a stable coexistence of the three interacting species in form of stable oscillations under certain parameter values. We also noticed that under some certain parameter values, species under predation go into extinction.

Keywords: competition, predator-prey, species, ecology

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2774 Fatal Attractions: Exploiting Olfactory Communication between Invasive Predators for Conservation

Authors: Patrick M. Garvey, Roger P. Pech, Daniel M. Tompkins


Competition is a widespread interaction and natural selection will encourage the development of mechanisms that recognise and respond to dominant competitors, if this information reduces the risk of a confrontation. As olfaction is the primary sense for most mammals, our research tested whether olfactory ‘eavesdropping’ mediates alien species interactions and whether we could exploit our understanding of this behaviour to create ‘super-lures’. We used a combination of pen and field experiments to evaluate the importance of this behaviour. In pen trials, stoats (Mustela erminea) were exposed to the body odour of three dominant predators (cat / ferret / African wild dog) and these scents were found to be attractive. A subsequent field trial tested whether attraction displayed towards predator odour, particularly ferret (Mustela furo) pheromones, could be replicated with invasive predators in the wild. We found that ferret odour significantly improved detection and activity of stoats and hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus), while also improving detections of ship rats (Rattus rattus). Our current research aims to identify the key components of ferret odour, using chemical analysis and behavioural experiments, so that we can produce ‘scent from a can’. A lure based on a competitors’ odour would be beneficial in many circumstances including: (i) where individuals display variability in attraction to food lures, (ii) there are plentiful food resources available, (iii) new immigrants arrive into an area, (iv) long-life lures are required. Pest management can therefore benefit by exploiting behavioural responses to odours to achieve conservation goals.

Keywords: predator interactions, invasive species, eavesdropping, semiochemicals

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2773 Butterfly Diversity along Urban-Rural Gradient in Kolkata, India

Authors: Sushmita Chaudhuri, Parthiba Basu


Urbanization leads to habitat degradation and is responsible for the fast disappearance of native butterfly species. Random sampling of rural, suburban and urban sites in an around Kolkata metropolis revealed the presence of 28 species of butterfly belonging to 5 different families in winter (February-March). Butterfly diversity, species richness and abundance decreased with increase in urbanization. Psyche (Leptosia nina of family Pieridae) was the most predominant butterfly species found everywhere in Kolkata during the winter period. The most dominant family was Nymphalidae (11species), followed by Pieridae (6 species), Lycaenidae (5 species), Papilionidae (4 species) and Hesperiidae (2 species). The rural and suburban sites had butterfly species that were unique to those sites. Vegetation cover and flowering shrub density were significantly related to butterfly diversity.

Keywords: butterfly, Kolkata metropolis, Shannon-Weiner diversity index, species diversity

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2772 Computing the Similarity and the Diversity in the Species Based on Cronobacter Genome

Authors: E. Al Daoud


The purpose of computing the similarity and the diversity in the species is to trace the process of evolution and to find the relationship between the species and discover the unique, the special, the common and the universal proteins. The proteins of the whole genome of 40 species are compared with the cronobacter genome which is used as reference genome. More than 3 billion pairwise alignments are performed using blastp. Several findings are introduced in this study, for example, we found 172 proteins in cronobacter genome which have insignificant hits in other species, 116 significant proteins in the all tested species with very high score value and 129 common proteins in the plants but have insignificant hits in mammals, birds, fishes, and insects.

Keywords: genome, species, blastp, conserved genes, Cronobacter

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2771 Subtidal Crabs of Oman Sea: New Collections and Biogeographic Considerations

Authors: Negar Ghotbeddin, Seied Mohammad Reza Fatemi, Tooraj Valinassab


The samplings were carried out at 8 stations (Govatr, Pasabandar, Beriss, Ramin, Chabahar, Pozm, Gordim, and Meidani) in subtidal zones of Oman Sea during the year 2009-2010. The specimens were collected by trawl net and preserved in 70% alcohol. A total of 23 species belonged to 9 families and 15 genera were caught. The results of the present study revealed that families Portunidae had the highest species enriched with 9 species. Most of the species had high distribution in the west Indian Ocean (69.56%) and 8.69% of species were endemic. Almost species were similar to those found in the Persian Gulf.

Keywords: Brachyura, biogeography, subtidal, Oman Sea

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2770 Quality Assurance in Cardiac Disorder Detection Images

Authors: Anam Naveed, Asma Andleeb, Mehreen Sirshar


In the article, Image processing techniques have been applied on cardiac images for enhancing the image quality. Two types of methodologies considers for survey, invasive techniques and non-invasive techniques. Different image processes for improvement of cardiac image quality and reduce the amount of radiation exposure for invasive techniques are explored. Different image processing algorithms for enhancing the noninvasive cardiac image qualities are described. Beside these two methodologies, third methodology has applied on live streaming of heart rate on ECG window for extracting necessary information, removing noise and enhancing quality. Sensitivity analyses have been carried out to investigate the impacts of cardiac images for diagnosis of cardiac arteries disease and how the enhancement on images will help the cardiologist to diagnoses disease. The paper evaluates strengths and weaknesses of different techniques applied for improved the image quality and draw a conclusion. Some specific limitations must be considered for whole survey, like the patient heart beat must be 70-75 beats/minute while doing the angiography, similarly patient weight and exposure radiation amount has some limitation.

Keywords: cardiac images, CT angiography, critical analysis, exposure radiation, invasive techniques, invasive techniques, non-invasive techniques

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2769 Effects of Fire on Vegetation of the Prairies and Black Oak Sand Savannas of Kankakee, Illinois

Authors: Megan Alkazoff, Charles Ruffner


Tallgrass prairies and sand savannas, once covering northern to central Illinois, are ecosystems in need of restoration and conservation in the Midwestern United States. The Nature Conservancy manages five sites containing fragments of remaining tallgrass prairies and sand savannas within the Kankakee Sands using techniques such as prescribed burning and invasive species removal. The objective of this study was to conduct a ten-year resampling of transects established on these five sites during previous studies to assess whether the management tools applied there are helping maintain the tallgrass prairie and sand savannas. During the summer of 2020, permanent transect lines were sampled using a quadrat to determine the % Cover Class of each species rooted in the quadrat. Data gathered was analyzed using linear regression to illustrate the relationship between fire occurrence and species composition on the landscape. The fire frequency had a highly significant effect (P= 0.0025) on the species richness of all sites. The frequency of fire had a non-significant effect (P>0.05) on the Floristic Quality Index, percent C value 4-10, and bare-ground percentage of a site. These results suggest that fire on the landscape, both wild and prescribed, have increased biodiversity on all five sites but has not affected the Floristic Quality Index, percent C value 4-10, and the percentage of bare-ground on the sites.

Keywords: fire, floristic quality assessment, sand savanna, species richness, tallgrass prairie

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2768 Impacts of Environmental Science in Biodiversity Conservation

Authors: S. O. Ekpo


Environmental science deals with everyday challenges such as a cell for call for good and safe quality air, water, food and healthy leaving condition which include destruction of biodiversity and how to conserve these natural resources for sustainable development. Biodiversity or species richness is the sum of all the different species of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms leaving on earth and variety of habitats in which they leave. Human beings leave on plants and animals on daily basis for food, clothing, medicine, housing, research and trade or commerce; besides this, biodiversity serves to purify the air, water and land of contaminant, and recycle useful materials for continual use of man. However, man continual incessant exploitation and exploration has affected biodiversity negatively in many ways such habitant fragmentation and destruction, introduction of invasive species, pollution, overharvesting, prediction and pest control amongst others. Measures such as recycling material, establishing natural parks, sperm bank, limiting the exploitation of renewable resources to sustainable yield and urban and industrial development as well as prohibiting hunting endangered species and release of non native live forms into an area will go a long way towards conserving biodiversity for continues profitable yield.

Keywords: biodiversity, conservation, exploitation and exploration sustainable yield, recycling of materials

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2767 Study on Butterfly Visitation Patterns of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis as a Beneficial Plant for Butterfly Conservation

Authors: P. U. S. Peiris


The butterflies are ecologically very important insects. The adults generally feed on nectar and are important as pollinators of flowering plants. However, these pollinators are under threat with their habitat loss. One reason for habitat loss is spread of invasive plants. However, there are even beneficial exotic plants which can directly support for Butterfly Conservation Action Plan of Sri Lanka by attracting butterflies for nectar. Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) is an important nectar plant which attracts a diverse set of butterflies in higher number. It comprises a violet color inflorescence which last for about 37 hours where it attracted a peak of butterflies around 9.00am having around average of 15 butterflies. There were no butterflies in early and late hours where the number goes to very low values as 2 at 1.00pm. it was found that a diverse group of butterflies were attracted from around 15 species including 01 endemic species, 02 endemic subspecies and 02 vulnerable species. Therefore, this is a beneficial exotic plant that could be used in butterfly attraction and conservation however with adequate monitoring of the plant population.

Keywords: butterflies, exotic plants, pollinators, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.)

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2766 Palyno-Morphological Characteristics of Gymnosperm Flora of Pakistan and Its Taxonomic Implications with Light Microscope and Scanning Electron Microscopy Methods

Authors: Raees Khan, Sheikh Z. Ul Abidin, Abdul S. Mumtaz, Jie Liu


The present study is intended to assess gymnosperms pollen flora of Pakistan using Light Microscope (LM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) for its taxonomic significance in identification of gymnosperms. Pollens of 35 gymnosperm species (12 genera and five families) were collected from its various distributional sites of gymnosperms in Pakistan. LM and SEM were used to investigate different palyno-morphological characteristics. Five pollen types (i.e., Inaperturate, Monolete, Monoporate, Vesiculate-bisaccate, and Polyplicate) were observed. In equatorial view seven types of pollens were observed, in which ten species were sub-angular, nine species were triangular, six species were perprolate, three species were rhomboidal, three species were semi-angular, two species were rectangular and two species were prolate. While five types of pollen were observed in polar view, in which ten species were spheroidal, nine species were angular, eight were interlobate, six species were circular, and two species were elliptic. Eighteen species have rugulate and 17 species has faveolate ornamentation. Eighteen species have verrucate and 17 have gemmate type sculpturing. The data was analysed through cluster analysis. The study showed that these palyno-morphological features have significance value in classification and identification of gymnosperms. Based on these different palyno-morphological features, a taxonomic key was proposed for the accurate and fast identifications of gymnosperms from Pakistan.

Keywords: gymnosperms, palynology, Pakistan, taxonomy

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2765 Factors Associated with Commencement of Non-Invasive Ventilation

Authors: Manoj Kumar Reddy Pulim, Lakshmi Muthukrishnan, Geetha Jayapathy, Radhika Raman


Introduction: In the past two decades, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) emerged as one of the most important advances in the management of both acute and chronic respiratory failure in children. In the acute setting, it is an alternative to intubation with a goal to preserve normal physiologic functions, decrease airway injury, and prevent respiratory tract infections. There is a need to determine the clinical profile and parameters which point towards the need for NIV in the pediatric emergency setting. Objectives: i) To study the clinical profile of children who required non invasive ventilation and invasive ventilation, ii) To study the clinical parameters common to children who required non invasive ventilation. Methods: All children between one month to 18 years, who were intubated in the pediatric emergency department and those for whom decision to commence Non Invasive Ventilation was made in Emergency Room were included in the study. Children were transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and started on Non Invasive Ventilation as per our hospital policy and followed up in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Clinical profile of all children which included age, gender, diagnosis and indication for intubation were documented. Clinical parameters such as respiratory rate, heart rate, saturation, grunting were documented. Parameters obtained were subject to statistical analysis. Observations: Airway disease (Bronchiolitis 25%, Viral induced wheeze 22%) was a common diagnosis in 32 children who required Non Invasive Ventilation. Neuromuscular disorder was the common diagnosis in 27 children (78%) who were Intubated. 17 children commenced on Non Invasive Ventilation who later needed invasive ventilation had Neuromuscular disease. High frequency nasal cannula was used in 32, and mask ventilation in 17 children. Clinical parameters common to the Non Invasive Ventilation group were age < 1 year (17), tachycardia n = 7 (22%), tachypnea n = 23 (72%) and severe respiratory distress n = 9 (28%), grunt n = 7 (22%), SPO2 (80% to 90%) n = 16. Children in the Non Invasive Ventilation + INTUBATION group were > 3 years (9), had tachycardia 7 (41%), tachypnea 9(53%) with a male predominance n = 9. In statistical comparison among 3 groups,'p' value was significant for pH, saturation, and use of Ionotrope. Conclusion: Invasive ventilation can be avoided in the paediatric Emergency Department in children with airway disease, by commencing Non Invasive Ventilation early. Intubation in the pediatric emergency department has a higher association with neuromuscular disorders.

Keywords: clinical parameters, indications, non invasive ventilation, paediatric emergency room

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2764 Quantifying Product Impacts on Biodiversity: The Product Biodiversity Footprint

Authors: Leveque Benjamin, Rabaud Suzanne, Anest Hugo, Catalan Caroline, Neveux Guillaume


Human products consumption is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. However, few pertinent ecological indicators regarding product life cycle impact on species and ecosystems have been built. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies are well under way to conceive standardized methods to assess this impact, by taking already partially into account three of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment pressures (land use, pollutions, climate change). Coupling LCA and ecological data and methods is an emerging challenge to develop a product biodiversity footprint. This approach was tested on three case studies from food processing, textile, and cosmetic industries. It allowed first to improve the environmental relevance of the Potential Disappeared Fraction of species, end-point indicator typically used in life cycle analysis methods, and second to introduce new indicators on overexploitation and invasive species. This type of footprint is a major step in helping companies to identify their impacts on biodiversity and to propose potential improvements.

Keywords: biodiversity, companies, footprint, life cycle assessment, products

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