Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56254

Biological and Ecological Engineering

Use of Dendrochronology in Estimation of Creep Velocity and Its Dependence on the Bulk Density of Soils
Creep, being the main silt contributor to the rivers, is a slow, downhill flow of soils. The creep velocity is measured in millimeters to a couple of centimeters per year and is determined with the help of tilt caused by creep in the vertical objects and needs at least ten years to get a reliable creep velocity. This project was devised to calculate creep velocity using dendrochronology and looking for the difference of creep velocity registered by different trees on the same slope. It was concluded that dendrochronology provides a very reliable procedure of creep velocity estimation if ‘J’ shaped trees are studied for their horizontal movement and age. The age of these trees was measured using tree coring, and the horizontal movement was measured with a conventional tape. Using this procedure it does not require decades and additionally the data reveals the creep velocity for up to 150 years and even more instead of just a decade. It was also concluded that the creep velocity does not only depend on bulk density of soil hence no pronounced effect of bulk density was detected.
Appraisal of Conservation Strategies of Veligonda Forest Range of Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India
Veligonda and adjoining hill range spread along about 170 Km North to South in Kadapa and Nellore Districts stretching a little further into Prakasam District. The latitude in general ranges up to 1000m. The forests are generally dry deciduous type. Veligonda and adjoining hill ranges comprise of Palakonda, Seshachalam, Lankamala and the terminal part of Nallamalais from mid-region of Southern Eastern Ghats. The Veligonda range which separates the Nellore district from Kadapa and Kurnool is the backbone of the Eastern Ghats, starting from Nagari promontory in Chittoor district. It runs in a northerly direction along the western border of the Nellore district, with a raising elevation of 3,626 ft at Penchalakona in Raipur thaluk. Veligonda hill ranges are high in altitude and have deep valleys. Among the Veligondas range of hills the Durgam in Venkatagiri range and Penchalakona are the most prominent and are situated 914 meters above mean sea level. It has more than 3000 species of plants along with 500 animal species. The unique specialty of this region is the presence of Pterocarpus santalinus(endangered) and Santalum album (vulnerable). In the present study, an attempt is made to assess the efforts that are going on to conserve the biodiversity of flora and fauna of this region. Various conservation strategies were suggested to protect the biodiversity and richness of Veligonda forest, hill region of Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. The major threats and the reasons for the dwindling species richness are poor rainfall, adverse climatic conditions, robbery of Red sanders and poaching of animals by the local tribals. Efforts are to be made to conserve some of the animals by both in situ and ex-situ methods. More awareness is to be developed among the local communities who are dwelling in the vicinity and importance of conservation is to be emphasized to them. Anthropogenic attachments are to be made by introducing more numbers of sacred groves. Gross enforcement of law is to be made to protect the various forest resources in this area. The important species with the medicinal values are to be identified. It was found that two important wildlife sanctuaries named Sri Lankamalleswarawildlife sanctuary and Sripenusila Narasimha wildlife sanctuary are working for the comprehensive conservation of the environment in this area. Apart from this more than 38 important sacred grooves are there where the plants and animals are protected by local Yanadi and other communities.
Genetic Diversity Analysis in Ecological Populations of Persian Walnut
Juglans regia (L.) commonly known as Persian walnut of the genus Juglans L. (Juglandaceae) is one of the most important cultivated plant species due to its high-quality wood and edible nuts. The genetic diversity analysis is essential for conservation and management of tree species. Persian walnut is native from South-Eastern Europe to North-Western China through Tibet, Nepal, Northern India, Pakistan, and Iran. The species like Persian walnut, which has a wide range of geographical distribution, should harbor extensive genetic variability to adapt to environmental fluctuations they face. We aimed to study the population genetic structure of seven Persian walnut populations including three wild and four cultivated populations by using ISSR (Inter simple sequence repeats) and SRAP (Sequence related amplified polymorphism) molecular markers. We also aimed to compare the genetic variability revealed by ISSR neutral multilocus marker and rDNA ITS sequences. The studied populations differed in morphological features as the samples in each population were clustered together and were separate from the other populations. Three wild populations studied were placed close to each other. The mantel test after 5000 times permutation performed between geographical distance and morphological distance in Persian walnut populations produced significant correlation (r = 0.48, P = 0.002). Therefore, as the populations become farther apart, they become more divergent in morphological features. ISSR analysis produced 47 bands/ loci, while we obtained 15 SRAP bands. Gst and other differentiation statistics determined for these loci revealed that most of the ISSR and SRAP loci have very good discrimination power and can differentiate the studied populations. AMOVA performed for these loci produced a significant difference (< 0.05) supporting the above-said result. AMOVA produced significant genetic difference based on ISSR data among the studied populations (PhiPT = 0.52, P = 0.001). AMOVA revealed that 53% of the total variability is due to among population genetic difference, while 47% is due to within population genetic variability. The results showed that both multilocus molecular markers and ITS sequences can differentiate Persian walnut populations. The studied populations differed genetically and showed isolation by distance (IBD). ITS sequence based MP and Bayesian phylogenetic trees revealed that Iranian walnut cultivars form a distinct clade separated from the cultivars studied from elsewhere. Almost all clades obtained have high bootstrap value. The results indicated that a combination of multilpcus and sequencing molecular markers can be used in genetic differentiation of Persian walnut.
Species Diversity and Relative Abundance of Migratory Waterbirds in Abijata Lake, Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia
The aim of this study is to investigate the species diversity and relative abundance of migratory waterbirds in Abijata Lake, an Important Bird Area and potential Ramsar site located in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The study was carried out, using line transect method along the shoreline and open area of the Lake. The data was analyzed with different diversity indices; t-Test and descriptive statistics. Thirty-two migratory waterbird species grouped into twelve families consisting of globally threatened birds were identified and recorded. Family Scolopacidae (12 species) had the highest number of species. The lowest number of species was observed under the families Ciconidae, Accipitridae, Laridae and Falconidae with one species each. The recorded bird species comprised 19 Palearctic, 5 Intra-African, 2 local migrants as well as 6 resident Palearctic migratory waterbird species. The dry season had higher species diversity (H'=1.01) compared to the wet season (H'=0.76). The highest and lowest diversity of migratory waterbirds were recorded during January (H'= 1.28) and June (H'= 0.52), respectively. However, the highest evenness (E) of bird species was recorded during wet season (E=0.21) and lower during the dry season (E=0.09). The computed seasonal effect reveals that there is significant effect of seasons on species diversity (t=2.80, P < 0.05), but the effect of seasons on individuals of migratory bird species was not significant (t=1.42, P > 0.05). Even though Lake Abijata is the sanctuary of several migratory waterbirds, anthropogenic activities are rigorously threatening their survival. Therefore, it needs an urgent conservation concern.
Diversity and Ecology of the Aquatic Avifauna of the Wetland of Sebkhet Bazer Sakhra, South of Setif, Algeria
In order to estimate the evolution of the numbers of the aquatic avifauna and their seasonal variations in Sebkhet of Bazer-Sakhra (Site of the eco-complex wetlands of Setif) a monitoring realized during the period from September 2012 to August 2013 allowed to inventory 54 species are spread over 08 orders, 15 families, 34 genres. To follow the global dynamics and the seasonal distribution of species inventoried at Sebkhet Bazer, an analysis of the variation of the total workforce has been established by ecological indices. The autumn season includes the largest number of birds, it totals 3639 individuals. Accidental species are well represented at the autumn and spring seasons denote the interest of the site with respect to migration passages of aquatic birds. During the fall and spring, the Flamingo and the Belon Shelduck are the most abundant with respectively (500, 883) and (560, 1296) individuals. The ecological analysis of this stand showed us that the highest species richness is recorded in spring, (45 species) and the lowest value is obtained in summer it is 20 species.
Isolation of Bacterial Species with Potential Capacity for Siloxane Removal in Biogas Upgrading
Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMS) are a group of manmade silicone compounds widely used in household and industrial applications that end up on the biogas produced through the anaerobic digestion of organic matter in landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The presence of VMS during the biogas energy conversion can cause damage on the engines, reducing the efficiency of this renewable energy source. Non regenerative adsorption onto activated carbon is the most widely used technology to remove siloxanes from biogas, while new trends point out that biotechnology offers a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional technologies. The first objective of this research was to enrich, isolate and identify bacterial species able to grow using siloxane molecules as a sole carbon source: anoxic wastewater sludge was used as initial inoculum in liquid anoxic enrichments, adding D4 (as representative siloxane compound) previously adsorbed on activated carbon. After several months of acclimatization, liquid enrichments were plated onto solid media containing D4 and thirty-four bacterial isolates were obtained. 16S rRNA gene sequencing allowed the identification of strains belonging to the following species: Ciceribacter lividus, Alicycliphilus denitrificans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas citronellolis which are described to be capable to degrade toxic volatile organic compounds. Kinetic assays with 8 representative strains revealed higher cell growth in the presence of D4 compared to the control. Our second objective was to characterize the community composition and diversity of the microbial community present in the enrichments and to elucidate whether the isolated strains were representative members of the community or not. DNA samples were extracted, the 16S rRNA gene was amplified (515F & 806R primer pair), and the microbiome analyzed from sequences obtained with a MiSeq PE250 platform. Results showed that the retrieved isolates only represented a minor fraction of the microorganisms present in the enrichment samples, which were represented by Alpha, Beta, and Gamma proteobacteria as dominant groups in the category class thus suggesting that other microbial species and/or consortia may be important for D4 biodegradation. These results highlight the need of additional protocols for the isolation of relevant D4 degraders. Currently, we are developing molecular tools targeting key genes involved in siloxane biodegradation to identify and quantify the capacity of the isolates to metabolize D4 in batch cultures supplied with a synthetic gas stream of air containing 60 mg m⁻³ of D4 together with other volatile organic compounds found in the biogas mixture (i.e. toluene, hexane and limonene). The isolates were used as inoculum in a biotrickling filter containing lava rocks and activated carbon to assess their capacity for siloxane removal. Preliminary results of biotrickling filter performance showed 35% of siloxane biodegradation in a contact time of 14 minutes, denoting that biological siloxane removal is a promising technology for biogas upgrading.
The Effect of Season, Fire and Slope Position on Seriphium plumosum L. Forage Quality in South African Grassland Communities
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.
Assessing the Legacy Effects of Wildfire on Eucalypt Canopy Structure of South Eastern Australia
Fire-tolerant eucalypt forests are one of the major forest ecosystems of south-eastern Australia and thought to be highly resistant to frequent high severity wildfires. However, the impact of different severity wildfires on the canopy structure of fire-tolerant forest type is under-studied, and there are significant knowledge gaps in relation to the assessment of tree and stand level canopy structural dynamics and recovery after fire. Assessment of canopy structure is a complex task involving accurate measurements of the horizontal and vertical arrangement of the canopy in space and time. This study examined the utility of multitemporal, small-footprint lidar data to describe the changes in the horizontal and vertical canopy structure of fire-tolerant eucalypt forests seven years after wildfire of different severities from the tree to stand level. Extensive ground measurements were carried out in four severity classes to describe and validate canopy cover and height metrics as they change after wildfire. Several metrics such as crown height and width, crown base height and clumpiness of crown were assessed at tree and stand level using several individual tree top detection and measurement algorithm. Persistent effects of high severity fire 8 years after both on tree crowns and stand canopy were observed. High severity fire increased the crown depth but decreased the crown projective cover leading to more open canopy.
Impact of Land Ownership on Rangeland Condition in the Gauteng Province, South Africa
Rangelands are major feed resource for livestock farming in South Africa, despite being subjected to different forms of degradation. These forms of degradation are as a result of inappropriate veld and livestock management practices such as excessive stocking rates. While information on judicious veld management is available, adoption of appropriate practices is still unsatisfactory and seems to depend partly on the type of land ownership of farmers. The objectives of this study were to; (I) compare rangeland condition (species richness, basal cover, veld condition score, and herbaceous biomass) among three land ownership types (leased land, communal land and private land), and (II) determine the relationships between veld condition score (%) and herbaceous biomass (kg DM/ha) production. Vegetation was assessed at fifty farms under different land use types using nearest plant technique. Grass species composition and forage value were estimated using PROC FREQ procedure of SAS 9.3. A one-way ANOVA was used to determine significant differences (P < 0.05) in species richness, basal cover, veld condition (%) large stock units, grazing capacity and herbaceous biomass production among the three grazing systems. A total of 28 grass species were identified, of which 95% and 5% were perennials and annuals, respectively. The most commonly distributed and highly palatable grass species, Digitaria eriantha had significantly higher frequency under private owned lands (32.3 %) compared to communal owned lands (12.3%). There were no significant difference on grass species richness and basal cover among land ownership types (P > 0.05). There were significant differences on veld condition score and biomass production (P < 0.05). Private lands had significantly higher (69.63%) veld condition score than leased (56.07%) and communal lands (52.55%). Biomass production was significantly higher (± S.E.) 2990.30 ± 214 kg DM/ha on private owned lands, compared to leased lands 2069.85 ± 196 kg DM/ha and communal lands 1331.04 ± 102 kg DM/ha. Biomass production was positively correlated with rangeland condition (r = 0.895; P < 0.005). These results suggest that rangeland conditions on communal and leased lands are in poor condition than those on private lands. More research efforts are needed to improve management of rangelands in communal and leased land in Gauteng province.
Impact of Nitrogen Fertilization on Soil Respiration and Net Ecosystem Production in Maize
Agriculture in the semi-arid is often challenged by overuse of N, inadequate soil water, and heavy carbon emissions thereby threatening sustainability. Field experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of nitrogen fertilization levels (0-N₀, 100-N₁₀₀, 200-N₂₀₀, and 300 kg ha⁻¹-N₃₀₀) on soil water dynamics, soil respiration (Rs), net ecosystem production (NEP), and biomass yield. Zero nitrogen soils decreased Rs by 23% and 16% compared to N₃₀₀ and N₂₀₀ soils, respectively. However, biomass yield was greatest under N₃₀₀ compared with N₀, which therefore translated into increased net primary production (NPP) by 89% and NEP by 101% compared to N₀. To a lesser extent, N₂₀₀ increased net primary production by 69% and net ecosystem production by 79% compared to N₀. Grain yields were greatest under N₃₀₀ compared with N₁₀₀ and N₀, which therefore translated into increased carbon emission efficiency (CEE) by 53%, 39% and 3% under N₃₀₀ compared to N₀, N₁₀₀, and N₂₀₀ treatments respectively. Under the conditions of this study, crop yield and CEE may be optimized at nitrogen application rates in the range of 200-300 kg ha⁻¹. Based on these results, there appears potential for 200 kg N ha⁻¹ to be used to improve yield and increase CEE in the context of the rainfall-limiting environment.
The Preliminary Exposition of Soil Biological Activity, Microbial Diversity and Morpho-Physiological Indexes of Cucumber under Interactive Effect of Allelopathic Garlic Stalk: A Short-Term Dynamic Response in Replanted Alkaline Soil
Background and Aims: In recent years, protected cultivation trend, especially in the northern parts of China, spread dynamically where production area, structure, and crops diversity have expanded gradually under plastic greenhouse vegetable cropping (PGVC) system. Under this growing system, continuous monoculture with excessive synthetic fertilizers inputs are common cultivation practices frequently adopted by commercial producers. Such long-term cumulative wild exercise year after year sponsor the continuous cropping obstacles in PGVC soil, which have greatly threatened the regional soil eco-sustainability and further impose the continuous assault on soil ecological diversity leading to the exhaustion of agriculture productivity. The aim of this study was to develop new allelopathic insights by exploiting available biological resources in the favor of sustainable PGVC to illuminate the continuous obstacle factors in plastic greenhouse. Method: A greenhouse study was executed under plastic tunnel located at the Horticulture Experimental Station of the College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi Province, one of the prominent regions for intensive commercial PGVC in China. Post-harvest garlic residues (stalk, leaves) mechanically smashed, homogenized into powder size and incorporated at the ratio of 1:100; 3:100; 5:100 as a soil amendment in a replanted soil that have been used for continuous cucumber monoculture for 7 years (annually double cropping system in a greenhouse). Results: Incorporated C-rich garlic stalk significantly influenced the soil condition through various ways; organic matter decomposition and mineralization, moderately adjusted the soil pH, enhanced the soil nutrient availability, increased enzymatic activities, and promoted 20% more cucumber yield in short-time. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal 18S rDNA genes, the current study revealed that addition of garlic stalk/residue could also improve the microbial abundance and community composition in extensively exploited soil, and contributed in soil functionality, caused prosper changes in soil characteristics, reinforced to good crop yield. Conclusion: Our study provided evidence that addition of garlic stalk as soil fertility amendment is a feasible, cost-effective and efficient resource utilization way for renovation of degraded soil health, ameliorate soil quality components and improve ecological environment in short duration. Our study may provide a better scientific understanding for efficient crop residue management typically from allelopathic source.
Characteristics of Butterfly Communities according to Habitat Types of Jeongmaek in Korea
This study was conducted to investigate the characteristics of butterfly communities according to the habitat characteristics of Korean veins. The survey sites were 12 mountains located in the vein, and 12~30 quadrats (200 in total) were set. The species richness and biodiversity were different according to land use type. Two types of land use (forest and graveyard) showed lower species diversity index values ​​than other land use types. The species abundance was low in the forest and graveyards, and grasslands, forest tops, cultivated areas and urban areas showed relatively high species richness. The altitude was not statistically significant with the number of species of butterflies and biodiversity index. The degree of canopy closure showed a negative correlation. As a result of interspecific correlation analysis, it was confirmed that there was a very high correlation (R2=0.746) between Lycaena phlaeas and Pseudozizeeria maha argia, Choaspes benjaminii japonica and Argyronome ruslana.
Credit Cooperatives: A Factor for Improving the Sustainable Management of Private Forests
Cooperatives are present in all countries and in almost all sectors, including agriculture, forestry, food, finance, health, marketing, insurance and credit. Strong cooperatives are able to overcome many of the difficulties faced by private owners. Cooperatives use seven principles, including the 'Community Concern" principle, which enables cooperatives to work for the sustainable development of the community. The members of cooperatives may use different systems for generating year-round employment and for receiving sustainable income through performing different forestry activities. Various methods are used during the preparation of the report. These include literature reviews, statistics, secondary data and expert interviews. The members of the cooperatives are benefits exclusively from increasing the efficiency of the various products and from the overall yield of the harvest, and ultimately from achieving better profit through cooperative efforts. Cooperatives also use other types of activities that are an additional opportunity for cooperative income. There are many heterogeneous activities in the production and service sectors of the forest cooperatives under consideration. Some cooperatives serve dairies, distilleries, woodworking enterprises, tourist homes, hotels and motels, shops, ski slopes, sheep breeding, etc. Through the revenue generated by the activity, cooperatives have the opportunity to carry out various environmental and protective activities - recreation, water protection, protection of endangered and endemic species, etc., which in the case of small-scale forests cannot be achieved and the management is not sustainable. The conclusions indicate the results received in the analysis. Cooperative management of forests and forest lands gives higher incomes to individual owners. The management of forests and forest lands through cooperatives helps to carry out different environmental and protective activities. Cooperative forest management provides additional means of subsistence to the owners of poor forest lands. Cooperative management of forests and forest lands support owners to implement the forest management plans and to apply sustainable management of these territories.
Economic Perspectives for Agriculture and Forestry Owners in Bulgaria
These factors appear as a reason for difficulties in financing from programs for rural development of the European Union. Credit conditions for commercial banks are difficult to implement, and its interest rate is too high. One of the possibilities for short-term loans at preferential conditions for the small and medium-sized agricultural and forest owners is credit cooperative. After the changes, occurred in the country after 1990, the need to restore credit cooperatives raised. The purpose for the creation of credit cooperatives is to assist private agricultural and forest owners to take care for them, to assist in the expansion and strengthening of their farms, to increase the quality of life and to improve the local economy. It was found that: in Bulgaria there is a legal obstacle for credit cooperatives to expand their business in the deposit and lending sphere; private forest and agricultural owners need small loans to solve a small problem for a certain season; providing such loans is not attractive for banks, but it is extremely necessary for owners of small forests and lands; if a special law on credit cooperatives is adopted, as required by the Cooperatives Act, it will allow more local people to be members of such credit structures and receive the necessary loans. In conclusion, proposals to create conditions for the development of credit cooperatives in the country are made and positive results expected from the creation of credit cooperatives, are summarized.
Evaluation and Selection of Elite Jatropha Genotypes for Biofuel
Jatropha curcas L., a drought tolerant and monoecious perennial shrub, has received attention worldwide during the past decade. Realizing the facts, the Indonesian government has decided to option for Jatropha and palm oil for in country biofuel production. To support the program development of high yielding jatropha varieties is necessary. This paper reviews Jatropha improvement program in Indonesia using mass selection and hybrid development. To start with, at the end of 2005, in-country germplasm collection was mobilized to Lampung and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) provinces and successfully collected 15 provenances/sub-provenances which serves as a base population for selection. A significant improvement has been achieved through a simple recurrent breeding selection during 2006 to 2007. Seed yield productivity increased more than double, from 0.36 to 0.97 ton dry seed per hectare during the first selection cycle (IP-1), and then increased to 2.2 ton per hectare during the second cycles (IP-2) in Lampung provenance. Similar result was also observed in NTB provenance. Seed yield productivity increased from 0.43 ton to 1 ton dry seed per hectare in the first cycle (IP-1), and then 1.9 ton in the second cycle (IP-2). In 2008, the population IP-3 resulted from the third cycle of selection have been identified which were capable of producing 2.2 to 2.4 ton seed yield per hectare. To improve the seed yield per hectare, jatropha hybrid varieties was developed involving superior provenances. As a result a Jatropha Energy Terbarukan (JET) variety-2 was released in 2017 with seed yield potential of 2.6 ton per hectare. The use of this high yielding genotypes for biofuel is discussed.
Economic Analysis, Growth and Yield of Grafting Tomato Varieties for Solanum torvum as a Rootstock
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is potential vegetables to develop, because it has high economic value and has the potential to be exported. There is a decrease in tomato productivity due to unfavorable growth conditions such as bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, high humidity, high temperature and inappropriate production technology. Grafting technology is one alternative technology. In addition to being able to control the disease in the soil, grafting is also able to increase the growth and yield of production. Besides, it is also necessary to know the economic benefits if using grafting technology. A promising eggplant rootstock for tomato grafting is Solanum torvum. S. torvum is selected as a rootstock with high compatibility. The purpose of this research is to know the effect of grafting several varieties of tomatoes with Solanum torvum as a rootstock. The experiment was conducted in Agricultural Extension Center Pare. Experimental Garden of Pare Kediri sub-district from July to early December 2016. The materials used were tomato Cervo varieties, Karina, Timoty, and Solanum torvum. Economic analysis, growth, and yield including plant height, number of leaves, percentage of disease and tomato production were used as performance measures. The study showed that grafting tomato Timoty scion with Solanum torvum as rootstock had higher production. Financially, grafting tomato Timoty and Cervo scion had higher profit about. 28,6% and 16,3% compared to Timoty and Cervo variety treatment without grafting.
Taxonomic Study and Environmental Ecology of Parrot (Rose Ringed) in City Mirpurkhas, Sindh, Pakistan
The Parrot rose ringed (Psittaculla krameri) commonly known as Tota, belongs to the order ‘Psittaciformes’ and family ‘Psittacidea’. Its sub-species inhabiting Pakistan are Psittaculla borealis. The parrot rose-ringed has been categorized the least concern species, the core aim of the present study is to investigate the ecology and taxonomy of parrot (rose-ringed). Sampling was obtained for the taxonomic identification from various adjoining areas in City Mirpurkhas by non-random method, which was conducted from Feb to June 2017. The different parameters measured with the help of a vernier caliper, foot scale, digital weighing machine. Body parameters were measured via; length of body, length of the wings, length of tail, mass in grams. During present study, a total number of 36 specimens were collected from different localities of City Mirpurkhas (38.2%) were male and (62.7%) were female. Maximum population density of Psittaculla Krameri borealis (52.9%) was collected from Sindh Horticulture Research Station (fruit farm) Mirpurkhas. Minimum no: of Psittaculla krameri borealis (5.5%) collected in urban parks. It was observed that Psittaculla krameri borealis were in dense population during the months of ‘May’ and ‘June’ when the temperature ranged between 20°C and 45°C. A Psittaculla krameri borealis female was found the heaviest in body weight. The species of parrot (rose ringed) captured during study having green plumage, coverts were gray, upper beak, red and lower beak black, shorter tail in female long tail in the male which was similar to the Psittaculla krameri borealis.
Identification of Factors Affecting Technical Efficiency Sugar Cane Farming in East Java
This research aims to identify the factors that affect the production of sugar cane, the level of technical efficiency of farming sugar cane ratooning and factors that affect technical inefficiency. Research carried out in Malang of East Java with sampling in a non random sampling stratified proportioned and obtained 172 household sugar cane farmers who are classified based on the level of ratooning i.e. ratooning I 3-4 times ratoning, ratooning II 5-10 times ratoning as well as ratooning III > 10 times ratoning. The method used is the Stochastic Production Frontier approach MLE (maximum likelihood estimation). From the results obtained by analysis of the factors affecting the production of sugar cane farming land, namely ratooning fertilizer use ZA petroganic, use of fertilizer and seeds of embroidery and labor. While the average level of sugar cane farmers ratooning efficiency of 0.78 and categorized yet efficient technically. For the factors that influence the technical inefficiency i.e. age, number of dependents and the frequency of family ratooning. Though not yet technically efficient but sugar cane farmers cultivate cultivation remains ratooning. But if it is done repeatedly ratooning will result in a decrease in the production of sugar cane. Whereas the results of the analysis of farming level of feasibility or RC ratooning sugar cane ratio of 1.15 so worth trying to accomplish. Thus with increased technology and combining the use of inputs is an attempt to let the technical efficiency can be achieved so that the more worthy to be organised.
Characteristics of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) Flour on the Soaking Time of Peeled Grains and Particle Size Treatment
Sorghum bicolor (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) has the potential as a flour for gluten-free food products. Sorghum flour production needs grain soaking treatment. Soaking can reduce the tannin content which is an anti-nutrient, so it can increase the protein digestibility. Fine particle size decreases the yield of flour, so it is necessary to study various particle sizes to increase the yield. This study aims to determine the characteristics of sorghum flour in the treatment of soaking peeled grain and particle size. The material of white sorghum varieties KD-4 from farmers in East Java, Indonesia. Factorial randomized factorial design (two factors), repeated three times, factor I were the time of grain soaking (five levels) that were 0, 12, 24, 36, and 48 hours, factor II was the size of the starch particles sifted with a fineness level of 40, 60, 80, and 100 mesh. The method of making sorghum flour is grain peeling, soaking peeled grain, drying using the oven at 60ᵒC, milling, and sieving. Physico-chemical analysis of sorghum flour. The results show that there is an interaction between soaking time of grain with the size of sorghum flour particles. Interaction in yield of flour, L* color (brightness level), whiteness index, paste properties, amylose content, protein content, bulk density, and protein digestibility. The method of making sorghum flour through the soaking of peeled grain and the difference in particle size has an important role in producing the physicochemical properties of the specific flour. Based on the characteristics of sorghum flour produced, it is determined the method of making sorghum flour through sorghum grain soaking for 24 hours, the particle size of flour 80 mesh. The sorghum flour with characteristic were 24.88% yield of flour, 88.60 color L* (brightness level), 69.95 whiteness index, 3615 Cp viscosity, 584.10 g/l of bulk density, 24.27% db protein digestibility, 90.02% db starch content, 23.4% db amylose content, 67.45% db amylopectin content, 0.22% db crude fiber content, 0.037% db tannin content, 5.30% db protein content, ash content 0.18% db, carbohydrate content 92.88 % db, and 1.94% db fat content. The sorghum flour is recommended for cookies products.
White-Rot Hymenomycetes as Oil Palm Log Treatments: Accelerating Biodegradation of Basal Stem Rot-Affected Oil Palm Stumps
Sustainability of oil palm production in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, is jeopardized by Ganoderma boninense, the fungus which causes basal stem rot (BSR) in oil palm. The root contact with unattended infected debris left in the plantations during replanting is known to be the primary source of inoculum. Abiding by the law, potentially effective technique of managing Ganoderma infected oil palm debris is deemed necessary because of the zero-burning policy in Malaysian oil palm plantations. White-rot hymenomycetes antagonistic to Ganoderma sp were selected to test their efficacy as log treatments in degrading Ganoderma infected oil palm logs and to minimize the survival of Ganoderma inoculum. Decay rate in terms of mass loss was significantly higher after the application of solid-state cultivation (SSC) of Trametes lactinea FBW (64% ±1.2), followed by Pycnoporus sanguineus FBR (55% ±1.7) in infected log block tissues, after 10 months of treatments. The degradation pattern was clearly distinguished between the treated and non-treated log blocks with the developed SSC formulations. The control infected log blocks showed the highest, whereas infected log blocks treated with either P. sanguineus FBR or T. lactinea FBW SSC formulations exhibited statistically lowest number of Ganoderma spp. recovery on Ganoderma Selective Medium (GSM), after 8 months of treatment. Out of that, the lowest recovery of Ganoderma spp. was reported in infected log blocks inoculated with the strain T. lactinea FBW (21% ± 0.9) followed by P. sanguineus FBR (33% ± 2.2), after 8 months, Further, no recovery of Ganoderma was noticeable, 10 months after treatment applications in log blocks treated with both of the formulations. This is the first nursery-base study to substantiate the initial colonization of white-rot hymenomycetes on oil palm log blocks previously infected with BSR pathogen, G. boninense. The present study has indicated that log blocks treatment with white-rot hymenomycetes significantly affected the mass loss of diseased and healthy log block tissues. This study provides a basis of biotechnological approaches inefficient degradation of oil palm-generated crop debris, under natural conditions with an ultimate aim of reducing the Ganoderma inoculum under heavy BSR infection pressure in eco-friendly manner.
Variation of Litter Chemistry under Intensified Drought: Consequences on Flammability
Mediterranean plant species feature numerous metabolic and morpho-physiological responses crucial to survive under both, typical Mediterranean drought conditions and future aggravated drought expected by climate change. Whether these adaptive responses will, in turn, increase the ecosystem perturbation in terms of fire hazard, is an issue that needs to be addressed. The aim of this study was to test whether recurrent and aggravated drought in the Mediterranean area favors the accumulation of waxes in leaf litter, with an eventual increase of litter flammability. The study was conducted in 2017 in a garrigue in Southern France dominated by Quercus coccifera, where two drought treatments were used: a treatment with recurrent aggravated drought consisting of ten rain exclusion structures which withdraw part of the annual precipitation since January 2012, and a natural drought treatment where Q. coccifera stands are free of such structures and thus grow under natural precipitation. Waxes were extracted with organic solvent and analyzed by GC-MS and litter flammability was assessed through measurements of the ignition delay, flame residence time and flame intensity (flame height) using an epiradiator as well as the heat of combustion using an oxygen bomb calorimeter. Results show that after 5 years of rain restriction, wax content in the cuticle of leaf litter increases significantly compared to shrubs growing under natural precipitation, in accordance with the theoretical knowledge which expects increases of cuticle waxes in green leaves in order to limit water evapotranspiration. Wax concentrations were also linearly and positively correlated to litter flammability, a correlation that lies on the high flammability own to the long-chain alkanes (C25-C31) found in leaf litter waxes. This innovative investigation shows that climate change is likely to favor ecosystem fire hazard through accumulation of highly flammable waxes in litter. It also adds valuable information about the types of metabolites that are associated with increasing litter flammability, since so far, within the leaf metabolic profile, only terpene-like compounds had been related to plant flammability.
Microbes at Work: An Assessment on the Use of Microbial Inoculants in Reforestation and Rehabilitation of the Forest Ancestral Land of Magbukun Aytas of Morong, Bataan, Philippines
A technology impact assessment on the use of microbial inoculants in the reforestation and rehabilitation of forest ancestral lands of the Magbukün Aytas in Morong, Bataan was conducted. This two-year rainforestation technology aimed to determine the optimum condition for the improvement of seedling survival rate in the nursery and in the field to hasten the process of forest regeneration of Magbukün Ayta’s ancestral land. A combination of qualitative methods (key informant interviews, focus groups and participant observation), participated by the farmers who were directly involved in the project, community men and women, the council of elders and the project staff, was employed to complete this impact assessment. The recorded data were transcribed, and the accounts were broadly categorized on the following aspects: social (gender, institutional, anthropological), economic and environmental. The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) framework was primarily used for the impact analysis while the Harvard Analytical Framework was specifically used for the gender impact analysis. Through this technology, a wildling nursery with more than one thousand seedlings was successfully established and served as a good area for the healthy growth of seedlings that would be planted in the forest. Results showed that this technology affected positively and negatively the various gender roles present in the community although household work remained to be the women’s responsibility. The technology introduced directly added up to the workload done by the men and women (preparing and applying fertilizer, making pots etc.) but this, in turn, provided ways to increase their sources of livelihood. The gender roles that were already present were further strengthened after the project and men remained to be in control. The technology or project in turn also benefited from the already present roles since they no longer have to assign things to them, the execution of the various roles was smoothly executed. In the anthropological aspect, their assigned task to manage the nursery was an easy responsibility because of their deep connection to the environment and their fear and beliefs on ‘engkato’ and ‘anito’ was helpful in guarding the forest. As the cultural value of these trees increases, their mindset of safeguarding the forest also heightens. Meanwhile, the welfare of the whole tribe is the ultimate determinant of the swift entry of projects. The past institutions brought ephemeral reliefs on the subsistence of the Magbukün Aytas. These were good ‘conditioning’ factors for the adoption of the technology of the project. As an attempt to turn away from the dependent of harmful chemical, the project’s way of introducing organic inputs was slowly gaining popularity in the community. Economically, the project was able to provide additional income to the farmers. However, the slow mode of payment dismayed other farmers and abandoned their roles. Lastly, major environmental effects weren’t that much observed after the application of the technology. The minor effects concentrated more on the improved conditions of the soil and water in the community. Because of the introduced technology, soil conditions became more favorable specifically for the species that were planted. The organic fertilizers used were in turn not harmful for the residents living in Sitio Kanawan. There were no human diseases caused by the technology. The conservation of the biodiversity of the forest is clearly the most evident long-term result of the project.
Combating Illegal Logging in Malaysia: Policies and Strategies under National Forestry Act (NFA) 1984
The National Forestry Act (NFA) 1984 is the primary forest law that regulates forest-related activities in Peninsular Malaysia. In the 1990s, abundance of illegal logging cases have called for legislative reform of the NFA 1984. As a result, NFA 1984 was amended in 1993 with the principal goal of controlling illegal forest encroachment in the forms of illegal logging, unauthorized harvesting, unlicensed forest settlement and other forms of unlawful activities. At a conceptual level, this paper discusses the policies and strategies implemented under the NFA 1984 (Amendment 1993) that are dedicated to overcome illegal logging. Then, the policies and strategies employed are reviewed and evaluated. Next, this paper conceptually discusses the loopholes of NFA 1984 (Amendment 1993) in relation to aspects where the regulation is considered insufficient to curb illegal logging. In the final section, vital actions and suggested improvements to improve the overall effectiveness of NFA 1984 (Amendment 1993) are examined.
Enforcement against Illegal Logging: Issues and Challenges
Sustainable forest management and forest protection can be hampered by illegal logging. Illegal logging is not uncommon in many wood-producing countries. Hence, law enforcement, especially in timber-producing countries, is crucial in ensuring compliance with forestry related regulations, as well as confirming that all parties obey the rules and regulations prescribed by the authorities. However, enforcement officers are encountering various challenges and difficulties which have undermined the enforcement capacity and efficiency. The appropriate policy responses for these issues are important to resolve the problems in the long term and empowering enforcement capacity to meet future challenges of forest law enforcement. This paper is written according to extensive review of the articles and publications by The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Chatham House and The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Subsequently, various books and journal articles are reviewed to gain further insight towards enforcement issues and challenges. This paper identifies several issues which consist of (1) insufficient enforcement capacity and resources (2) lack of coordination between various enforcement agencies, (3) corruption in the government and private sectors and (4) unclear legal frameworks related to the forestry sector. Next, this paper discusses appropriate policy responses to address each enforcement challenges according to various publications. This includes specific reports concerning forest law enforcement published by international forestry-related organizations. Therefore, lack of resources, inadequate synchronization between agencies, corruption, and legal issues present challenges to enforcement officers in their daily routines. Recommendations regarding proper policy responses to overcome the issues are of great importance in assisting forest authorities in prioritizing their resources appropriately.
Evaluation of Adaptive Fitness of Indian Teak (Tectona grandis L. F.) Metapopulation through Inter Simple Sequence Repeat Markers
Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) belonging to plant family Lamiaceae and the most commercialized timber species is endemic to South-Asia. The adaptive fitness of the species metapopulation was evaluated through its genetic differentiation and assessing the influence of geo-climatic conditions. 290 genotypes were sampled from 29 locations of its natural distribution and the genetic data was incorporated with geo-climatic parameters. Through Bayesian approach based analysis of 43 highly polymorphic ISSR markers, six homogeneous clusters (0.8% genetic variability) were identified. The six clusters were found with the various regimes of the temperature range, i.e., I - 9.10±1.35⁰C, II -6.35±0.21⁰C, III -12.21±0.43⁰C, IV - 10.8±1.06⁰C, V - 11.67±3.04⁰C, and VI - 12.35±0.21⁰C. The population had a very high percentage of LD (21.48%) among the amplified loci possibly due to experiencing restricted gene flow as well as co-adaptation and association of distant/diverse loci/alleles as a result of the stabilized climatic conditions and countless cycles of historical recombination events on a large geological timescale. The same possibly accounts for the narrow distribution of teak as a climax species in the tropical deciduous forests of the country. The regions of strong LD in teak genome significantly associated with climatic parameters also reflect that the species is tolerant to the wide regimes of the temperature range and may possibly withstand global warming and climate change in the coming millennium.
Study of Toxic Effect and Anti-Oxidative Activity of B-Amidophosphonates
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have a high potential to damage almost all types of cellular components of the body, which explains their involvement in the induction and/ or amplification of several pathologies. Supplementation of the body by exogenous antioxidants is very useful against these harmful species. In this context, we attempted to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities of three newly synthesized amino phosphonates (AP1, AP2, and AP3). The results relating to the in vitro tests for DPPH radical scavenging activity shows that these amino phosphonates have a modest antiradical power (ARP) less effectively pronounced compared with an analog marketed in Algeria: (Dursban) Clorpiryphos ethyl. However, in vivo effects were evaluated on some antioxidant systems (LP intensity, CAT activity, and GSH content), or in combination with 2, 2-diphenyl-picrylhydrazyle (DPPH) radical in paramecium tetraurelia used as a complementary system to rapidly elucidate the cytotoxicity. On the basis of the results obtained it can be concluded that amino phosphonates studied exhibited a mild protective effect. The mechanism for how they influenced the antioxidant activities was discussed.
Creation of a Test Machine for the Scientific Investigation of Chain Shot
Timber harvesting increasingly involves mechanized equipment. This has increased the efficiency of harvesting, but has also introduced worker-safety concerns. One such concern arises from the use of harvesters. During operation, harvesters subject saw chain to large dynamic mechanical stresses. These stresses can, under certain conditions, cause the saw chain to fracture. The high speed of harvester saw chain can cause the resulting open chain loop to fracture a second time due to the dynamic loads placed upon it as it travels through space. If a second fracture occurs, it can result in a projectile consisting of one-to-several chain links. This projectile is referred to as a chain shot. It has speeds similar to a bullet but typically has greater mass and is a significant safety concern. Numerous examples exist of chain shots penetrating bullet-proof barriers and causing severe injury and death. Improved harvester-cab barriers can help prevent injury however a comprehensive scientific understanding of chain shot is required to consistently reduce or prevent it. Obtaining this understanding requires a test machine with the capability to cause chain shot to occur under carefully controlled conditions and accurately measure the response. Worldwide few such test machine exist. Those that do focus on validating the ability of barriers to withstand a chain shot impact rather than obtaining a scientific understanding of the chain shot event itself. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design, fabrication, and use of a test machine capable of a comprehensive scientific investigation of chain shot. The capabilities of this machine are to test all commercially-available saw chains and bars at chain tensions and speeds meeting and exceeding those typically encountered in harvester use and accurately measure the corresponding key technical parameters. The test machine was constructed inside of a standard shipping container. This provides space for both an operator station and a test chamber. In order to contain the chain shot under any possible test conditions, the test chamber was lined with a base layer of AR500 steel followed by an overlay of HDPE. To accommodate varying bar orientations and fracture-initiation sites, the entire saw chain drive unit and bar mounting system is modular and capable of being located anywhere in the test chamber. The drive unit consists of a high-speed electric motor with a flywheel. Standard Ponsse harvester head components are used to bar mounting and chain tensioning. Chain lubrication is provided by a separate peristaltic pump. Chain fracture is initiated through ISO standard 11837. Measure parameters include shaft speed, motor vibration, bearing temperatures, motor temperature, motor current draw, hydraulic fluid pressure, chain force at fracture, and high-speed camera images. Results show that the machine is capable of consistently causing chain shot. Measurement output shows fracture location and the force associated with fracture as a function of saw chain speed and tension. Use of this machine will result in a scientific understanding of chain shot and consequently improved products and greater harvester operator safety.
Developing Allometric Equations for More Accurate Aboveground Biomass and Carbon Estimation in Secondary Evergreen Forests, Thailand
Shifting cultivation is an indigenous agricultural practice among upland people and has long been one of the major land-use systems in Southeast Asia. As a result, fallows and secondary forests have come to cover a large part of the region. However, they are increasingly being replaced by monocultures, such as corn cultivation. This is believed to be a main driver of deforestation and forest degradation, and one of the reasons behind the recurring winter smog crisis in Thailand and around Southeast Asia. Accurate biomass estimation of trees is important to quantify valuable carbon stocks and changes to these stocks in case of land use change. However, presently, Thailand lacks proper tools and optimal equations to quantify its carbon stocks, especially for secondary evergreen forests, including fallow areas after shifting cultivation and smaller trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of less than 5 cm. Developing new allometric equations to estimate biomass is urgently needed to accurately estimate and manage carbon storage in tropical secondary forests. This study established new equations using a destructive method at three study sites: approximately 50-year-old secondary forest, 4-year-old fallow, and 7-year-old fallow. Tree biomass was collected by harvesting 136 individual trees (including coppiced trees) from 23 species, with a DBH ranging from 1 to 31 cm. Oven-dried samples were sent for carbon analysis. Wood density was calculated from disk samples and samples collected with an increment borer from 79 species, including 35 species currently missing from the Global Wood Densities database. Several models were developed, showing that aboveground biomass (AGB) was strongly related to DBH, height (H), and wood density (WD). Including WD in the model was found to improve the accuracy of the AGB estimation. This study provides insights for reforestation management, and can be used to prepare baseline data for Thailand’s carbon stocks for the REDD+ and other carbon trading schemes. These may provide monetary incentives to stop illegal logging and deforestation for monoculture.
Rural Community Knowledge, Attitude and Perceptions of Consuming Dried Vegetables in Central Region of Tanzania
Vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals which constitute an indispensable constituent of diets, but in Tanzania and other Sub-Saharan African countries, they are not readily available all year round due to seasonal variations in the production cycle. Drying of vegetables is one of the traditional methods for food preservation known to man. The Dodoma and Singida regions of Tanzania are characterized by semi-arid agro-climate, thereby experiencing short seasonal supply of fresh vegetables followed by long drought in which dried vegetables become an alternative to meet high household demands. A primary survey of 244 of rural consumers was carried out to understand how knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of rural consumers affect consumption of dried vegetables. The sample respondents were all found to be aware of open sun drying of vegetables while less than 50% of them were aware of solar-dried vegetables. Consumers were highly concerned with the hygiene, nutritional values, taste, drying method, freshness, color of dried vegetables, timely availability and easiness of cooking as important factors they consider before they purchase dried vegetables. Logit model results show that gender, income, years of consuming dried vegetables, awareness of the importance of solar dried vegetables vis-à-vis sun-dried alternatives and employment status influenced rural consumer’s decision to purchase dried vegetables. Preference on dried vegetables differs across the regions which are also important considerations for any future planned interventions. The findings imply that development partners and policymakers need to design better social marketing and promotion techniques for the enhanced adoption of solar drying technology, which will greatly improve the quality and utilization of dried vegetables by target households.
Nest-Site Selection of Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) in Yazd Province, Iran
Nest site selection of Crested Lark was investigated in Boroyeh wildlife sanctuary of Harat during spring 2014. Habitat variables such as number of plant species, soil texture, distance to the nearest water resources, farms and roads were compared in the species presence plots with absence ones. Our analysis showed that the average number of Zygophyllum atriplicoidesand, Artemisia sieberi were higher while fine-textured soil percent cover (with very little and gravel) was lower in species presence plots than control plots. We resulted that the most affecting factor in the species nest site selection is the number of Z .atriplicoides and soil texture. Z. atriplicoides and A. sieberi can provide cover for nests and chickens against predators and environmental harsh events such as sunshine and wind. The stability of built nest forces the birds to select sites with not fine-textured soil. Some of the nests were detected in Alfalfa farms that can be related to its cover producing capability.