Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 42820

Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Endophytic Fungi as Plant Growth Promote of Albizia
Albizia (Paraserianthes falcataria) is a woody plant species that has a high economic value and multifunctional. Albizia is important timber, medicinal plants and can also be used as a plant to rehabilitate critical lands. The demand value of Albizia is increased so that the large quantities and high quality of seeds are required. In vitro propagation techniques are seed propagation that can produce more seeds and quality in a short time. In vitro cultures require growth regulators that can be obtained from biological agents such as endophytic fungi. Endophytic fungi are micro fungi that colonize live plant tissue without producing symptoms or other negative effects on host plants and increase plant growth. The purposes of this research were to isolate and identify endophytic fungi isolated from the root of Albizia and to study the effect of endophytic fungus on the growth of Albizia in vitro. The methods were root isolation, endophytic fungal identification, and inoculation of endophytic fungi to Albizia plants in vitro. Endophytic fungus isolates were grown on PDA media before being inoculated with Albizia sprouts. Incubation is done for 4 (four) weeks. The observed growth parameters were live explant percentage, percentage of explant shoot, and percentage of explant rooted. The results of the research showed that 6 (six) endophytic fungal isolates obtained from root of Albizia, namely Aspergillus sp., Verticillium sp, Penicillium sp., Trichoderma sp., Fusarium sp., and Acremonium sp. Statistical analysis found that Trichoderma sp. and Fusarium sp. affect in vitro growth of Albizia. Endophytic fungi from the results of this research were potential as plant growth promoting. It can be applied to increase productivity either through increased plant growth and increased endurance of Albizia seedlings to pests and diseases.
Ganoderma Infection in Acacia mangium: Difference of Plant Hosts to Virulency of Ganoderma
Acacia (Acacia mangium) is a forest plant species which is produced to pulp and paper. The high demand for pulp and paper increase the acacia plantation forest area. However, the outbreak of Ganoderma (root rot pathogen) infection becomes obstacles for the development of acacia plantations. This is due to the extent of host range and species of Ganoderma. Ganoderma has also the ability to survive the long-term without hosts. The diversity of the host and Ganoderma species affects its virulence. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the virulence of Ganoderma from different hosts (acacia, palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis)). The methods were isolation and morphology identification of Ganoderma, and inoculation of Ganoderma isolates on acacia seedlings. The results showed that the three isolates of Ganoderma from different hosts had a morphological similarity with G. Lucidum (according to Ganoderma isolated from acacia or G1), G. boninense (according to Ganoderma isolated from palm oil or G2) and G. applanatum (according to Ganoderma isolated from rubber or G3). Symptoms of infection in acacia were seen at 3 months of age. The symptoms were begun with chlorosis, necrosis and death of seedlings (such as burning). Necrosis was started from the tip of the leaf. Based on this visible symptoms, G1 was moderate virulence isolate and G2 was low virulence isolate while G3 was avirulen isolate. The symptoms were still growing in accordance with the development of plant so it affected the value of diseases severity index. Ganoderma infection decreased the dry weight of seedlings, ie. 3.82 g (seedlings that were inoculated by G1), 4.01 g (seedlings that were inoculated by G2); and 5.02 g (seedlings that were inoculated by G3) when the dry weight of seedlings control was 10,02 g. These results provide information for early control of Ganoderma diseases on acacia especially those planted near rubber and oil palm crops.
Inter-Specific Differences in Leaf Phenology, Growth of Seedlings of Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.), Zeen Oak (Quercus canariensis Willd.) and Their Hybrid Afares Oak (Quercus afares Pomel) in the Nursery
Outside of the systematic, Leaf Life Span (LLS) is used to classify trees into two main groups: evergreen and deciduous species. It varies according to the forms of life between taxonomic groups. Co-occurrence of deciduous and evergreen oaks is common in some Mediterranean type climate areas. Nevertheless, in the Tunisian forests, there is no enough information about the functional inter-specific diversity among oak species, especially in the mixed stand marked by the simultaneous presence of Q. suber L., Q. canariensis Willd and their hybrid (Q. afares), endemic oak species threatened with extinction. This study has been conducted to estimate the LLS, the relative growth rate and the count of different growth flush in samplings in semi-controlled conditions. Our study took 17 months, with an observation's interval of 4 weeks. The aim is to characterize and compare the hybrid species to the parental ones. Differences were observed between species, both at phenology and growth. Indeed, Q. suber saplings reached higher total height and number of growth flushes then Q.canariensis. On the other hand, Q. afares showed much less growth flushes and is the less performing species. The LLS of parental species has exceeded the duration of the experiment, but their hybrid lost all leaves on all cohorts. The short LLS of hybrid species are in accordance with his phenology in the field but for Q. canariensis the long LLS contrast with observations in the field where phenology is strictly annual. This study allowed us to differentiate the hybrid from both parental species.
Lessons from Farmers Performing Agroforestry for Reclamation of Gold Mine Spoils in Colombia
Alluvial gold mining generates a vast amount of deposits that cover the natural soil and negatively impacts riverbeds and valleys, causing loss of livelihood opportunities for farmers of these regions. In Colombia, more than 79,000 ha are affected by alluvial gold mining, therefore developing strategies to return this land to productivity is of crucial importance for the country. A novel restoration strategy has been created by a mining company, where the land is restored through the establishment of agroforestry systems, in which agricultural crops and livestock are combined to complement reforestation in the area. The purpose of this study is to capture the knowledge of farmers who perform agroforestry in areas with deposits created by alluvial gold mining activities. Semi structured interviews were conducted with farmers with regard to the following: indicators of soil fertility, management practices, soil heterogeneity, pest outbreaks and weeds. In order to compare the perceptions of soil fertility of farmers with physicochemical properties of soils, the farmers were asked to identify spots within their farms that have exhibited good and poor yields. Soil samples were collected in order to correlate farmer’s perceptions with soil physicochemical properties. The findings suggest that the main challenge that farmers face is the identification of fertile soil for crop establishment. They identify the fertile soil through visually analyzing soil color and compaction as well as the use of spontaneous growth of specific plants as indicator of soil fertility. For less fertile areas, nitrogen fixing plants are used as green manure to restore soil fertility for crop establishment. The findings of this study imply that if gold mining is followed by reclamation practices that involve the successful establishment of productive farmlands, agricultural productivity of these lands might improve, increasing food security of the affected communities.
Expert System for Heritage Trees Identification in Malaysia
Heritage trees are natural large, individual tree with exceptionally value due to association with age or event or distinguished people. In Malaysia, there is an abundance of tropical heritage trees throughout the country. It is essential to set up a repository of heritage trees to prevent valuable trees from being cut down. In this cross domain study, a web-based online expert system is developed and deployed for public to nominate potential heritage trees. Based on the nomination, tree care experts or arborists would evaluate and verify the nominated trees as heritage trees. The expert system automatically rates the approved heritage trees according to pre-defined grades via Delphi technique. Features and usability test of the expert system are presented. Preliminary result is promising for the system to be used as a full scale public system.
Cytotoxic Effect of Neem Seed Extract (Azadirachta indica) in Comparison with Artificial Insecticide Novastar on Haemocytes (THC and DHC) of Musca domestica
Housefly, Musca domestica Linnaeus is ubiquitous and hazardous for Homo sapiens and livestock in sundry venerations. Musca domestica cart 100 different pathogens, such as typhoid, salmonella, bacillary dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax and parasitic worms. The flies in rural areas usually carry more pathogens. Houseflies feed on liquid or semi-liquid substances besides solid materials which are softened by saliva. Neem botanically known as Azadirachta indica belongs to the family Meliaceae and is an indigenous tree to Pakistan. The neem tree is also one such tree which has been revered by the Pakistanis and Kashmiris for its medicinal properties. Present study showed neem seed extract has potentially toxic ability that affect Total Haemocyte Count (THC) and Differential Haemocytes Count (DHC) in insect’s blood cells, of the housefly. A significant variation in haemolymph density was observed just after application, 30 minutes and 60 minutes post treatment in term of THC and DHC in comparison with novastar. The study strappingly acclaim use of neem seed extract as insecticide as compare to artificial insecticides.
Effects of Nut Quality and Yield by Raising Poultry in Chestnut Tree Plantation
The purpose of this research is to find out the effect of raising poultry in environment-friendly producing area to fruit quality and crop within chestnut tree yield. This study was conducted on chestnut tree cultivation sites raising poultry at intervals of five to ten days for three years in the mountainous area which was located in the middle corner of Chungcheongbuk-do province, Korea. The quality of chestnut fruit and the control effects of harmful insects have been investigated between the sites raising poultry and control sites for three years. As a result, the harvest yielded were two to five kilograms higher in the chestnut tree cultivation sites raising poultry compared with the control site without poultry. Also, for the purposes of determining the price when selling, the ratio of the biggest fruit is higher by 3% to 14% in the chestnut tree cultivation sites raising poultry. In order to investigate the effects of pest control through raising poultry, the ratio of harmful insect species to treatment sites was relatively low compared to control site. The appreciable result is that the control effect of larvae of the chestnut leaf-cut weevil was higher in the position where raising the poultry of 4 to 5 weeks compared to the position where raising the poultry of 12 weeks. This study found that the spread of poultry in the cultivation of chestnut trees increased the fruit quality by improving the size of fruits and lowering the dosage of harmful insect, chestnut leaf-cut weevil. Also, the eco-friendly chicken produced by these mountainous regions is expected to contribute to enhancing the incomes of the farmers by differentiating themselves from existing products.
Resistance to the South African Root-Knot Nematode Population Densities in Artemisia annua: An Anti-Malaria Ethnomedicinal Plant
Nematode resistance to the tropical root-knot (Meloidogyne species) nematodes is one of the most preferred nematode management strategies in development of smallholder resource-poor farming systems. Due to its pharmacological and ethnomedicinal applications, Artemisia annua is one of the underutilised crops that have attracted attention of policy-makers in rural agrarian development in South Africa. However, the successful introduction of this crop in smallholder resource-poor farming systems could be upset by the widespread aggressive Meloidogyne species, which have limited management options. The objective of this study therefore was to determine the degree of nematode resistance to the South African M. incognita and M. javanica population densities on A. annua seedlings. Uniform three-week-old seedlings in pots containing pasteurised growing medium under greenhouse conditions were inoculated using a series of eggs and second-stage juveniles of two Meloidogyne species in separate trials. At 56 days after inoculation, treatments were highly significant on reproductive factor (RF) for M. incognita and M. javanica on A. annua, contributing 87 and 89% in total treatment variation of the variables, respectively. At all levels of inoculation, RF values for M. incognita (0.17-0.79) and M. javanica (0.02-0.29) were below unity, without any noticeable root galls. Infection of A. annua by both Meloidogyne species had no significant effects on growth variables. In conclusion, A. annua seedlings are resistant to the South African M. incognita and M. javanica population densities and could therefore be explored further for use in smallholder resource-poor farming systems.
Influence of Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza on Growth of Cucumis Myriocarpus Indigenous Leafy Vegetable
Climate-smart agriculture dictates that underusilised indigenous plant, which served as food for local marginalized communities, be assessed for introduction into mainstream agriculture. Most of the underutilised indigenous plants had survived adverse conditions in the wild; with limited information on how the interact with most abiotic and biotic factors. Cucumis myriocarpus leafy vegetable has nutritional, pharmacological and industrial applications, with limited information on how it interacts with effective microorganisms. The objective of this study was to determine the effects vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) on the growth of C. myriocarpus indigenous leafy vegetable under greenhouse conditions. Four-weeks-old seedlings of C. myriocarpus were transplanted into 20-cm-diameter plastic pots. Two weeks after transplanting, VAM was applied at 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 g Biocult-VAM plant. At 56 days after treatments, plant growth variables of C. myriocarpus with increase Biocult-VAM levels exhibited positive quadratic relations. Plant variables and increasing concentrations of salinity exhibited positive quadric relations, with 95 to 99% associations. Inclusion, Biocult-VAM can be used in sustainable production of C. myriocarpus for functional food security.
Interaction of Cucurbitacin-containing Phytonematicides and Biocontrol Agents on Cultivated Tomato Plants and Nematode Numbers
Interactive effects of cucurbitacin-containing phytonematicides and biocontrol agents on growth and nematode suppression on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) had not been documented. The objective of this study was to determine the interactive effects of Nemafric-BL phytonematicide, Trichoderma harzianum and Steinernema feltiae on growth of tomato plants and suppression of root-knot (Meloidogyne species) nematodes. A 2x2x2 trial was conducted using tomato cv. ‘HTX’ on a field infested with Meloidogyne species. The treatments were applied at commercial rates. At 56 days after treatments, interactions were significant (P ≤ 0.05) for selected plant variables, without significant interactions on nematode variables. In conclusion, results of the current study did not support the combination of the test products for nematode suppression, except that some combinations improved plant growth.
Influence of Cucurbitacin-containing Phytonematicides on Nematode Biocontrol Agent: Trichoderma harzianum
Cucurbitacin-containing phytonematicides consistently suppress root-knot (Meloidogyne species) nematode population densities. However, the impact of these products on nematode biocontrol agents is not documented. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of Nemarioc-AL and Nemafric-BL phytonematicides on growth of Trichoderma harzianum under in vitro conditions. The two phytonematicides were separately prepared to concentrations of 3% and used in poison plate assays. After exposure at different times from 0 to 72 h, there was 100% mycelial growth of T. harzianum. In conclusion, at the recommended concentrations of phytonematicides used in managing nematode population densities, there was no evidence of suppressive effects on growth of T. harzianum by the two phytonematicides.
Developing Cucurbitacin a Minimum Inhibition Concentration of Meloidogyne Incognita Using a Computer-Based Model
Minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) is the lowest concentration of a chemical that brings about significant inhibition of target organism. The conventional method for establishing the MIC for phytonematicides is tedious. The objective of this study was to use the Curve-fitting Allelochemical Response Data (CARD) to determine the MIC for pure cucurbitacin A on Meloidogyne incognita second-stage juveniles (J2) hatch, immobility and mortality. Meloidogyne incognita eggs and freshly hatched J2 were separately exposed to a series of pure cucurbitacin A concentrations of 0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.00, 2.25 and 2.50 μg.mL⁻¹for 12, 24, 48 and 72 h in an incubator set at 25 ± 2°C. Meloidogyne incognita J2 hatch, immobility and mortality counts were determined using a stereomicroscope and the significant means were subjected to the CARD model. The model exhibited density-dependent growth (DDG) patterns of J2 hatch, immobility and mortality to increasing concentrations of cucurbitacin A. The average MIC for cucurbitacin A on M. incognita J2 hatch, immobility and mortality were 2.2, 0.58 and 0.63 µg.mL⁻¹, respectively. Meloidogyne incognita J2 hatch had the highest average MIC value followed by mortality and immobility had the least. In conclusion, the CARD model was able to generate MIC for cucurbitacin A, hence it could serve as a valuable tool in the chemical-nematode bioassay studies.
Comparison of Overall Sensitivity of Meloidogyne incognita to Pure Cucurbitacins and Cucurbitacin-Containing Crude Extracts
The Curve-fitting Allelochemical Response Data (CARD) model had been adopted as a valuable tool in enhancing the understanding of the efficacy of cucurbitacin-containing phytonematicides on the suppression of nematodes. In most cases, for registration purposes, the active ingredients should be in purified form. Evidence in other phytonematicides suggested that purified active ingredients were less effective in suppression of nematodes. The objective of this study was to use CARD model to compare the overall sensitivities of Meloidogyne incognita J2 hatch, mobility and mortality to Nemarioc-AL phytonematicides, cucurbitacin A, Nemafric-BL phytonematicide and cucurbitacin B. Meloidogyne incognita eggs and J2 were exposed to 0.00, 0.50, 1.00, 1.50, 2.00, 2.50, 3.00, 3.50, 4.00, 4.50 and 5.00% of each phytonematicide, whereas in purified form the concentrations were 0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.00, 2.25 and 2.50 μg.mL⁻¹. The exposure period to each concentration was 24-, 48- and 72-h. The overall sensitivities of J2 hatch to Nemarioc-AL phytonematicide, cucurbitacin A, Nemafric-BL phytonematicide and cucurbitacin B were 1, 30, 5 and 2 units, respectively, whereas J2 mobiltity were 3, 17, 3 and 6 units, respectively. For J2 mortality overall sensitivities to Nemarioc-AL phytonematicide, cucurbitacin A, Nemafric-BL phytonematicide and cucurbitacin B were 2, 4, 1 and 4 units, respectively. In conclusion, the two crude extracts, Nemarioc-AL and Nemafric-BL phytonematicides were generally more potent to M. incognita compared to their pure active ingredients. The crude plant extract preparation is easy, and they could be an ideal tactic for the management of nematodes in resource poor farming communities.
Efficacy of Nemafric-BL Phytonematicide on Suppression of Root-Knot Nematodes and Growth of Tomato Plants
Cucurbitacin-containing phytonematicides had been consistent in suppressing root-knot (Meloidogyne species) when used in dried crude form, with limited evidence whether the efficacy could be affected when fresh fruits were used during fermentation. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of Nemafric-BL phytonematicide prepared using fermented crude extracts of fresh fruit from wild watermelon (Cucumis africanus) on the growth of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants and suppression of Meloidogyne species. Seedlings of tomato cultivar ‘Floradade’ were inoculated with 3 000 eggs and second-stage juveniles (J2) of M. incognita race 2 in pot trials, with treatments comprising 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 % Nemafric-BL phytonematicide. At 56 days after inoculation, the phytonematicide reduced eggs and J2 in roots by 84-97%, J2 in soil by 49-96% and total nematodes by 70-97%. Plant variables and concentrations of Nemafric-BL phytonematicide exhibited positive quadratic relations, with 74-98% associations. In conclusion, fresh fruit of C. africanus could be used for the preparation of Nemafric-BL phytonematicide, particularly in cases where the dry infrastructure is not available.
Post-Application Effects of Selected Management Strategies to the Citrus Nematode (Tylenchulus semipenetrans) Population Densities
‘Inconsistent results’ in nematode suppression post-application of botanical-based products created credibility concerns. Relative to untreated control, sampling for nematodes post-application of botanical-based products suggested significant increases in nematode population densities. ‘Inconsistent results’ were confirmed in Tylenchulus semipenetrans on Citrus jambhiri seedlings when sampling was carried out at 120 days post-application of a granular Nemarioc-AG phytonematicide. The objective of this study was to determine post-application effects of untreated control, Nemarioc-AG phytonematicide and aldicarb to T. semipenetrans population densities on C. jambhiri seedlings. Two hundred and ten seedlings were each inoculated with 10000 T. semipenetrans eggs and second-stage juveniles (J2) in plastic pots containing 2700 ml growing mixture. A week after inoculation, seedlings were equally split and subjected to once-off treatment of 2 g aldicarb, 2 g Nemarioc-AG phytonematicide and untreated control. Five seedlings from each group were randomly placed on greenhouse benches to serve as a sampling block, with a total of 14 blocks. The entire block was sampled weekly and assessed for final nematode population density (Pf). After the final assessment, post-regression of untreated Pf to increasing sampling intervals exhibited positive quadratic relations, with the model explaining 90% associations, with optimum Pf of 13804 eggs and J2 at six weeks post-application. In contrast, treated Pf and increasing sampling interval exhibited negative quadratic relations, with the model explaining 95% and 92% associations in phytonematicide and aldicarb, respectively. In the phytonematicide, Pf was 974 eggs and J2, whereas that in aldicarb was 2205 eggs and J2 at six weeks. In conclusion, temporal cyclic nematode population growth provided an empirically-based explanation of ‘inconsistent results’ in nematode suppression post-application of the two nematode management strategies.
Essential Elements and Trace Metals on a Continuously Cultivated and Fertilised Field
Due to high incidents of marginal land in Limpopo Province, South Africa, and increasing demand for arable land, small-holder farmers tend to continuously cultivate the same fields and at the same time, applying fertilisers to improve yields for meeting local food security. These practices might have an impact on the distribution of trace and essential elements. Therefore, the objective of this investigation was to assess the distribution of essential elements and trace metals in a continuously cultivated and fertilised field, at the University of Limpopo Experimental Farm. Three fields, 3 ha each were identified as continuously cultivated (CC), moderately cultivated (MC) and virgin fields (VF). Each field was divided into 12 equal grids of 50 m × 50 m for sampling. A soil profile was opened in each grid, where soil samples were collected from 0-20; 20-40 and 40-60; 60-80 and 80-100 cm depths for analysis. Samples were analysed for soil texture, pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter content, selected essential elements (Ca, P and Mg), Na and trace elements (Cu, Fe, Ni, and Zn). Results suggested that most of the variables were vertically different, with high concentrations of the test elements except for magnesium. Soil pH in depth 0-20 cm was high (6.44) in CC when compared to that in VF (5.29), but lower than that of MC (7.84). There were no distinctive vertical trends of the variables, except for Mg, Na, and K which displayed a declining trend at 40-60 cm depth when compared to the 0-20 cm depth. Concentrations of Fe, Cu, Zn, and Ni were generally low which might be due to their indirect relationship with soil pH. Continuous cultivation and fertilisation altered soil chemical properties; which could explain the unproductivity of such fields.
Temporal Effects on Chemical Composition of Treated Wastewater and Borehole Water Used for Irrigation in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Increasing incidents of drought spells in most Sub-Saharan Africa call for using alternative sources of water for irrigation in arid and semi-arid regions. A study was conducted to investigate chemical composition of borehole and treated wastewater from different sampling disposal sites at University of Limpopo Experimental Farm (ULEF). A 4 × 5 factorial experiment, with the borehole as a reference sampling site and three other sampling sites along the wastewater disposal system was conducted over five months. Water samples were collected at four sites namely, (a) exit from Pond 16 into the furrow, (b) entry into night-dam, (c) exit from night dam to irrigated fields and (d) exit from borehole to irrigated fields. Water samples were collected in the middle of each month, starting from July to November 2016. Samples were analysed for pH, EC, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, B, Zn, Cu, Cr, Pb, Cd and As. The site × time interactions were highly significant for Ca, Mg, Zn, Cu, Cr, Pb, Cd, and As variables, but not for Na and K. Sampling site was highly significant on all variables, with sampling period not significant for K and Na. Relative to water from the borehole, Na concentration in wastewater samples from the night-dam exit, night-dam entry and Pond16 exit were lower by 69, 34 and 55%, respectively. Relative to borehole water, Al was higher in wastewater sampling sites. In conclusion, both sampling site and period affected the chemical composition of treated wastewater.
Influence of Cucurbitacin-Containing Phytonematicides on Growth of Rough Lemon (Citrus jambhiri)
Occasional incidence of phytotoxicity in Nemarioc-BL and Nemafric-AL phytonematicides to crops raises credibility challenges that could negate their registration as commercial products. Responses of plants to phytonematicides are characterized by the existence of stimulation, neutral and inhibition phases, with the mid-point of the former being referred to as the Mean Concentration Stimulation Point (MSCP = Dm + Rh/2). The objective of this study was to determine the MCSP and the overall sensitivity (∑k) of Nemarioc-AL and Nemafric-BL phytonematicides to rough lemon seedling rootstocks using the Curve-fitting Allelochemical Response Dosage (CARD) computer-based model. Two parallel greenhouse experiments were initiated, with seven dilutions of each phytonematicide arranged in a randomised complete block design, replicated nine times. Six-month-old rough lemon seedlings were transplanted into 20-cm-diameter plastic pots, filled with steam-pasteurised river sand (300°C for 3 h) and Hygromix-T growing mixture. Treatments at 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 164% dilutions were applied weekly at 300 ml/plant. At 84 days after the treatments, analysis of variance-significant plant variables was subjected to the CARD model to generate appropriate biological indices. Computed MCSP values for Nemarioc-AL and Nemafric-BL phytonematicides on rough lemon were 29 and 38%, respectively, whereas ∑k values were 1 and 0, respectively. At the applied concentrations, rough lemon seedlings were highly sensitive to Nemarioc-AL and Nemafric-BL phytonematicides.
Agro-Forestry Expansion in Middle Gangetic Basin: Adopters' Motivations and Experiences in Bihar, India
Agro-forestry offers huge opportunities for diversification of agriculture in middle Gangetic Basin of India, particularly in the state of Bihar as the region is identified with traditional & stagnant agriculture, low productivity, high population pressure, rural poverty and lack of agro- industrial development. The region is endowed with favourable agro-climatic, soil & drainage conditions; interestingly, there has been an age old tradition of agro-forestry in the state. However, due to demographic pressures, declining land holdings and other socio- economic factors, agro forestry practices have declined in recent decades. The government of Bihar has initiated a special program for expansion of agro-forestry based on modern practices with an aim to raise income level of farmers, make available raw material for wood based industries and increase green cover in the state. The Agro-forestry Schemes – Poplar & Other Species are the key components of the program being implemented by Department of Environment & Forest, Govt. of Bihar. The paper is based on fieldwork based evaluation study on experiences of implementation of the agro-forestry schemes. Understanding adoption patterns, identification of key motives for practising agro-forestry, experiences of farmers well analysing the barriers in expansion constituted the major themes of the research study. This paper is based on primary as well as secondary data. The primary data consists of beneficiary household survey, Focus Group Discussions among beneficiary communities, dialogue and multi stakeholder meetings and field visit to the sites. The secondary data information was collected and analysed from official records, policy documents and reports. Primary data was collected from about 500 beneficiary households of Muzaffarpur & Saharsa- two populous, large and agriculture dominated districts of middle Gangetic basin of North Bihar. Survey also covers 100 households of non-beneficiaries. Probability Proportionate to Size method was used to determine the number of samples to be covered in different blocks of two districts. Qualitative tools were also implemented to have better insights about key research questions. Present paper discusses socio-economic background of farmers practising agro-forestry; the adoption patterns of agro- forestry (choice of plants, methods of plantation and others); and motivation behind adoption of agro-forestry and the comparative benefits of agro-forestry (vis-a-vis traditional agriculture). Experience of beneficiary farmers with agro-forestry based on government programs & promotional campaigns (in terms of awareness, ease of access, knowhow and others) have been covered in the paper. Different aspects of survival of plants have been closely examined. Non beneficiaries but potential adopters were also interviewed to understand barriers of adoption of agro- forestry. Paper provides policy recommendations and interventions required for effective expansion of the agro- forestry and realisation of its future prospects for agricultural diversification in the region.
Low-Cost Aviation Solutions to Strengthen Counter-Poaching Efforts in Kenya
The paper will discuss a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded project to provide cost-effective aviation technologies and research to support counter-poaching operations related to endangered, protected, and/or regulated wildlife. The goal of this project is to provide cost-effective aviation technology and research support to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in their counter-poaching efforts. In pursuit of this goal, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is assisting the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in enhancing the Kenya Wildlife Service’s aviation technology and related capacity to meet its counter-poaching mission. Poaching, at its core, is systemic as poachers go to the most extreme lengths to kill high target species such as elephant and rhino. These high target wildlife species live in underdeveloped or impoverished nations, where poachers find fewer barriers to their operations. In Kenya, with fifty-nine (59) parks and reserves, spread over an area of 225,830 square miles (584,897 square kilometers) adequate surveillance on the ground is next to impossible. Cost-effective aviation surveillance technologies, based on a comprehensive needs assessment and operational evaluation, are needed to curb poaching and effectively prevent wildlife trafficking. As one of the premier law enforcement Air Wings in East Africa, KWS plays a crucial role in Kenya, not only in counter-poaching and wildlife conservation efforts, but in aerial surveillance, counterterrorism and national security efforts as well. While the Air Wing has done, a remarkable job conducting aerial patrols with limited resources, additional aircraft and upgraded technology should significantly advance the Air Wing’s ability to achieve its wildlife protection mission. The project includes: (i) Needs Assessment of the KWS Air Wing, to include the identification of resources, current and prospective capacity, operational challenges and priority goals for expansion, (ii) Acquisition of Low-Cost Aviation Technology to meet priority needs, and (iii) Operational Evaluation of technology performance, with a focus on implementation and effectiveness. The Needs Assessment reflects the priorities identified through two site visits to the KWS Air Wing in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as field visits to multiple national parks receiving aerial support and interviewing/surveying KWS Air wing pilots and leadership. Needs Assessment identified some immediate technology needs that includes, GPS with upgrades, including weather application, Night flying capabilities, to include runway lights and night vision technology, Cameras and surveillance equipment, Flight tracking system and/or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, Lightweight ballistic-resistant body armor, and medical equipment, to include a customized stretcher and standard medical evacuation equipment. Results of this assessment, along with significant input from the KWS Air Wing, will guide the second phase of this project: technology acquisition. Acquired technology will then be evaluated in the field, with a focus on implementation and effectiveness. Results will ultimately be translated for any rural or tribal law enforcement agencies with comparable aerial surveillance missions and operational environments, and jurisdictional challenges, seeking to implement low-cost aviation technology. Results from Needs Assessment phase, including survey results and our ongoing technology acquisition and baseline operational evaluation will be discussed in the paper.
Effect of Seasonal Variation on Two Introduced Columbiformes in Awba Dam Tourism Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Two Columbiformes species were recently introduced to the newly established Awba Dam Tourism Centre [ADTC], hence there is need to investigate the effect of seasonal variation on these species with respect to hematological composition. Blood samples were obtained from superficial ulna vein of the 128 apparently healthy C. livia and C. guinea into tubes containing EDTA as anticoagulant. Thin blood smears (TBS) were prepared, stained and viewed under microscope. Values of Red Blood Cell (RBC) count, White Blood Cell (WBC) count, cholesterol (CH), Uric Acid (UA), Protein (PR), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Haemoglobin Content (HB), Blood Volume (BV), Plasma Glucose (PG) and Length/Width (L/W) ratio of red blood cells were assessed. The procedure was carried out on a seasonal basis (wet and dry seasons of 2013-2014). Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Lymphocyte count for C. livia was F3, 161 = 13.15, while for C. guinea was F3, 178 = 13.15. Heterophil, H/L ratio and Muscle score values for both species were (rs = -0.38, rs = -0.44), (rs = 0.51, rs = 0.31) (4, 3) respectively. Analyses also demonstrated a low WBC to RBC ratio (0.004: 25.3) in both species during the wet season compared to dry season, respectively. L/W varied significantly among sampling seasons i.e. wet (19.1% of BV, 12.6% of BV, 0.1% of BV) and dry (18.9% of BV, 12.7% of BV, 0.08% of BV). The level of HB in wet season (19.20±8.46108) is lower compared to dry season (19.70±8.48762). T-test also showed (wet=15.625, 0.111), (dry=12.125, 0.146) respectively, hence there is no association between species and haematological parameters. Species introduced were found to be haematologically stable. Although there were slight differences in seasonal composition, however this can be attributed to seasonal variation; suggesting little or no effect of seasons on their blood composition.
Urinary Schistosomiasis among Pre-School and School Aged Children in Two Peri-Urban Communities in Southwest Nigeria
A cross-sectional study was conducted between March and April, 2016 among pre-school and school-aged children in two peri-urban communities in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria. Urine samples were collected from the pre-school and school-aged children, tested for microhaematuria using reagent strips, processed and examined for Schistosoma haematobium ova. Out of 274 pupils examined, 132 (48.2%) had infection, with no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05) in infection between male (48.6%) and female pupils (47.6%). The prevalence of infection increases significantly with age (P < 0.05), with the peak (93.3%) of infection recorded in pupils aged 15 to 16 years and the lowest infection (10.0%) in pupils aged 3 to 4 years. There was no statistically significant association (P > 0.05) between intensity in male pupils (156.0 ± 34.5/10 ml) and female pupils (141.7 ± 29.5/10 ml). The prevalence of pupils with microhaematuria was 65.0% and it increased significantly with age (P < 0.001). The conclusion drawn from the study is that to reduce the transmission of S. haematobium in endemic communities, health education and provision of potable water are advocated.
Land Use Dynamics of Ikere Forest Reserve, Nigeria Using Geographic Information System
The incessant encroachments into the forest ecosystem by the farmers and local contractors constitute a major threat to the conservation of genetic resources and biodiversity in Nigeria. To propose a viable monitoring system, this study employed Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to assess the changes that occurred for a period of five years (between 2011 and 2016) in Ikere forest reserve. Landsat imagery of the forest reserve was obtained. For the purpose of geo-referencing the acquired satellite imagery, ground-truth coordinates of some benchmark places within the forest reserve was relied on. Supervised classification algorithm, image processing, vectorization and map production were realized using ArcGIS. Various land use systems within the forest ecosystem were digitized into polygons of different types and colours for 2011 and 2016, roads were represented with lines of different thickness and colours. Of the six land-use delineated, the grassland increased from 26.50 % in 2011 to 45.53% in 2016 of the total land area with a percentage change of 71.81 %. Plantations of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis on the other hand reduced from 62.16 % in 2011 to 27.41% in 2016. The farmland and degraded land recorded percentage change of about 176.80 % and 8.70 % respectively from 2011 to 2016. Overall, the rate of deforestation in the study area is on the increase and becoming severe. About 72.59% of the total land area has been converted to non-forestry uses while the remnant 27.41% is occupied by plantations of Gmelina arborea and Tectona grandis. Interestingly, over 55 % of the plantation area in 2011 has changed to grassland, or converted to farmland and degraded land in 2016. The rate of change over time was about 9.79 % annually. Based on the results, rapid actions to prevail on the encroachers to stop deforestation and encouraged re-afforestation in the study area are recommended.
Quantifying the Impacts of Elevated CO2 and N Fertilization on Wood Density in Loblolly Pine
It is accepted that atmospheric CO2 concentration will increase in the future. For the past 30 years, researchers have used FACE (Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment) facilities to study the development of terrestrial ecosystems under elevated CO2 (eCO2). Forest responses to eCO2 are likely to impact timber industries with potential feedbacks towards the atmosphere. The main objectives of this study were to examine whether eCO2 alone or in combination with N-fertilization alter wood properties and to identify changes in wood anatomy related to water transport. Wood disks were sampled at breast height from mature loblolly pine trees (Pinus taeda L.) harvested at the Duke FACE site (NC, USA). By measuring ring width and intra-ring changes in density (X-ray densitometry) and tracheid size (lumen and cell wall thickness) from pith to bark, the following hypotheses were tested: 1) eCO2 and N-fertilization interact positively to increase significantly above-ground primary productivity; 2) eCO2 and N-fertilization lead to a decrease in density; 3) eCO2 and N-fertilization increase lumen diameter and decrease cell wall thickness, thus affecting water transport capacity. Our results revealed a boost in earlywood tracheid production induced by eCO2 lasting a few years. The following decrease seemed to be buffered by N-fertilization. X-ray profiles did not show a marked decrease in wood density under eCO2 or N-fertilization, although there were changes in cell anatomical properties such as a reduction in cell-wall thickness and an increase in lumen diameter. If such effects of eCO2 are confirmed, forest management strategies for example N-fertilization should be redesigned.
Combination Urea and KCl with Powder Coal Sub-Bituminous to Increase Nutrient Content of Ultisols in Limau Manis Padang West Sumatra
Coal as an alternative source of humic material that has the potential of 973.92 million tons (sub-bituminous amounted to 673.70 million tons) in West Sumatera. The purpose of this research was to study combination Urea and KCl with powder coal Sub-bituminous to increase nutrient content of Ultisols In Limau Manis Padang West Sumatera. The experiment was designed in Completely Randomized Design with 3 replications, those were T1) 0.5% (50g plot-1) of powder coal Sub-bituminous; T2) T1 and 125% (7.03g plot-1 ) of Urea recommendation; T3) T1 and 125% (5.85g plot-1) of KCl recommendation; T4) 1.0% (100g plot-1) of powder coal Sub-bituminous; T5) T4 and 125% (7.03g plot-1 ) of Urea recommendation; T6) T4 and 125% (5.85g plot-1) of KCl recommendation; T7) 1.5% (150g plot-1) of powder coal Sub-bituminous; T8) T7 and 125% (7.03g plot-1 ) of Urea recommendation; T9) T7 and 125% (5.85g plot-1) of KCl recommendation. The results showed that application 1.5% of powder coal Sub-bituminous and 125% of Urea recommendation could increase nutrient content of Ultisols such as pH by 0.33 unit, Organic – C by 2.03%, total – N by 0.31%, Available P by 14.16 ppm and CEC by 19.38 me 100g-1 after 2 weeks of incubation process.
Indoor and Outdoor Forest Farming for Year-Round Food and Medicine Production, Carbon Sequestration, Soil-Building, and Climate Change Mitigation
The objective at Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute has been to put in practice a sustainable way of life while growing food, medicine, and providing education. This has been done by applying methods of farming such as agroforestry, forest farming, and perennial polycultures. These methods have been found to be regenerative to the environment through carbon sequestration, soil-building, climate change mitigation, and the provision of food security. After 30 years of implementing carbon farming methods, the results are agro-diversity, self-sustaining systems, and a consistent provision of food and medicine. These results are exhibited through polyculture plantings in an outdoor forest garden spanning roughly an acre containing about 200 varieties of fruits, nuts, nitrogen-fixing trees, and medicinal herbs, and two indoor forest garden greenhouses (one Mediterranean and one Tropical) containing about 50 varieties of tropical fruits, beans, herbaceous plants and more. While the climate zone outside the greenhouse is 6, the tropical forest garden greenhouse retains an indoor climate zone of 11 with near-net-zero energy consumption through the use of a climate battery, allowing the greenhouse to serve as a year-round food producer. The effort to source food from the forest gardens is minimal compared to annual crop production. The findings at Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute conclude that agroecological methods are not only beneficial but necessary in order to revive and regenerate the environment and food security.
Optimization of Cacao Fermentation in Davao Philippines Using Sustainable Method
An optimized cacao fermentation technique was developed for the cacao farmers of Davao City Philippines. Cacao samples with weights ranging from 150-250 kilograms were collected from various cacao farms in Davao City and Zamboanga City Philippines. Different fermentation techniques were used starting with design of the sweat box, prefermentation conditionings, number of days for fermentation and number of turns. As the beans are being fermented, its temperature was regularly monitored using a digital thermometer. The resultant cacao beans were assessed using physical and chemical means. For the physical assessment, the bean cut test, bean count tests, and sensory test were used. Quantification of theobromine, caffeine, and antioxidants in the form of equivalent quercetin was used for chemical assessment. Both the theobromine and caffeine were analyzed using HPLC method while the antioxidant was analyzed spectrometrically. To come up with the best fermentation procedure, the different assessment were given priority coefficients wherein the physical tests – taste test, cut, and bean count tests were given priority over the results of the chemical test. The result of the study was an optimized fermentation protocol that is readily adaptable and transferable to any cacao cooperatives or groups in Mindanao or even Philippines as a whole.
Renewable Energy and Hydrogen On-Site Generation for Drip Irrigation and Agricultural Machinery
The energy used in agriculture is a source of global emissions of greenhouse gases. The two main types of this energy are electricity for pumping and diesel for agricultural machinery. In order to reduce these emissions, the European project LIFE REWIND addresses the supply of this demand from renewable sources. First of all, comprehensive data on energy demand and available renewable resources have been obtained in several case studies. Secondly, a set of simulations and optimizations have been performed, in search of the best configuration and sizing, both from an economic and emission reduction point of view. For this purpose, it was used software based on genetic algorithms. Thirdly, a prototype has been designed and installed, that it is being used for the validation in a real case. Finally, throughout a year of operation, various technical and economic parameters are being measured for further analysis. The prototype is not connected to the utility grid, avoiding the cost and environmental impact of a grid extension. The system includes three kinds of photovoltaic fields. One is located on a fixed structure on the terrain. Another one is floating on an irrigation raft. The last one is mounted on a two axis solar tracker. Each has its own solar inverter. The total amount of nominal power is 44 kW. A lead acid battery with 120 kWh of capacity carries out the energy storage. Three isolated inverters support a three phase, 400 V 50 Hz micro-grid, the same characteristics of the utility grid. An advanced control subsystem has been constructed, using free hardware and software. The electricity produced feeds a set of seven pumps used for purification, elevation and pressurization of water in a drip irrigation system located in a vineyard. Since the irrigation season does not include the whole year, as well as a small oversize of the generator, there is an amount of surplus energy. With this surplus, a hydrolyser produces on site hydrogen by electrolysis of water. An off-road vehicle with fuel cell feeds on that hydrogen and carries people in the vineyard. The only emission of the process is high purity water. On the one hand, the results show the technical and economic feasibility of stand-alone renewable energy systems to feed seasonal pumping. In this way, the economic costs, the environmental impacts and the landscape impacts of grid extensions are avoided. The use of diesel gensets and their associated emissions are also avoided. On the other hand, it is shown that it is possible to replace diesel in agricultural machinery, substituting it for electricity or hydrogen of 100% renewable origin and produced on the farm itself, without any external energy input. In addition, it is expected to obtain positive effects on the rural economy and employment, which will be quantified through interviews.
Fungi Associated with Decline of Kikar (Acacia nilotica) and Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Faisalabad
During this research, a comprehensive survey of tree growing areas of Faisalabad district of Pakistan was conducted to observe the symptoms, spectrum, occurrence and severity of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis decline. Objective of current research was to investigate specific fungal pathogens involved in decline of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis. For this purpose, infected roots, bark, neck portion, stem, branches, leaves and infected soils were collected to identify associated fungi. Potato dextrose agar (PDA) and Czepak dox agar media were used for isolations. Identification of isolated fungi was done microscopically and different fungi were identified. During survey of urban locations of Faisalabad, disease incidence on Kikar and Eucalyptus was recorded as 3.9-7.9% and 2.6-7.1% respectively. Survey of Agroforest zones of Faisalabad revealed decline incidence on kikar 7.5% from Sargodha road while on Satiana and Jhang road it was not planted. In eucalyptus trees, 4%, 8% and 0% disease incidence was observed on Jhang road, Sargodha road and Satiana road respectively. The maximum fungus isolated from the kikar tree was Drechslera australiensis (5.00%) from the stem part. Aspergillus flavus also gave the maximum value of (3.05%) from the bark. Alternaria alternata gave the maximum value of (2.05%) from leaves. Rhizopus and Mucor spp. were recorded minimum as compared to the Drechslera, Alternaria and Aspergillus. The maximum fungus isolated from the Eucalyptus tree was Armillaria luteobubalina (5.00%) from the stem part. The other fungi isolated were Macrophamina phaseolina and A. niger.
Willingness of Spanish Wineries to Implement Renewable Energies in Their Vineyards and Wineries, as Well as the Limitations They Perceive for Their Implementation
Climate change, depletion of non-renewable resources in the current energies, pollution from them, the greater ecological awareness of the population, are factors that suggest the change of energy sources in business. The agri-food industry is a growth sector, concerned about product innovation, process and with a clear awareness of what climate change may mean for it. This sector is supposed to have a high receptivity to the implementation of clean energy, as this favors not only the environment but also the essence of its business. This work, through surveys, aims to know the willingness of Spanish wineries to implement renewable energies in their vineyards, as well as the limitations they perceive for their implementation. This questionnaire allows the characterization of the sector in terms of its geographical typologies, their activity levels, their perception of environmental issues, the degree of implementation of measures to mitigate climate change and improve energy efficiency, and its uses and energy consumption. The analysis of data proves that the penetration of renewable energies is still at low levels, being the most used energies, solar thermal, photovoltaic and biomass. The initial investment seems to be at the origin of the lack of implantation of this type of energy in the wineries, and not so much the costs of operations and maintenance. The environmental management of the wineries is still at an embryonic stage within the company's organization chart, because these services are either outsourced or, if technicians are available, they are not exclusively dedicated to these tasks. However, there is a strong environmental awareness, as evidenced by the number of climate change mitigation and energy efficiency measures already adopted. The gap between high awareness and low achievement is probably due to the lack of knowledge about how to do it or the perception of a high cost.