International Journal of Biodiversity The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Habitat Preferences of the Grey Parrot in Heterogeneous Vegetation Landscapes and Their Conservation Implications Sun, 13 Mar 2016 12:01:35 +0000 The wild Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus Linnaeus suffers from many habitat use challenges in the wake of extensive deforestation in its endemic range of West and Central African rainforests. To determine effects of these challenges on the bird species, seasonal densities of the Grey Parrot were determined using line transects in major heterogeneous vegetation types in the Korup Rainforest, south-western Cameroon. Results of the study highlight habitat preferences of this species on a seasonal base and under different situations of human activity intensity in the landscape. This information can be used to understand the causes of changes in the distribution and abundance of endangered species and also to determine sustainable conservation strategies. It is concluded that the parrot needs diverse vegetation types for survival in the wild state, as it depends on specific tree species for specific habitat resources such as food, roosts, security, and nests at specific periods of the year. Hence, the continuous survival of the Grey Parrot in the range states is not certain, if sustainable measures are not taken to conserve the parrot and its habitat resources both in and outside protected areas. Simon A. Tamungang, Mathias A. Onabid, Taku Awa II, and Victor S. Balinga Copyright © 2016 Simon A. Tamungang et al. All rights reserved. Phenotypic Diversity of Date Palm Cultivars (Phoenix dactylifera L.) from Sudan Estimated by Vegetative and Fruit Characteristics Wed, 30 Dec 2015 09:49:11 +0000 The aim of this study was to apply some of the vegetative and fruit traits which are easily recognised to identify the variation and the diversity level of the most famous Sudanese date palm cultivars grown on farm in the northern region of Sudan. Sixteen phenotypic traits consisting of ten quantitative and six qualitative characteristics were used for describing the vegetative and fruit characteristics. The principal components analysis (PCA) and UPGMA clustering were used to analyse the data set. The results revealed high variability among the cultivars according to PCA. Fourteen out of the sixteen quantitative and qualitative traits investigated showed a strong discriminating factor suggesting their possible uses in the initiation of Sudanese date palm morphological descriptor list. UPGMA clustering exhibited strong relationship between some cultivars according to their fruit and vegetative characteristics similarity. Based on morphological traits, cultivars Wad-laggi (Lag) and Wad-khateeb (Kha) formed a distinct group suggesting their close relatedness. Similarly, the cultivars sharing the dry fruit texture such as Gondaila (Gon), Tamoda (Tam), Kolmah (Kol), and Barkawi (Bar) were grouped together according to their vegetative traits. Further investigations on Sudanese date palm using more phenotypic characteristics are recommended in order to shape and complete the set of the morphological descriptor list. Mohammed Elsafy, Larisa Garkava-Gustavsson, and Claid Mujaju Copyright © 2015 Mohammed Elsafy et al. All rights reserved. Woody Species Diversity in Traditional Agroforestry Practices of Dellomenna District, Southeastern Ethiopia: Implication for Maintaining Native Woody Species Tue, 08 Dec 2015 12:59:35 +0000 The major impact of humans on forest ecosystems including loss of forest area, habitat fragmentation, and soil degradation leads to losses of biodiversity. These problems can be addressed by integration of agriculture with forests and maintaining the existing forests. This study was initiated to assess woody species diversity of traditional agroforestry practices. Three study sites (Burkitu, Chire, and Erba) were selected based on the presence of agroforestry practice. Forty-eight (48) sample quadrants having an area of 20 m × 20 m, 16 sample quadrants in each study site, were systematically laid using four transect lines at different distance. The diversity of woody species was analyzed by using different diversity indices. A total of 55 woody species belonging to 31 families were identified and documented. There were significantly different () among the study Kebeles (peasant associations). Mangifera indica, Entada abyssinica, and Croton macrostachyus were found to have the highest Important Value Index. The results confirmed that traditional agroforestry plays a major role in the conservation of native woody species. However, threats to woody species were observed. Therefore, there is a need to undertake conservation practices before the loss of species. Abiot Molla and Gonfa Kewessa Copyright © 2015 Abiot Molla and Gonfa Kewessa. All rights reserved. Germination Ecology of Arundinaria alpina (K. Schum.) and Oxytenanthera abyssinica (A. Rich.) Munro Seeds: Indigenous Bamboo Species in Ethiopia Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:07:29 +0000 Highland bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) and lowland bamboo (Oxytenanthera abyssinica) are indigenous to Ethiopia and endemic to Africa. Seeds of A. alpina were collected from Dawa Wereda (District), while O. abyssinica seeds were collected from Pawe and Sherkole Weredas. In this study, seed presowing treatments, effects of dry heat, moist heat, and light/dark treatments on the germination of seeds were tested. The averages were of 59,416 and 8,393 seeds contained within 1 kg of A. alpina and O. abyssinica seeds within 86 and 91% pure seeds, respectively. From 1 kg of pure seeds 37,301 and 7,168 seedlings are raised in the laboratory in their respective orders. The result revealed that control seeds of A. alpina and O. abyssinica showed the best germination of 73 and 98%. Germination of both dry and moist heat treatments of O. abyssinica seeds was significantly improved at 60 and 80°C. Unlike A. alpina seeds, seeds of O. abyssinica had better germination for light treatment compared to dark. For effective large scale plantation and raising of A. alpina and O. abyssinica seedlings from its seeds for laboratory, control seeds supply to necessary light source (for O. abyssinica seeds) is recommended. Tinsae Bahru, Yigardu Mulatu, and Berhane Kidane Copyright © 2015 Tinsae Bahru et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity of Selected Mangifera Species Revealed by Inter Simple Sequence Repeats Markers Tue, 03 Nov 2015 08:23:21 +0000 ISSR markers were employed to reveal genetic diversity and genetic relatedness among 28 Mangifera accessions collected from Yan (Kedah), Bukit Gantang (Perak), Sibuti (Sarawak), and Papar (Sabah). A total of 198 markers were generated using nine anchored primers and one nonanchored primer. Genetic variation among the 28 accessions of Mangifera species including wild relatives, landraces, and clonal varieties is high, with an average degree of polymorphism of 98% and mean Shannon index, . Analysis on 18 Mangifera indica accessions also showed high degree of polymorphism of 99% and mean Shannon index, . Dice index of genetic similarity ranged from 0.0938 to 0.8046 among the Mangifera species. The dendrogram showed that the Mangifera species were grouped into three main divergent clusters. Cluster 1 comprised 14 accessions from Kedah and Perak. Cluster II and cluster III comprised 14 accessions from Sarawak and Sabah. Meanwhile, the Dice index of genetic similarity for 18 accessions of Mangifera indica ranged from 0.2588 to 0.7742. The dendrogram also showed the 18 accessions of Mangifera indica were grouped into three main clusters. Cluster I comprised 10 landraces of Mangifera indica from Kedah. Cluster II comprised 7 landraces of Mangifera indica followed by Chokanan to form Cluster III. Zulhairil Ariffin, Muhammad Shafie Md Sah, Salma Idris, and Nuradni Hashim Copyright © 2015 Zulhairil Ariffin et al. All rights reserved. Assembly of Optimum Habitats for Asian Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in the Arabian Peninsula: The Vegetation Aspects Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:34:12 +0000 This research was conducted in four sites at Mahazat as-Sayd reserve in Saudi Arabia to determine the optimum habitats’ constituents for Asian houbara bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii via assessing abiotic and biotic factors with special reference to vegetation aspects. Vegetative parameters were quantified using combinations of distance and line intercept methods. Acquired data were analyzed using cluster analysis and analysis of variance tests. Results indicated that three of the four plant communities of the study sites were dominated by Acacia tortilis with underground cover composed of lesser species. On the other hand, White Jabal was dominated by scrubs composed mainly of Fagonia indica with sparse Acacia trees. Rumrumiyya site recorded the highest species abundance and vegetative coverage (133%) among the sites. It is concluded that Black Jabal and White Jabal sites are used as nesting and foraging habitats for houbaras, whereas Jabal Khurse is specifically a males’ display site. Nevertheless, Rumrumiyya site was used for foraging and shelter. The study confirmed that density and vegetation cover are of prime importance for houbara site selection. However, other factors affecting feeding and behavior of the species must be considered in further studies. Naseraldeen Baqer Asadalla, Mohammad Sulaiman Abido, Asma Abahussain, and Mohamed Shobrak Copyright © 2015 Naseraldeen Baqer Asadalla et al. All rights reserved. Information Transfer between Generations Linked to Biodiversity in Rock-Paper-Scissors Games Wed, 17 Jun 2015 12:52:50 +0000 Ecological processes, such as reproduction, mobility, and interaction between species, play important roles in the maintenance of biodiversity. Classically, the cyclic dominance of species has been modelled using the nonhierarchical interactions among competing species, represented by the “Rock-Paper-Scissors” (RPS) game. Here we propose a cascaded channel model for analyzing the existence of biodiversity in the RPS game. The transition between successive generations is modelled as communication of information over a noisy communication channel. The rate of transfer of information over successive generations is studied using mutual information and it is found that “greedy” information transfer between successive generations may lead to conditions for extinction. This generalized framework can be used to study biodiversity in any number of interacting species, ecosystems with unequal rates for different species, and also competitive networks. Ranjan Bose Copyright © 2015 Ranjan Bose. All rights reserved. Biodiversity and Indigenous Uses of Medicinal Plant in the Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandauli District, Uttar Pradesh Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:27:23 +0000 Conventional medicines are very important part of Indian culture. In this study the outcome of two-year study of ethnomedicinal uses of plants in Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary (CPWLS) and nearby area is reported. Information related to different plants which are used by local community in the treatment of many common diseases and well-being in the area was collected. Data on the use of medicinal plants were collected using structured interview of about 122 participants and thorough observations and conversations with local communities. Approximately 100 plants belonging to 43 families used by the local healers were reported in this study. The plant species with the highest fidelity level (Fl) were Holarrhena antidysenterica, Lawsonia inermis, Gymnema sylvestre, Dalbergia sissoo, Cassia fistula Linn., Butea monosperma (Lam.) Kuntze., Boerhaavia diffusa Linn., Albizia lebbeck Benth., Aegle marmelos Correa., Sphaeranthus indicus Linn., and Solanum surattense Burm. f. The most frequent ailments reported were hepatitis, jaundice, constipation, and skin and urinary problems. The parts of the plants most frequently used were fruit, roots, and whole plants (17%) followed by leaves (16%) and bark (15%). This study presents new research efforts and perspectives on the search for new drugs based on local uses of medicinal plants. Maurya Santosh Kumar, Seth Ankit, Dev Nath Singh Gautam, and Singh Anil Kumar Copyright © 2015 Maurya Santosh Kumar et al. All rights reserved. An Analysis of Social Seed Network and Its Contribution to On-Farm Conservation of Crop Genetic Diversity in Nepal Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:20:30 +0000 Social seed systems are important for the maintenance of crop genetic diversity on farm. This is governed by local and informal system in the community through a farmers’ network. This paper analyses these local seed systems through application of social network analysis tools and mappings and examines the network member and its stability over space and time in a small rice farming community in Nepal. NetDraw software is used for data analysis and network mapping. We found that the dynamic network structure had key role in provisioning of traditional varieties and maintaining of crop genetic diversity on farm. We identify and ascertain the key network members, constituted either as nodal or bridging (connector) farmers, occupying central position in the network who promote seed flow of local crop diversity, thus strengthening crop genetic resource diversity on farm. Diwakar Poudel, Bhuwon Sthapit, and Pratap Shrestha Copyright © 2015 Diwakar Poudel et al. All rights reserved. Tropical Refuges with Exceptionally High Phylogenetic Diversity Reveal Contrasting Phylogenetic Structures Sun, 15 Feb 2015 08:56:15 +0000 Loss of phylogenetic diversity (PD) has gained increasing attention in conservation biology. However, PD is not equally distributed in a phylogeny and can be better assessed when species relatedness (phylogenetic structure: PS) is also considered. Here, we investigate PD and PS in two refuges of biodiversity in northeastern Brazil: the Bahia Costal Forest (BCF) in the Atlantic Forest domain and Chapada Diamantina (CD) in the Caatinga domain. We used geographic data of 205 species at two spatial scales and a chronogram of Apocynaceae based on matK sequences to estimate PD and PS. Our results show an exceptionally high PD in both refuges, overdispersed in BCF and clustered in CD, although this difference is less evident or absent for recent relationships, especially at a smaller spatial scale. Overall, PS suggests long-term competitive exclusion under climatic stability, currently balanced by habitat filtering, in BCF, and biome conservatism and limited dispersal leading to in situ diversification and high density of microendemics in CD. The phylogenetically clustered flora in CD, also threatened by climate changes, are naturally more vulnerable than BCF. Therefore, while in situ conservation may ensure protection of biodiversity in BCF, emergency ex situ conservation is strongly recommended in CD. Lara Pugliesi and Alessandro Rapini Copyright © 2015 Lara Pugliesi and Alessandro Rapini. All rights reserved. Biodiversity of Three Backwaters in the South West Coast of India Tue, 09 Dec 2014 07:05:16 +0000 For the conservation of biodiversity, it is not sufficient to preserve the living organisms or their gametes alone, because keeping fishes in aquaria or their gametes in freezers cannot conserve the full range of biodiversity which is due to the loss of the ecological complexity in their original habitats. For promoting richer biodiversity in the future, more complexity in biological communities is essential in their natural environments. In order to prevent depletion of biodiversity due to environmental alterations or other ways, it is necessary to understand how the diversity of life particularly at the species level is maintained and it is equally necessary to know how the terminal extinction of species takes place under natural conditions. Moreover, a database on fishery resources of the concerned environment is essential to make decision about specific programmes on conservation of fish germplasm resources. Hence, the present study aims to quantify the fish and shellfish resources of the selected backwaters such as Kadinamkulam, Veli, and Poonthura to know the real stocks present in such environments. Beslin Leena Grace Copyright © 2014 Beslin Leena Grace. All rights reserved. Changing Land Use Patterns and Their Impacts on Wild Ungulates in Kimana Wetland Ecosystem, Kenya Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:10:06 +0000 In Kenya, wildlife numbers have drastically declined due to land use changes (LUCs) over the past three decades. This has affected wildlife habitats by converting them into farmlands and human settlements. This study used remote sensing data from landsat satellite to analyze the changing land use patterns between 1980 and 2013 and their impacts on wild ungulates in KWE. The objective of the study was to map out LUCs, determine the possible causes of LUCs, and examine the effects of LUCs on wild ungulates. The results showed a noticeable increase in the size of farmland, settlement, and other lands and a decline in forestland, grassland, wetland, and woodland. The main possible causes of LUC were found to be agricultural expansions, human population dynamics, economic factors, changing land tenure policy, politics, and sociocultural factors. The main effects of LUCs on wild ungulates in KWE include a decline in wild ungulate numbers, habitat destruction, increased human-wildlife conflicts, land degradation, and displacement of wild ungulates by livestock. The study recommends land use zoning of KWE and establishment of an effective and efficient wildlife benefit-sharing scheme(s). Stephen Kitina Nyamasyo and Bonface Odiara Kihima Copyright © 2014 Stephen Kitina Nyamasyo and Bonface Odiara Kihima. All rights reserved. Diversity of Bacterial Photosymbionts in Lubomirskiidae Sponges from Lake Baikal Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:22:48 +0000 Sponges are permanent benthos residents which establish complex associations with a variety of microorganisms that raise interest in the nature of sponge-symbionts interactions. A molecular approach, based on the identification of the 16S rRNA and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit genes, was applied to investigate diversity and phylogeny of bacterial phototrophs associated with four species of Lubomirskiidae in Lake Baikal. The phylogeny inferred from both genes showed three main clusters of Synechococcus associated with Baikalian sponges. One of the clusters belonged to the cosmopolitan Synechococcus rubescens group and the two other were not related to any of the assigned phylogenetic groups but placed as sister clusters to S. rubescens. These results expanded the understanding of freshwater sponge-associated photoautotroph diversity and suggested that the three phylogenetic groups of Synechococcus are common photosynthetic symbionts in Lubomirskiidae sponges. Nina V. Kulakova, Natalia N. Denikina, and Sergei I. Belikov Copyright © 2014 Nina V. Kulakova et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity of Parkia biglobosa from Different Agroecological Zones of Nigeria Using RAPD Markers Sun, 09 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) is an important leguminous tree crop in the African Savannahs useful to the natives where it is found, for domestic use. Previous diversity studies on this tree crop had been majorly on morphological and biochemical analysis. In order to capture the maximum diversity not obtained by previous research, the study aimed at evaluating the genetic diversity of accessions of this crop in the different agroecological zones in Nigeria using RAPD markers. A total of 81 scorable bands with an average of 8.1 bands per primer were amplified among the accessions studied. Intrazonal genetic diversity analysis showed a percentage polymorphism with a range of 11.11% to 65.43% among the agroecological zones studied. Although, gene diversity was highest within Humid forest agroecological zone, a low genetic distance and high genetic similarity between the agroecological zones were observed. Cluster analysis indicated six main groups of which four groups had single accessions while the two groups clustered the remaining accessions, indicating a narrowed genetic base from the 23 accessions studied. Oluwafemi Amusa, Adenubi Adesoye, Adebayo Ogunkanmi, Ojobo Omoche, Olumayowa Olowe, Solomon Akinyosoye, and Taiwo Omodele Copyright © 2014 Oluwafemi Amusa et al. All rights reserved. Study of the Genetic Diversity of the Ornamental Fish Badis badis (Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822) in the Terai Region of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, India Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:36:44 +0000 Dwarf chameleon fish or Badis badis, a lesser known ornamental freshwater fish, has recently been included in the Indian threatened category of fish list. There are insufficient studies with regard to the assessment of genetic background of this ichthyofauna, especially in the western sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal, India, popularly known as the Terai. The present study is the first attempt to investigate the present status of the genetic background of this species in the Mahananda and Balason rivers, major streams of this region. Twenty-one selective RAPD primers generated 53 and 60 polymorphic fragments in the Mahananda and Balason populations, respectively. The proportion of polymorphic loci, Nei’s genetic diversity (H), and Shannon’s index were 0.4416, , and , respectively, in Mahananda river population and were 0.5041, , and , respectively, in Balason river population. Inbreeding coefficient and degree of gene differentiation were also calculated. The H and were found to be and , respectively, in overall Mahananda-Balason river system. Our study revealed considerable lack of genetic variation among the individuals of Badis badis. The genetic data obtained from the present study lend support to the view that there is a scope of stock improvement for this ichthyofauna. Tanmay Mukhopadhyay and Soumen Bhattacharjee Copyright © 2014 Tanmay Mukhopadhyay and Soumen Bhattacharjee. All rights reserved. Spatial Distribution and Dispersal Patterns of Central North American Freshwater Crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) with Emphasis on Implications of Glacial Refugia Thu, 06 Nov 2014 12:47:18 +0000 Spatial distributions of crayfish were evaluated in relation to glacial geography and possible modes of dispersal from refugia. Species dispersal patterns were a priori hypothesized and tested using principle components analysis (PCA). PCA factor loading plots were evaluated for hypothesized crayfish dispersal patterns. Cambarus laevis was limited to the unglaciated region, while Orconectes immunis, Orconectes virilis, and Procambarus gracilis may have dispersed from western glacial refugia in the upper Missouri drainage. Fallicambarus fodiens and Procambarus acutus dispersed from south of the glacial advance within the Mississippi embayment. Previous dispersal hypotheses for Orconectes propinquus recognized that northern refugia may have been from the Driftless Area in Wisconsin and Illinois and may have invaded more than one refuge since this species was common in unglaciated areas of southwestern Indiana. Orconectes indianensis center of abundance is in the unglaciated region. Disjunct populations likely dispersed into temporary glacial lakes that, when receded, left populations in previously glaciated areas. Cambarus polychromatus possibly dispersed from southern refugia, while Cambarus sp. A cf. diogenes dispersed from southern refugia not sympatric with C. polychromatus. The glacial refugia included western and southern areas of the glacial maximum; however, northern dispersal routes may be important with global climate change. Thomas P. Simon and Jacob L. Burskey Copyright © 2014 Thomas P. Simon and Jacob L. Burskey. All rights reserved. Threats to Mammals on Fragmented Habitats around Asella Town, Central Ethiopia Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:22:04 +0000 Assessment of the current information on the major threat to mammals in fragmented remnant montane forest of Child Care Center and School of Agriculture was conducted from March to July 2013. The prevailing threatening factors were collected by questionnaires, checklists, interview, observation, and document analysis. A total of 22 species of mammals were recorded of which six (27%) were endemic to the country and vulnerable. Mammals and their habitats were threatened by land fragmentation, hunting, habitat modification, land degradation and deforestation, lack of awareness, and finance. Although all mammals were susceptible to hunting, high rate of occurrence was recorded for Olive baboon (Papio anubis). The different infrastructure construction in both compounds is causing different impacts. As the area is rich in mammals and other species and threatened by different factors to reverse the situation, urgent conservation action is highly recommended. Mohammed Kasso and Afework Bekele Copyright © 2014 Mohammed Kasso and Afework Bekele. All rights reserved. Crop Depredation by Birds in Deccan Plateau, India Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:05:04 +0000 Extent of crop depredation in agricultural fields of groundnut, pearl millet, peas, sorghum and sunflower was assessed in Pune, Akola and Amravati, the three productive districts of Maharashtra, India. The study included interviews with the farmers, identification of the bird species responsible for the crop depredation and actual field assessment of damage. The problem of crop depredation is severe for the crops mostly during harvesting season. Most farmers were not satisfied with the conventional bird repelling techniques. A maximum depredation was observed by Sorghum crops by house sparrows Passer domesticus, baya weavers Ploceus philippinus, and rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri, accounting to 52% of the total damage. Blue rock pigeons Columba livia damaged 42% of the peas crop (chick peas and pigeon peas), while house sparrows and baya weaver damaged the groundnut crop by 26% in the sampling plots. House sparrow Passer domesticus and baya weaver Ploceus philippinus damaged the groundnut crop in the sampling plots just after the sowing period. The sustainable solution for reducing crop depredation is a need for the farmers and also such techniques will help avoid direct or indirect effects of use of lethal bird control techniques on bird species. Manoj Ashokrao Kale, Nandkishor Dudhe, Raju Kasambe, and Prosun Bhattacharya Copyright © 2014 Manoj Ashokrao Kale et al. All rights reserved. Quantitative Characterization of Nut Yield and Fruit Components in Indigenous Coconut Germplasm in Sri Lanka Sun, 17 Aug 2014 11:28:46 +0000 Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is a tropical palm offering multiple uses. Conservation of coconut germplasm has been undertaken globally in view of its economic importance. This research was designed to evaluate nine Sri Lankan indigenous coconut germplasm representing the three varieties Typica, Nana, and Aurantiaca. Total annual nut yield and the weights of fresh nut, husked nut, split nut, and fresh and dry kernel were scored and analyzed with analysis of variance. The annual average number of bunches varied from 14.9 to 16.8 which is significantly higher than the generally accepted 12–14 bunches in tall coconuts. The high potential of phenotypes Ran thembili and Gon thembili for kernel production was revealed. The high potential of Gon thembili, Sri Lanka Tall, and Ran thembili to produce fibre was also identified. Phenotypes Ran thembili and Gon thembili displayed their potential as pure cultivars and as parents in hybridization. King coconut, Red dwarf, and Bodiri were shown to be suitable as beverage coconuts due to the high production of nuts, bunches, and the quantity of nut water. This study reiterated the importance of conservation and characterization of indigenous coconut varieties globally for their effective use in the genetic improvement of the coconut palm. S. A. C. N. Perera, H. D. M. A. C. Dissanayaka, H. M. N. B. Herath, M. G. M. K. Meegahakumbura, and L. Perera Copyright © 2014 S. A. C. N. Perera et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Divergence, Implication of Diversity, and Conservation of Silkworm, Bombyx mori Tue, 13 May 2014 12:09:44 +0000 Genetic diversity is critical to success in any crop breeding and it provides information about the quantum of genetic divergence and serves a platform for specific breeding objectives. It is one of the three forms of biodiversity recognized by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as deserving conservation. Silkworm Bombyx mori, an economically important insect, reported to be domesticated over 5000 years ago by human to meet his requirements. Genetic diversity is a particular concern because greater genetic uniformity in silkworm can increase vulnerability to pests and diseases. Hence, maintenance of genetic diversity is a fundamental component in long-term management strategies for genetic improvement of silkworm which is cultivated by millions of people around the worlds for its lusture silk. In this paper genetic diversity studies carried out in silkworm using divergent methods (quantitative traits and biochemical and molecular markers) and present level of diversity and factors responsible for loss of diversity are discussed. Bharat Bhusan Bindroo and Shunmugam Manthira Moorthy Copyright © 2014 Bharat Bhusan Bindroo and Shunmugam Manthira Moorthy. All rights reserved. Impact of Livestock Exclusion on Sidi Toui National Park Vegetation Communities, Tunisia Mon, 12 May 2014 16:35:20 +0000 The restoration technique importance resides on the assessment of its impact on biodiversity. This assessment is possible by the use of some environmental indicators extracted from a diachronic study of land cover changes in protected areas. Our study is carried out with the evaluation of some indicators inside Sidi Toui national park. These indicators are measured on the one hand from a land cover map of 1988 (3 years before the creation of the park) and the map of 2007 on the other hand (16 years after the park creation). An important landscape heterogeneity, as a result of the progressive vegetation dynamic, was observed in 2007. This heterogeneity is indicated by an increasing of the Shannon diversity index under fencing impacts. The majority of 1988 vegetation units are replaced by new ones in 2007. The cover of all vegetation units is more important in 2007. Mohamed Tarhouni, Farah Ben Salem, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, and Mohamed Neffati Copyright © 2014 Mohamed Tarhouni et al. All rights reserved. Endophytic Fungal Diversity in Medicinal Plants of Western Ghats, India Sun, 11 May 2014 09:35:55 +0000 Endophytes constitute an important component of microbial diversity, and in the present investigation, seven plant species with rich ethnobotanical uses representing six families were analyzed for the presence of endophytic fungi from their natural habitats during monsoon (May/June) and winter (November/December) seasons of 2007. Fungal endophytes were isolated from healthy plant parts such as stem, root, rhizome, and inflorescence employing standard isolation methods. One thousand five hundred and twenty-nine fungal isolates were obtained from 5200 fragments. Stem fragments harbored more endophytes (80.37%) than roots (19.22%). 31 fungal taxa comprised of coelomycetes (65%), hyphomycetes (32%), and ascomycetes (3%). Fusarium, Acremonium, Colletotrichum, Chaetomium, Myrothecium, Phomopsis, and Pestalotiopsis spp. were commonly isolated. Diversity indices differed significantly between the seasons (). Species richness was greater for monsoon isolations than winter. Host specificity was observed for few fungal endophytes. UPGMA cluster analysis grouped the endophytes into distinct clusters on the basis of genetic distance. This study is the first report on the diversity and host-specificity of endophytic fungal taxa were from the semi evergreen forest type in Talacauvery subcluster of Western Ghats. Monnanda Somaiah Nalini, Ningaraju Sunayana, and Harischandra Sripathy Prakash Copyright © 2014 Monnanda Somaiah Nalini et al. All rights reserved. Current Population Status and Activity Pattern of Lesser Flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) and Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) in Abijata-Shalla Lakes National Park (ASLNP), Ethiopia Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:21:48 +0000 A study of the population status, habitat preference, and activity pattern of nonbreeding flamingos was carried out in Lakes Abijata, Shalla, and Chitu, part of the Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia, from 2011 to 2013. The current population status and habitat preference of flamingos in the area are still poorly known. Likewise, data on diurnal and seasonal activity pattern of the species are scarce and this leads to the misunderstanding of how Flamingos use local wetlands throughout the different seasons. Data regarding population size and activity pattern were gathered during the wet and dry seasons. Point-count method was used to estimate the population size. Behaviors were recorded using scan sampling techniques. A total of 53671 individuals representing two species of flamingo were counted during both wet and dry seasons from the three lakes. There were more flamingos during the dry season than the wet season in Lake Abijata contrary to Lakes Shalla and Chitu during the wet season. Lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) were the most abundant species comprising 95.39%, while Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) accounted for 4.61% of the total population. Lake Abijata is the major stronghold of Lesser Flamingos in the area. There was significant variation in the mean number of both species during the wet and dry season in the different study sites of the lake, respectively. The species were known to use varied habitats within the lakes. The Lesser Flamingo mainly preferred the shoreline and mudflat areas of the lakes. However, Greater Flamingo on several occasions showed preference to offshore area of the lakes. Seasonal average flock sizes were not similar between the species. There was a strong relationship between time allocated to each activity and time of day. Feeding activity varied among daylight hours and was higher in the evening (76.5%) and late morning (74.56%) and least during midday (54%). Some variations in activity breakdown were observed between time blocks and season. Conservation efforts in the park should include the wild flora and fauna not only of the land but also of the aquatic systems. The information in this study will be very useful for the future management of the species in the area. Tewodros Kumssa and Afework Bekele Copyright © 2014 Tewodros Kumssa and Afework Bekele. All rights reserved. Holistic Management: Misinformation on the Science of Grazed Ecosystems Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:33:07 +0000 Over 3 billion hectares of lands worldwide are grazed by livestock, with a majority suffering degradation in ecological condition. Losses in plant productivity, biodiversity of plant and animal communities, and carbon storage are occurring as a result of livestock grazing. Holistic management (HM) has been proposed as a means of restoring degraded deserts and grasslands and reversing climate change. The fundamental approach of this system is based on frequently rotating livestock herds to mimic native ungulates reacting to predators in order to break up biological soil crusts and trample plants and soils to promote restoration. This review could find no peer-reviewed studies that show that this management approach is superior to conventional grazing systems in outcomes. Any claims of success due to HM are likely due to the management aspects of goal setting, monitoring, and adapting to meet goals, not the ecological principles embodied in HM. Ecologically, the application of HM principles of trampling and intensive foraging are as detrimental to plants, soils, water storage, and plant productivity as are conventional grazing systems. Contrary to claims made that HM will reverse climate change, the scientific evidence is that global greenhouse gas emissions are vastly larger than the capacity of worldwide grasslands and deserts to store the carbon emitted each year. John Carter, Allison Jones, Mary O’Brien, Jonathan Ratner, and George Wuerthner Copyright © 2014 John Carter et al. All rights reserved. Axillary Bud Proliferation Approach for Plant Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:04:34 +0000 Due to mainly human population pressure and activities, global biodiversity is getting reduced and particularly plant biodiversity is becoming at high risk of extinction. Consequently, many efforts have been deployed to develop conservation methods. Because it does not involve cell dedifferentiation of differentiated cells but rather the development and growth of new shoots from preexisting meristems, the axillary bud proliferation approach is the method offering least risk of genetic instability. Indeed, meristems are more resistant to genetic changes than disorganized tissues. The present review explored through the scientific literature the axillary bud proliferation approach and the possible somaclonal variation that could arise from it. Almost genetic stability or low level of genetic variation is often reported. On the contrary, in a few cases studied to date, DNA methylation alterations often appeared in the progenies, showing epigenetic variations in the regenerated plants from axillary bud culture. Fortunately, epigenetic changes are often temporary and plants may revert to the normal phenotype. Thus, in the absence of genetic variations and the existence of reverting epigenetic changes over time, axillary bud culture can be adopted as an alternative nonconventional way of conserving and restoring of plant biodiversity. F. Ngezahayo and B. Liu Copyright © 2014 F. Ngezahayo and B. Liu. All rights reserved. Genetic Diversity Assessment and Identification of New Sour Cherry Genotypes Using Intersimple Sequence Repeat Markers Mon, 10 Mar 2014 09:25:44 +0000 Iran is one of the chief origins of subgenus Cerasus germplasm. In this study, the genetic variation of new Iranian sour cherries (which had such superior growth characteristics and fruit quality as to be considered for the introduction of new cultivars) was investigated and identified using 23 intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Results indicated a high level of polymorphism of the genotypes based on these markers. According to these results, primers tested in this study specially ISSR-4, ISSR-6, ISSR-13, ISSR-14, ISSR-16, and ISSR-19 produced good and various levels of amplifications which can be effectively used in genetic studies of the sour cherry. The genetic similarity among genotypes showed a high diversity among the genotypes. Cluster analysis separated improved cultivars from promising Iranian genotypes, and the PCoA supported the cluster analysis results. Since the Iranian genotypes were superior to the improved cultivars and were separated from them in most groups, these genotypes can be considered as distinct genotypes for further evaluations in the framework of breeding programs and new cultivar identification in cherries. Results also confirmed that ISSR is a reliable DNA marker that can be used for exact genetic studies and in sour cherry breeding programs. Roghayeh Najafzadeh, Kazem Arzani, Naser Bouzari, and Ali Saei Copyright © 2014 Roghayeh Najafzadeh et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of Annur and Bedakam Ecotypes of Coconut from Kerala State, India, Using Microsatellite Markers Sun, 23 Feb 2014 06:44:51 +0000 The coconut palm is versatile in its adaptability to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. A long history of its cultivation has resulted in development of many ecotypes, which are adapted to various agro-eco factors prevalent in a particular region. These ecotypes usually are known by the location where they are grown. It is important to explore such adaptation in the coconut population for better utilization of these ecotypes in coconut breeding programs. The aim of the present study was to identify the genetic diversity of the Bedakam and Annur ecotypes of coconut and compare these ecotypes with predominant West Coast Tall (WCT) populations, from which they are presumed to have been derived, using microsatellite markers. All the 17 microsatellite markers used in the study revealed 100% polymorphism. The clustering analysis showed that Annur and Bedakam ecotypes were two separate and distinct populations compared to WCT. It was also evident from the clustering that Annur ecotype was closer to WCT than Bedakam ecotype. M. K. Rajesh, K. Samsudeen, P. Rejusha, C. Manjula, Shafeeq Rahman, and Anitha Karun Copyright © 2014 M. K. Rajesh et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Anthropogenic Activities on Patterns of Genetic Diversity in Symplocos racemosa Roxb. from Western Ghats, India Tue, 11 Feb 2014 08:44:16 +0000 The Western Ghats (WG) in India is recognized as one of the global biodiversity hotspots which have high proportion of endemic species and the medicinally important tree species. Due to medicinal importance and being found on the forest fringes, Symplocos racemosa Roxb. is highly susceptible to anthropogenic activities. The present study was undertaken to systematically analyze the effects of anthropogenic activities on the genetic diversity and population structure of S. racemosa and to generate preliminary data for conservation purposes. We analyzed the variation in intergenic sequences of chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes from seven sites of S. racemosa sampled from protected, semiprotected, and disturbed areas of WG. Total diversity was high although within-sites diversity was low. The protected sites were highly diverse, while the disturbed areas possessed less genetic diversity indicating the effect of anthropogenic activities. Sofia Banu, Rasika M. Bhagwat, Meena D. Lagu, Narendra Kadoo, B. G. Kulkarni, and Vidya S. Gupta Copyright © 2014 Sofia Banu et al. All rights reserved. Diversity and Species Composition of Subaerial Algal Communities in Forested Areas of Meghalaya, India Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:53:01 +0000 The study deals with a comparative study on diversity and species composition of subaerial algal communities from tree barks of closed undisturbed sacred grove, mixed plantation, and open disturbed forest. A total of 85 taxa had been recorded, 30 cyanobacteria and 55 algal species belonging to six classes of algae. Sacred grove harboured the highest subaerial algal diversity compared to those of plantation and open disturbed forest. There was a strong significant difference in species composition among the three different sampling areas. High number of diatoms with 14 species was recorded in sacred grove. Cyanobacteria with 22 species were the frequent group in disturbed forest whereas Trentepohliales dominated in plantation. Canonical correspondence analysis confirmed that high photon irradiance favored the growth of cyanobacteria in disturbed forest. The abundance of Trentepohliales members correlated to high rainfall and photon irradiance. High diversity and presence of many diatom species in undisturbed Mawphlang sacred grove were associated with low photon irradiance and high relative humidity and could also be due to a presence of suitable substrata formed by the growth of mosses. Sunlight, relative humidity, and rainfall were the important factors which played a major role in determining the diversity and distribution of subaerial algal communities. Diana Kharkongor and Papiya Ramanujam Copyright © 2014 Diana Kharkongor and Papiya Ramanujam. All rights reserved. A Crispy Delicacy: Augosoma Beetle as Alternative Source of Protein in East Cameroon Tue, 28 Jan 2014 07:34:35 +0000 Despite the fact that the exoskeleton of the Augosoma centaurus (Dynastinae) is hard and difficult to chew, this insect is often gathered in Eastern Cameroon for food in periods of availability. Nine ethnic groups in Eastern Cameroon were surveyed to understand the role of this insect in assuring food security, using quantitative and qualitative social science approaches. Both the larvae and adult stages of this beetle are habitually consumed in the areas studied. In total, about 65% of consumers prefer consuming the adults, while 35% prefer consuming the larvae. About 24% of consumers derive the same satisfaction from the consumption of Augosoma or other edible insects. Close to 39% of consumers prefer other edible insects to Augosoma, while 37% prefer the consumption of Augosoma to other edible insects. This beetle usually occurs at a period when other edible insects are not available, therefore constituting a good source of alternative protein in this region where poverty, poaching, and biodiversity erosion are still a major problem. Furthermore, the gathering of this beetle for food is equally a means of biological pest control of raffia plants and a tool to enhance community-based conservation of the areas global biodiversity. F. J. Muafor, P. Levang, and P. Le Gall Copyright © 2014 F. J. Muafor et al. All rights reserved.