International Journal of Biodiversity The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . 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. Analysis of Structure and Diversity of the Kilengwe Forest in the Morogoro Region, Tanzania Thu, 23 Jan 2014 06:45:04 +0000 This study investigates the structure, species composition, and diversity of a section of the Kilengwe Forest in Tanzania. In order to accomplish the proposed objectives, 18 plots of 20 m × 20 m were randomly established in the forest and the number of tree species in each plot was identified and counted. The most important families and species were determined using importance value indices at the respective taxonomic levels. Diversity was measured using the Shannon-Wiener and Fisher alpha diversity indices. A total of 276 stems/ha representing 93 species/ha within 26 families were documented from 0.72 ha. Fabaceae and Julbernadia globiflora were the dominant family and species, respectively. Seventy-eight percent of the total species were rare. The average basal area of the forest was 7.1 m2/ha. The Shannon-Wiener index (4.02) and Fisher’s alpha diversity (35.5) indicated high species diversity within the forest. The species-area and species-abundance curves revealed an escalating trend implying that more sampling efforts could result in a higher number of species existing in the forest. The size class distribution displayed a reverse J-shaped pattern; however, the larger size classes DBH >50 cm were not represented. The study suggests the necessity for anthropogenic disturbance control as this is the major source of forest degradation in the studied area. David Sylvester Kacholi Copyright © 2014 David Sylvester Kacholi. All rights reserved. A Spatial Analysis of Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus) Roost Location and Landscape Structure: A Case Study in Sussex, UK Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:09:33 +0000 Roost location is a key factor affecting the survival and fitness of British bats. It has been suggested that a knowledge and understanding of the factors which may influence the selection of roost location are fundamental to conservation efforts. Our study aims to investigate the relationship between Eptesicus serotinus roost location and landscape structure. The study is based in the Sussex region of South East England. The landscape characteristics of 97 roosts locations were compared against 100 random control locations. Habitat analysis was carried out at three distance bands and included an analysis of roost density. The results indicate that E. serotinus is selective in locating roosts. The study demonstrates that there are significant differences between the landscape composition surrounding roost sites and the wider landscape. In particular, E. serotinus roost sites are found to be located in areas with a significantly higher cover of arable land and improved grassland. Kernel density analysis was successfully used as an additional method to the direct comparison of roost neighbourhood composition. Density analysis identified the location and characteristics of possible centres of E. serotinus activity. It is anticipated that the findings will enable the needs of bats to be considered in future landscape conservation initiatives and development policies. Michael Tink, Niall G. Burnside, and Stephen Waite Copyright © 2014 Michael Tink et al. All rights reserved. Are Plant Species’ Richness and Diversity Influenced by Fragmentation at a Microscale? Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:46:46 +0000 It is argued that forest fragmentation has negative effects on biodiversity at the short and long term; however, these effects might be dependent on the specific vegetation of the study area and its intrinsic characteristics. The processes leading to fragmentation are very diverse and many of them have anthropogenic causes as logging actions and clearings for agricultural fields. Furthermore, it is thought that scale plays an important role in the expected effects of fragmentation on biodiversity. In this study the effect of forest fragmentation and its impact on the woody plants species, richness and diversity are analysed considering three vegetation types in a poorly studied and difficult access biodiversity hotspot in northern Mexico. The results show that the effects of fragmentation are dependent on the vegetation type and that these are not strongly related to the species richness, and diversity in a microscale (100 m2). Fragmentation effects on biodiversity must be analysed in a broad scale, considering the fragment as a whole. Furthermore, conservation priority should be given to the larger fragments, which could potentially maintain a higher portion of biodiversity. Management should also be focused on increasing the connectivity between these big and medium size forest patches. Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez Copyright © 2014 Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez. All rights reserved. Decline of Indigenous Crop Diversity in Colonial and Postcolonial Rwanda Sun, 22 Dec 2013 14:52:14 +0000 Global influence of the wealthiest countries drives trends in crop diversity in the developing countries. In many countries, European colonization resulted in cultural disintegration and erosion of indigenous knowledge that made citizens lose interest in their own cultural heritage and adopt imperial know-how. During the same time, native biodiversity that was once maintained by the tradition it shaped declined. Alien crops prospered and finally dominated landscapes. In this paper, I looked at the apparent decline of indigenous crop diversity in Rwanda in the light of the “cultural disturbance” that occurred in the shadow of the European colonization. An integrated research methodology that combined desk-based, socioeconomic, and vegetation surveys was used. Indigenous crops now on the fringe of extinction and, thus, requiring immediate attention from conservation policy makers and managers were identified. These include Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. “inkoli” (Leguminosae), Coleus dysentericus Bak. “impombo” (Labiatae), Dioscorea alata Linn. “ibikoro” (Araceae), a sweet cultivar of Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl. “bunure” (Cucurbitaceae), white cultivar of Sorghum bicolor (Linn.) Moench “nyiragikori” (Gramineae), Amaranthus graecizans Linn. “inyabutongo” (Amaranthaceae), Eleusine coracana (Linn.) Gaertn. “uburo” (Gramineae), and traditional cultivars of Zea mays Linn. “nyakagori” (Gramineae) and Solanum tuberosum Linn. “kandore” (Solanaceae). Jean Leonard Seburanga Copyright © 2013 Jean Leonard Seburanga. All rights reserved. Acacia sieberiana Effects on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Songa Pastures, Rwanda Mon, 04 Nov 2013 11:52:02 +0000 Effects of A. sieberiana trees on soil properties and plant diversity were investigated in Songa pastures, Rwanda. Tree characteristics and crown architecture of A. sieberiana were studied. Soil properties were assessed and plants were identified under and away from tree crowns. Counts of individual plants/species were done only under tree crowns. Nitrogen, P, and K were analysed in the soil, grass, and A. sieberiana leaves. Plant diversity was determined using Simpson's diversity index. Data were subjected to ANOVA. Soil organic carbon (SOC), cation exchange capacity (CEC), Ca2+, N and pH, and plant diversity were higher in soils under tree canopies than in open areas. Tree leaves were significantly richer in N and poorer in P and K as compared to grasses. Tree crowns grew wider and horizontal and developed intertwined secondary branching, reducing light intensity to as low as 38% under tree canopies compared to the open pasture. At 3 trees/ha stocking, A. sieberiana trees shaded 0.18 ha and herbaceous plants and grasses unpalatable to livestock dominated under tree canopies. A tradeoff of A. sieberiana tree value versus the loss of palatable grass due to tree presence needs to be assessed to decide whether the trees should be included in pastures and if yes, the apporpriate stocking identified. C. P. Mugunga and D. T. Mugumo Copyright © 2013 C. P. Mugunga and D. T. Mugumo. All rights reserved. Temporal Succession of Phytoplankton Assemblages in a Tidal Creek System of the Sundarbans Mangroves: An Integrated Approach Thu, 03 Oct 2013 14:10:58 +0000 Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove ecosystem, is unique and biologically diverse. A study was undertaken to track temporal succession of phytoplankton assemblages at the generic level (≥10 µm) encompassing 31 weeks of sampling (June 2010–May 2011) in Sundarbans based on microscopy and hydrological measurements. As part of this study, amplification and sequencing of type ID rbcL subunit of RuBisCO enzyme were also applied to infer chromophytic algal groups (≤10 µm size) from one of the study points. We report the presence of 43 genera of Bacillariophyta, in addition to other phytoplankton groups, based on microscopy. Phytoplankton cell abundance, which was highest in winter and spring, ranged between 300 and 27,500 cells/L during this study. Cell biovolume varied between winter of 2010 (90–35281.04 µm3) and spring-summer of 2011 (52–33962.24 µm3). Winter supported large chain forming diatoms, while spring supported small sized diatoms, followed by other algal groups in summer. The clone library approach showed dominance of Bacillariophyta-like sequences, in addition to Cryptophyta-, Haptophyta-, Pelagophyta-, and Eustigmatophyta-like sequences which were detected for the first time highlighting their importance in mangrove ecosystem. This study clearly shows that a combination of microscopy and molecular tools can improve understanding of phytoplankton assemblages in mangrove environments. Dola Bhattacharjee, Brajogopal Samanta, Anamitra Anurag Danda, and Punyasloke Bhadury Copyright © 2013 Dola Bhattacharjee et al. All rights reserved. Abundance and Structure of African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) across Different Soil Types in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe Wed, 25 Sep 2013 18:01:49 +0000 This study investigated the abundance and structure of African baobab (Adansonia digitata) across soil group strata in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. The study was based on a stratified random sampling design composed of the following soil group substrates: (i) granophyres, (ii) malvernia, and (iii) rhyolite. Belt transects of  km were randomly laid across soil group. Baobab abundance and population structure were determined from the density and size class distribution, respectively. There were significant differences in plant height and plant density across Gonarezhou soil groups. Study sites on granophyres derived soil group indicated viable abundance and recruitment of baobab population. Whereas the study highlighted a concern over the unbalanced size structure distribution of baobab population on malvernia derived soil group, our results indicated that baobabs are in danger of extirpation on malvernia derived soil group. Baobab community in Gonarezhou tends to occur more densely along environmental gradient of soil group type as influenced by the underlying geological soil substrate of granophyres. Malvernia derived soil group is likely less ideal for baobab recruitment. Clayton Mashapa, Patience Zisadza-Gandiwa, Edson Gandiwa, and Shakkie Kativu Copyright © 2013 Clayton Mashapa et al. All rights reserved.