ISRN Biodiversity The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Edge-Interior Disparities in Tree Species and Structural Composition of the Kilengwe Forest in Morogoro Region, Tanzania Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:45:38 +0000 A survey to determine the variation in species and structural composition of trees along the edge-interior gradient was done in the Kilengwe forest in Morogoro region, Tanzania. The forest was categorized into three habitats, namely, edge (0–100 m), intermediate (100–200 m), and interior (>200 m) depending on the distance from the forest margin. A total of six plots of 0.04 ha each were randomly placed in each of the habitats whereby all trees with DBH ≥ 10 cm were inventoried. A total of 67 species representing 26 families were recorded. Fabaceae was the most speciose and abundant family. Brachystegia spiciformis was the most abundant species. Of the recorded species, 10.45% were common in the three habitats while 8.95%, 13.43%, and 26.86% occurred exclusively to the edge, intermediate, and interior habitats, respectively. The forest interior was significantly rich in terms of species richness, diversity, density, and basal area than the edge and intermediate habitats. The edge had significantly higher number of stumps/ha. In summary, the results suggest that edge/intermediate and interior are contrasting habitats in terms of tree species richness, diversity, and structural composition. Moreover, the forest edge and intermediate habitats were found to be characterized by high anthropogenic activities compared to the forest interior habitat. David Sylvester Kacholi Copyright © 2014 David Sylvester Kacholi. All rights reserved. Rediscovery of Cameroon Dolphin, the Gulf of Guinea Population of Sousa teuszii (Kükenthal, 1892) Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:48:16 +0000 Since the 1892 discovery of the Atlantic humpback dolphin Sousa teuszii (Delphinidae), a species endemic to coastal western Africa, from a skull collected in Cameroon, not a single record has been documented from the country or neighbouring countries. Increasing concern about the continued existence of the Gulf of Guinea population of S. teuszii or “Cameroon dolphin” prompted an exploratory survey in May 2011. Shore-based effort, on foot (30.52 km; 784 min), yielded no observations. Small boat-based surveys (259.1 km; 1008 min) resulted in a single documented sighting of ca. 10 (8–12) Cameroon dolphins in shallow water off an open sandy shore near Bouandjo in Cameroon's South Region. The combination of a low encounter rate of 3.86 individuals (100 km)−1 suggesting low abundance and evidence of both fisheries-caused mortality and of habitat encroachment raises concerns about the Cameroon dolphin's long-term conservation prospect. Our results add to indications concerning several other S. teuszii populations that the IUCN status designation of the species as “Vulnerable” may understate its threat level. Isidore Ayissi, Gabriel Hoinsoudé Segniagbeto, and Koen Van Waerebeek Copyright © 2014 Isidore Ayissi et al. All rights reserved. Is Cut-Flower Industry Promotion by the Government Negatively Affecting Pollinator Biodiversity and Environmental/Human Health in Uganda? Sun, 16 Mar 2014 12:47:49 +0000 A study was conducted from 2010 to 2012 around the flower growing areas in central Uganda to generate baseline information on the status of pollinators. Primary data were gathered using a questionnaire that aimed at determining farmers and flower farm officials’ perceptions on the impact of activities carried out inside greenhouses on pollinators, human health, and on crop production in the surroundings. Results indicated that the quantity of pesticides and fertilizers applied daily varied among the different flower farms visited. Bee species richness and abundance varied significantly () according to flower farm location, to the landscape vegetation type, and to field types found in the surrounding of flower farms. Bee richness found around flower farms varied in number from 20 to 40 species in total across seasons and years. Bee density increased significantly with the increase in flower density. Small-scale farmers were aware of the value and importance of pollination services in their farming business. There was no clear evidence of a direct effect of agrochemicals application on bee communities living in the surrounding habitats. There is a need for further research to be conducted on human health risks and for toxicological studies on soils, plants, flowers, and bees in the farm landscape. Bin Mushambanyi Théodore Munyuli Copyright © 2014 Bin Mushambanyi Théodore Munyuli. All rights reserved. Vegetation Recovery in Response to the Exclusion of Grazing by Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) in Seminatural Grassland on Mt. Kushigata, Japan Wed, 19 Feb 2014 07:14:42 +0000 We examined the recovery of vegetation in seminatural grassland in central Japan after eliminating grazing by sika deer (Cervus nippon) by fencing. By 2012, after 5 years of fencing for exclusion of sika deer, the species composition of quadrats within the enclosure reverted to the original species composition in 1981, not browsed by sika deer. Conversely, outside the fence was different from the baseline quadrats in 1981. Iris sanguinea, a prominent flower in the area, recovered within the enclosure, while it continued to decrease with grazing outside the fence. Nevertheless, the I. sanguinea cover had not recovered to the 1981 levels in the enclosure. Fencing can effectively restore vegetation as the species composition within the enclosure gradually reverts to the original vegetation. Preventing grazing in intensively grazed seminatural grassland might lead to different successional pathways. Since I. sanguinea did not recover fully within the enclosure and the species composition differed slightly from the original vegetation, this suggests that the vegetation within the enclosure will change to an alternative state. Therefore, different management is needed to promote the correct succession pathways for ecological restoration, perhaps by enhancing the colonization of target species, to prevent restored sites from giving rise to alternative states. Takuo Nagaike, Eiji Ohkubo, and Kazuhiro Hirose Copyright © 2014 Takuo Nagaike et al. All rights reserved. A Comparison of the South African and United States Models of Natural Areas Management Tue, 28 Jan 2014 07:28:35 +0000 In May-June of 2013 we visited several South African parks and reserves to learn about wildlife and natural areas management in that country. We focused our visit on parks and reserves that are of moderate size (5,000–100,00 ha), comprised of grassland/savanna habitats, located within agrarian landscapes, and enclosed with boundary fences, characteristics similar to several parks and reserves in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. In this paper we compare the South African model of natural areas management to the United States model. We observed that South African parks and reserves with the aforementioned characteristics are more likely to (1) reintroduce and conserve small, nonviable wildlife populations, (2) reintroduce and conserve top-level predators, (3) have more intensive management of wildlife, (4) manage in partnership across multiple landowners, (5) engage local communities, (6) be self-funding, and (7) restrict visitor movement. The South African model is arguably more effective in conserving biodiversity as measured by conservation of apex predators and natural processes. The differences between the countries appear to be driven in large part by socioeconomic factors. Knowledge of natural areas management in other countries may lead to more innovative and creative models that could benefit biodiversity conservation. Daniel S. Licht, Brian C. Kenner, and Daniel E. Roddy Copyright © 2014 Daniel S. Licht et al. All rights reserved. Seasonal Colonization of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi in the Roots of Camellia sinensis (Tea) in Different Tea Gardens of India Wed, 25 Dec 2013 15:58:19 +0000 Study describes Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) fungi colonization within the roots of cultivated tea plants (Camellia sinensis) at four sites, that is, Goodrich, Archadia, IIP, and Vasant Vihar of Doon Valley, Dehradun, India, from April, 2008, to March, 2009. Microscopic study of sterilized and stained root segments showed presence of four species namely Glomus fasciculatum, G. mosseae, Gigaspora margarita, and Acaulospora scrobiculata belonging to three genera of mycorrhizal fungi. Maximum AM colonization was observed during April–September and minimum was observed for December-January months of the year. Comparative study of AM fungi colonization at four sites during rainy season showed maximum colonization (100%) at Archadia site having soil with high organic matter, less acidity, and low phosphorus (P) whereas minimum (64.59%) at IIP with low organic matter, more acidity, and high P content. However, no variation in nitrogen content was observed at all four sites. Study suggested a positive relation of percentage root colonization with soil organic matter and negative relation with acidity and P content of soil. Study concludes that the percentage AM colonization is the function of seasonal variation in physicochemical properties of soil and presence of AM inoculums in the soil at a particular time. Chitra Sharma, Rajan K. Gupta, Rakesh K. Pathak, and Kaushal K. Choudhary Copyright © 2013 Chitra Sharma et al. All rights reserved. Ex Situ Conservation of Biodiversity with Particular Emphasis to Ethiopia Thu, 21 Nov 2013 15:34:32 +0000 Biodiversity encompasses variety and variability of all forms of life on earth that play a great role in human existence. Its conservation embraces maintenance, sustainable utilization, and restoration, of the lost and degraded biodiversity through two basic and complementary strategies called in situ and ex situ. Ex situ conservation is the technique of conservation of all levels of biological diversity outside their natural habitats through different techniques like zoo, captive breeding, aquarium, botanical garden, and gene bank. It plays key roles in communicating the issues, raising awareness, and gaining widespread public and political support for conservation actions and for breeding endangered species in captivity for reintroduction. Limitations of ex situ conservation include maintenance of organisms in artificial habitats, deterioration of genetic diversity, inbreeding depression, adaptations to captivity, and accumulation of deleterious alleles. It has many constraints in terms of personnel, costs, and reliance on electric power sources. Ethiopia is considered to be one of the richest centers of genetic resources in the world. Currently, a number of stakeholders/actors are actively working on biodiversity conservation through ex situ conservation strategies by establishing gene banks, botanical garden, and zoo. Mohammed Kasso and Mundanthra Balakrishnan Copyright © 2013 Mohammed Kasso and Mundanthra Balakrishnan. All rights reserved. Ecological and Economic Importance of Bats (Order Chiroptera) Sun, 10 Nov 2013 09:56:44 +0000 Order Chiroptera is the second most diverse and abundant order of mammals with great physiological and ecological diversity. They play important ecological roles as prey and predator, arthropod suppression, seed dispersal, pollination, material and nutrient distribution, and recycle. They have great advantage and disadvantage in economic terms. The economic benefits obtained from bats include biological pest control, plant pollination, seed dispersal, guano mining, bush meat and medicine, aesthetic and bat watching tourism, and education and research. Even though bats are among gentle animals providing many positive ecological and economic benefits, few species have negative effects. They cause damage on human, livestock, agricultural crops, building, and infrastructure. They also cause airplane strike, disease transmission, and contamination, and bite humans during self-defense. Bat populations appear to be declining presumably in response to human induced environmental stresses like habitat destruction and fragmentation, disturbance to caves, depletion of food resources, overhunting for bush meat and persecution, increased use of pesticides, infectious disease, and wind energy turbine. As bats are among the most overlooked in spite of their economical and ecological importance, their conservation is mandatory. Mohammed Kasso and Mundanthra Balakrishnan Copyright © 2013 Mohammed Kasso and Mundanthra Balakrishnan. All rights reserved. Population, Ecology, and Threats to Two Endemic and Threatened Terrestrial Chelonians of the Western Ghats, India Sun, 29 Sep 2013 08:07:36 +0000 The Western Ghats part of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka hotspot harbors two endemic terrestrial chelonians, the Cochin forest cane turtle Vijayachelys silvatica and the Travancore tortoise Indotestudo travancorica. Population estimates as well as information on the scale and intensity of threats for these chelonians are largely unavailable. This study attempts to address these gaps for two hill ranges of the Western Ghats. Thirty random quadrats at eight forest ranges were surveyed for chelonians and their carapaces recording any found en route and also during opportunistic surveys. Three live V. silvatica and 38 I. travancorica were subsequently encountered and had overall densities of 0.006 and 0.03 individuals per hectare, respectively. These chelonians were found at quadrats with lower light intensity and soil temperature. Nine carapaces were found during the field surveys: seven the result of human consumption, one trapped in a pit, and another consumed by a wild animal. In addition to field surveys, household surveys in 26 indigenous and nonindigenous human settlements resulted in the observation of one V. silvatica and 38 I. travancorica including a carapace. Roads were surveyed to assess the threat they posed to chelonians, resulting in the observation of two I. travancorica road kills. Increased interactions and discussions between the management authorities and local communities need to be promoted if chelonian conservation is to improve in the landscape. Arun Kanagavel, Shiny M. Rehel, and Rajeev Raghavan Copyright © 2013 Arun Kanagavel et al. All rights reserved. Diversity of Macrolichens in Bolampatti II Forest Range (Siruvani Hills), Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:51:06 +0000 An annotated checklist of 103 macrolichen species is provided based on identification of specimens collected from three different vegetation types within the Bolampatti II forest range, Western Ghats, India. Among them, the dominant order is Lecanorales with 47 species, while the dominant family is Parmeliaceae with 40 species. The foremost genus is Usnea with 15 species. P. Balaji and G. N. Hariharan Copyright © 2013 P. Balaji and G. N. Hariharan. All rights reserved. Microbial Diversity in Soil under Potato Cultivation from Cold Desert Himalaya, India Tue, 03 Sep 2013 08:38:42 +0000 Mana village (Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India), situated in high altitudes (3,238 m above mean sea level) of Indian Himalayan region, represents cold desert climatic conditions. At Mana, potato is grown from May to September, while the site remains snow clad for approximately six months (from October to April). Soil samples, collected from Mana potato fields, were analyzed for cultivable microbial diversity along with the chemical and enzymatic properties. The analysis revealed colonization of soil by microflora in moderate numbers (up to 107 CFU/g soil) with limited species level. 25 morphologically distinct microbial isolates belonging to Gram +ve and Gram −ve bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi including yeast were isolated. The bacteria were tentatively identified as species of Bacillus and Pseudomonas, while the majority of the fungal isolates belonged to the species of Penicillium. These microbial isolates possessed plant growth promotion and biocontrol properties assessed mainly in terms of production of indole acetic acid and hydrolytic enzymes and phosphate solubilization. The soil, when used as “inoculum” in plant based bioassays, exhibited positive influence on plant growth related parameters. The limited diversity of cold tolerant microbial species also extends opportunity to understand the resilience possessed by these organisms under low temperature environment. Priyanka Sati, Kusum Dhakar, and Anita Pandey Copyright © 2013 Priyanka Sati et al. All rights reserved. Landscape Pattern Impacts on the Population Density and Distribution of Black Shama (Copsychus cebuensis Steere) in Argao Watershed Reserve, Argao, Cebu, Philippines Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:45:16 +0000 This study determined the impacts of landscape pattern on population density of C. cebuensis within AWR, a conservation priority in Cebu, Philippines. Three land uses were identified, namely, (a) cultivated (3,399 ha/45%); (b) forestlands (3,002 ha/40%); and (c) build-up (1,050 ha/15%). Forest patches at class have irregular/complex shapes; thus the forest areas in AWR are more fragmented and heterogeneous. Estimated population density of C. cebuensis was 52 and 53 individuals per hectare in mixed and natural forests. There were only three predictors at the landscape and four at the sampling site level, respectively have able to explain the behavior of the population density of C. cebuensis. Relative humidity and canopy cover were having high positive significant correlations while tree basal area has high negative correlation (at landscape). Elevation and canopy cover have positive high significant and significant correlations, while slope and shrub cover have negative significant correlation with C. cebuensis population density. The adjusted values were 0.345 and 0.212 (at landscape and sampling site). These suggest that about 34.5% of the variations of the population density of C. cebuensis have been accounted for by the former and only 21.2% by the latter. Preservation and protection of remaining forest fragments within AWR are paramount. Archiebald Baltazar B. Malaki, Rex Victor O. Cruz, Nathaniel C. Bantayan, Diomedes A. Racelis, Inocencio E. Buot Jr., and Leonardo M. Florece Copyright © 2013 Archiebald Baltazar B. Malaki et al. All rights reserved. Numerical Taxonomy of Species in the Genus Mallomonas (Chrysophyta) from China Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:21:55 +0000 Mallomonas is one of the biggest genera of Chrysophyta. In total, 37 species and 2 varieties have been recorded in China. Because of their narrow ecological optimum, species of this genus are considered as valuable bioindicators. However, taxonomy of Mallomonas remains unclear. We studied the numerical taxonomy of all the species and varieties recorded in China using Ward’s method and the furthest neighbor method based on 52 morphological characters. Shown in the phylogenetic trees, those species could be divided into two major clusters. One cluster includes 5 small clusters and another includes 2. The results of numerical taxonomy are partially consistent with the traditional ones with some divergences. Furthermore, the diversity of silicified scales including shapes and structures was confirmed as the most important character for identification of Mallomonas species. Jia Feng and Shulian Xie Copyright © 2013 Jia Feng and Shulian Xie. All rights reserved. Status, Diversity, and Traditional Uses of Homestead Gardens in Northern Bangladesh: A Means of Sustainable Biodiversity Conservation Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:02:53 +0000 A study was conducted to assess the status, ecological diversity, traditional uses, spatial arrangement, and importance of homestead garden for biodiversity conservation of the urban and rural households in Kishoreganj Sadar of northern Bangladesh. Assessment was done by means of multistage random sampling from a total of 80 households using a semistructured questionnaire. A total of 62 plant species belonging to 36 families including 5 threatened species were identified. The majority of the species were used as fruit and food (45%) followed by medicinal plants (38.71%), firewood (32.26%), and timber (29%). Ecological diversity indices indicated that the existing plant species in the homestead gardens in the study area have moderately high biodiversity and species richness. Farmers perceived importance for homestead plant species conservation was for fruit and food (85%) followed by building materials (78.75%), subsistence family income (73.75%), and source of firewood (68.75%). In addition, analysis of existing management regime indicates that growers lack scientific information, almost every household still follows traditional management systems. Finally, a specific homestead forest management plan, conservation of homestead species diversity through scientific management and obtaining training and support from government and NGOs, was found highly demandable by this study. Bishwajit Roy, Md. Habibur Rahman, and Most. Jannatul Fardusi Copyright © 2013 Bishwajit Roy et al. All rights reserved. A Study on Exploration of Ethnobotanical Knowledge of Rural Community in Bangladesh: Basis for Biodiversity Conservation Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:43:15 +0000 Rural home garden is an important traditional source of medicinal plants for daily curative uses throughout Bangladesh. Such knowledge is continuing from generation to generation without documentation. An ethnobotanical investigation was conducted through focus group discussions and households’ survey accompanied by field observation to document the indigenous knowledge of herbal medicines being used by the rural communities of Comilla district in Bangladesh. A total of 45 ethnomedicinal plant species belonging to 34 families were found, where trees (37.78%) were the most commonly utilized growth form. Plant resources are used to treat 31 different individual ailments ranging from simple cuts to heart disease. Plants are mainly used to treat dysentery (12 species), cold ailments, cough, and fever (6 species each). For curing ailments, the use of the above ground plant parts was higher (86.44%); particularly fruits (37.29%) and leaves (30.51%) were the most commonly used plant parts. More than half of the medicinal plants are indigenous (71.11%), being edible fruit bearer (48.89%), plants parts suitable for animals and birds (57.78%), and natural regeneration present (64.44%) indicated that medicinal plants play a vital role in biodiversity conservation in the study area. Md. Habibur Rahman Copyright © 2013 Md. Habibur Rahman. All rights reserved. Using Better Management Thinking to Improve Conservation Effectiveness Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:02:09 +0000 The current paradigm for effective management in biodiversity conservation programmes is dominated by three broad streams of thinking: (i) traditional “command-and-control” approaches which are commonly observed in, but are not exclusive to, bureaucratic government-administered conservation, (ii) more recent notions of “adaptive management,” and (iii) emerging “good practice” management frameworks for conservation. Other variations on these themes suggested by the literature tend to endorse additions or enhancement to one or more of these approaches. We argue that instead a more fundamental alternative approach to conservation management is required, based on “systems thinking.” The systems thinking approach should encompass (i) an understanding of natural systems, (ii) a sense of how human behaviour is influenced, (iii) an understanding of how knowledge should inform decision-making and problem solving, and (iv) an approach based on an understanding of variation in natural systems. Our argument is that the current paradigms of conservation management fail to address these four fundamentals and therefore do not represent the most effective way to manage conservation programmes. We suggest that the challenge for the conservation community is so great that conservation managers should seriously consider better ways of designing and managing programmes, setting goals, making decisions, and encouraging learning and improvement. Simon A. Black, Jim J. Groombridge, and Carl G. Jones Copyright © 2013 Simon A. Black et al. All rights reserved. Exergetic Model of Secondary Successions for Plant Communities in Arid Chaco (Argentina) Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:41:27 +0000 Ecosystems are open systems where energy fluxes produce modifications over plant communities. According to the state and transition model, plant formations are defined by changes in natural conditions and disturbs. Based on these changes, it is possible to define vectors that show the tendencies of the communities towards other states. Within the subregion of Arid Chaco, mature communities of Aspidosperma quebracho blanco represent the quasistable equilibrium communities or “climax,” similar to that observed in the Chancaní Natural Reserve (Córdoba, Argentina). Biodiversity values and Lyapunov coefficients were calculated based on plant abundance and cover data. Lyapunov coefficients were calculated as the Euclidean distance of each site with respect to reference condition (community of Aspidosperma quebracho blanco), representing for each state the necessary exergy to reach the reference condition. When Lyapunov coefficients decrease in time, it is expected for the system to drive towards a quasistationary state; otherwise, the equilibrium is unstable and becomes less resilient. The diversity of species has a significant effect over the resistance to perturbations but equivocal for the recovery rate. Lyapunov coefficients may be more precise succession indicators than biodiversity indexes, representing the amount of exergy needed for a vegetation state to reach the reference condition. Marcos Karlin, Rodrigo Galán, Ana Contreras, Ricardo Zapata, Rubén Coirini, and Eduardo Ruiz Posse Copyright © 2013 Marcos Karlin et al. All rights reserved. Aggressive Waves in the Lemon-Clawed Fiddler Crab (Uca perplexa): A Regional “Dialect” in Fiji Tue, 14 May 2013 11:32:51 +0000 A population of the lemon-clawed fiddler crab (U. perplexa) in Fiji (island of Vanua Levu) was studied for types of communication (i.e., signaling via waving the male’s larger claw). Two types of signals were observed. In addition to the expected territorial display of a large and complex vertical wave that conveys its message over a typical distance of 10–40 cm (with large males signaling to other large males over the greatest distance), a short, rapid, and horizontal wave was typically directed over a much shorter distance, rarely exceeding 10 cm. This latter wave type, seemingly of an aggressive nature, differs from the vertically directed aggressive signal observed in an Australian population of this species and thus appears to be a regional “dialect” for this mode of communication. Judith S. Weis and Peddrick Weis Copyright © 2013 Judith S. Weis and Peddrick Weis. All rights reserved.