International Journal of Biodiversity The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Trophy Hunting, Conservation, and Rural Development in Zimbabwe: Issues, Options, and Implications Wed, 28 Dec 2016 12:50:24 +0000 Trophy hunting has potential to support conservation financing and contribute towards rural development. We conducted a systematic review of the Zimbabwean trophy hunting perspective spanning from pre-1890 to 2015, by examining the following: (1) evolution of legal instruments, administration, and governance of trophy hunting, (2) significance of trophy hunting in conservation financing and rural development, and (3) key challenges, emerging issues in trophy hunting industry, and future interventions. Our review shows that (i) there has been a constant evolution in the policies related to trophy hunting and conservation in Zimbabwe as driven by local and international needs; (ii) trophy hunting providing incentives for wildlife conservation (e.g., law enforcement and habitat protection) and rural communities’ development. Emerging issues that may affect trophy hunting include illegal hunting, inadequate monitoring systems, and hunting bans. We conclude that trophy hunting is still relevant in wildlife conservation and rural communities’ development especially in developing economies where conservation financing is inadequate due to fiscal constraints. We recommend the promotion of net conservation benefits for positive conservation efforts and use of wildlife conservation credits for the opportunity costs associated with reducing trophy hunting off-take levels and promoting nonconsumptive wildlife use options. Victor K. Muposhi, Edson Gandiwa, Paul Bartels, and Stanley M. Makuza Copyright © 2016 Victor K. Muposhi et al. All rights reserved. Diversity of Woody Plant Species of Gamuwa and Oda Forests of Humbo Carbon Project, Wolaita, Ethiopia: For Conservation and Management of Forests Sun, 04 Dec 2016 09:34:44 +0000 This study was conducted in the Community Managed Forests of Gamuwa and Oda of Carbon Project of Humbo, Wolaita, Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to explore diversity of woody species for conservation and management of the forests. A total of 64 (20 m × 20 m) quadrats were sampled to gather data of species cover abundance, altitude, aspect, and slope. Vegetation clustering was performed from cover abundance using XLSTAT version 2015.2.03 software package. Similarity coefficient was computed using number of species that existed in each community and had been common to them. Diversity indices were computed from number of individuals of each species using Multivariate Variate Statistical Package (MVSP) version 3.1. The General Linear Model (GLM) analysis confirmed the presence of significant difference ( value = 0.001) of species distribution, altitude, and slope among the quadrates of the three community types. However, except aspect in community 3 ( value = 0.005) slope, aspect, land cover, and altitude insignificantly affected the distribution of species in communities. Therefore, a priori management and conservation should be given for families with only one species, community with high dominance (), and the area with less land cover. Markos Kuma Copyright © 2016 Markos Kuma. All rights reserved. Threats to Gelada Baboon (Theropithecus gelada) around Debre Libanos, Northwest Shewa Zone, Ethiopia Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:05:11 +0000 This study was aimed at determining threats to gelada baboon around Debre Libanos, Northwest Shewa Zone, Ethiopia. This was investigated based on questionnaire, informant interview, focus group discussion, and direct observation methods from August 2012 to March 2013. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and responses were compared using chi-square test. Habitat destruction (95%), livestock grazing (91.67%), expansion of agricultural land (88.33%), expansion of invasive species (58.33%) in the area that reduces the availability and quality of gelada baboon’s food, inappropriate investment activity (75%), and depredation (66.67%) were the major threats to gelada baboons in the study area. All these challenges could cause a short and long-term effect on gelada baboon population size and growth rate. Kassahun Abie and Afework Bekele Copyright © 2016 Kassahun Abie and Afework Bekele. All rights reserved. Biodiversity, the Human Microbiome and Mental Health: Moving toward a New Clinical Ecology for the 21st Century? Wed, 03 Aug 2016 14:25:05 +0000 Advances in research concerning the brain-related influences of the microbiome have been paradigm shifting, although at an early stage, clinical research involving beneficial microbes lends credence to the notion that the microbiome may be an important target in supporting mental health (defined here along the continuum between quality of life and the criteria for specific disorders). Through metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and systems biology, a new emphasis to personalized medicine is on the horizon. Humans can now be viewed as multispecies organisms operating within an ecological theatre; it is important that clinicians increasingly see their patients in this context. Historically marginalized ecological aspects of health are destined to become an important consideration in the new frontiers of practicing medicine with the microbiome in mind. Emerging evidence indicates that macrobiodiversity in the external environment can influence mental well-being. Local biodiversity may also drive differences in human-associated microbiota; microbial diversity as a product of external biodiversity may have far-reaching effects on immune function and mood. With a focus on the microbiome as it pertains to mental health, we define environmental “grey space” and emphasize a new frontier involving bio-eco-psychological medicine. Within this concept the ecological terrain can link dysbiotic lifestyles and biodiversity on the grand scale to the local human-associated microbial ecosystems that might otherwise seem far removed from one another. Susan L. Prescott, Rachel A. Millstein, Martin A. Katzman, and Alan C. Logan Copyright © 2016 Susan L. Prescott et al. All rights reserved. Diversity, Population Structure, and Above Ground Biomass in Woody Species on Ngomakurira Mountain, Domboshawa, Zimbabwe Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:47:02 +0000 The diversity, structure, species composition, and above ground biomass of woody plants on Ngomakurira mountain in Zimbabwe were studied. A systematic random sampling approach was adopted to establish 52 sampling plots measuring 10 × 10 m across 3 study strata in the 1266 ha study area. Woody species occurring in each plot were identified and the circumferences of trees with diameters >8.0 cm at 1.3 m height were measured. A total of 91 species belonging to 74 genera and 39 families were identified in the sample plots. A Shannon-Wiener index mean value of 3.12 was obtained indicating high species diversity on the mountain. The DBH size class distribution showed inverse J distribution patterns across the three study strata, but with only 3 individual plants with DBH > 30 cm. Mean basal area was 15.21 m2 ha−1 with U. kirkiana and J. globiflora contributing approximately 30% of the basal area. The estimated above ground biomass ranged from 34.5 to 65.1 t ha−1. Kruskal-Wallis-H test showed no significant differences in species richness, stem density, basal area, above ground biomass, and evenness, across the study strata (). Ngomakurira woodland has potential to regenerate due to the presence of many stems in the small diameter size classes. Clemence Zimudzi and Christopher Chapano Copyright © 2016 Clemence Zimudzi and Christopher Chapano. All rights reserved. The Significance of Habitat Characteristics to the Spatial Distribution of Local Avian Assemblage at Gannoruwa Mountain Forest Reserve, Kandy, Sri Lanka Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:56:32 +0000 Distribution patterns corresponding to habitat characteristics in tropical forests have not been largely studied. Natural forest structure as well as the anthropogenic alterations to the forests equally affects the distribution patterns of wet zone avifauna. The study reveals the importance of % canopy closure, distance from the forest edge, tree density, diversity, and elevation to the community composition of local forest birds inhabiting Gannoruwa Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka. The most important factors resulting in the study for shaping the avian distribution pattern are distance from the edge,elevation, and the % canopy closure. With the increase of favouring resources to the avian fauna at the edges and the juxtaposition of the edge, many forest loving species were observed to move towards the edge. The pattern is proven advantageous, but harmful in the long run. Thus, it is advisable that the conservation plans should focus on habitat destruction and the anthropogenic disturbance along forest edges. D. G. R. M. M. Kaushalya Rathnayake, I. Sandunika Ileperuma Arachchi, Buwaneka S. Pathirana, and S. Wickramasinghe Copyright © 2016 D. G. R. M. M. Kaushalya Rathnayake et al. All rights reserved. Vascular Epiphytes in Doshke and Kurpaye: A Comparative Study, Gamo Gofa, Ethiopia Tue, 31 May 2016 13:43:47 +0000 Epiphytes comprise about 10% of the world’s total flora. However, the survival of these important elements of the global vegetation is recognized to be increasingly threatened, and surveys made to study them remain far from being complete. This study has focused on investigating the vascular epiphytes (true epiphytes, hemiepiphytes, and accidental epiphytes) in Doshke and Kurpaye forests of Gamo Gofa zone, southwest Ethiopia. A total of 40 (20 in each) 25 m × 25 m quadrats were established along four line transects for vegetation data collection. A total of 35 species of vascular epiphytes were recorded in the two sites (22 and 14 species from Doshke and Kurpaye, resp.). Drynaria volkensii was the only species to be recorded from the two sites. Doshke and Kurpaye forests also varied in the number of phorophytes (17 and 10 phorophytes species, resp.). The richest epiphyte family of Doshke is Orchidaceae (5 species) and that of Kurpaye is Polypodiaceae (3 species) while Orchidaceae dominate the combined flora being represented by 7 species. In terms of vertical distribution, most species were located at the canopy area. Most vascular epiphytes showed no preference for host trees except for a few species which exhibited higher occurrence rates on the host plant species Syzygium guineense, Schrebera alata, and Acacia tortilis. Vascular epiphyte abundance and species richness were both significantly positively correlated with host tree size. Vascular epiphytes of the studied forests are under a serious pressure, mainly due to anthropogenic activities, and this may lead to their local extinction. Zeleke Assefa Getaneh and Feleke Woldeyes Gamo Copyright © 2016 Zeleke Assefa Getaneh and Feleke Woldeyes Gamo. 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.