Response of Tropical African Macroinvertebrates with Varying Tolerances to Different Levels of Nitrate and PhosphateRead the full article
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Woody Species Diversity, Vegetation Structure, and Regeneration Status of the Moist Afromontane Forest of Agama in Southwestern Ethiopia
This study was conducted in Agama Forest in Kafa Zone, Southwestern Ethiopia, to assess species diversity, vegetation structure, and regeneration status of woody species. A systematic sampling technique was employed to collect vegetation data. Sixty (60) sample plots of 25 m × 25 m were laid at 300 m intervals all along ten grids interspaced 800 m apart. Sample plots of 25 m × 25 m were used to record DBH and H of all woody plant species reaching a DBH >2.5 cm and height >2 m. For the inventory of seedling and sapling, two subplots of 2 m × 5 m were used at the beginning and the end of the baseline on opposite sides of the main quadrat. Vegetation data such as DBH, height, seedling, and sapling density of woody species were recorded in each plot. Altogether, 72 woody plant species of 65 genera and 35 families were identified. Analysis of selected tree species showed diverse population structures. This study showed that small trees and shrubs dominated the Agama Forest, which revealed its status under a secondary regeneration stage. Study on the structure and regeneration of some woody species indicated that there are species that require urgent conservation measures. Sound management and monitoring, as well as maintenance of biodiversity and cultural and economic values of the forest, require conservation activities that encourage sustainable uses of the forest and its products.
Large Mammal Diversity and Endemism at Geremba Mountain Fragment, Southern Ethiopia
Outside protected areas in Ethiopia, there is a lack of information concerning mammalian diversity and ecology. Consequently, the findings of the research on large mammals at Geremba Mountain constitute one of the steps towards a continuing effort to document the diversity and distribution of Ethiopian mammals. The survey was conducted to investigate the species composition, relative abundance, and population structure of large mammals at Geremba Mountain fragment from August 2017 to February 2018, covering both dry and wet seasons. Direct (sighting) and indirect (scat) survey techniques were employed using systematically established transect lines and sampling plots, respectively. Transects and plots were established across three dominant habitat types (modified dry ever green Afromontane forest, alpine bamboo forest, and Erica scrubland). A total of 10 large mammal species were recorded including two endemic mammals, namely, Chlorocebus djamdjamensis and Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki. There was a statistically significant difference in the abundance of species among habitat types at Geremba Mountain. The highest diversity index was recorded in the alpine bamboo forest habitat (D = 7.142, H′ = 2.052), and the Erica scrubland had the lowest. Papio anubis was the most abundant species while Felis serval was the least abundant species. The populations of most of the species were characterized by more adult and more female individuals. However, promising young individuals of the endemic mammals (C. djamdjamensis and T. s. meneliki) and Papio anubis were recorded. The mountain fragment is an isolated island that is totally disconnected with other fragments in the region, so attempts should be made to connect the fragment with other fragments using wildlife corridors.
Sociocultural and Ecological Dynamics of Green Spaces in Brazzaville (Congo)
The study was conducted in Brazzaville, and data collection covers the period from May to June 2017. The methodology is based on literature review and floristic and equipment inventory. Nine green spaces spread over two out of nine townships in the capital city. Four are located in Bacongo and five in Poto-Poto. According to the classification standards, 5 squares and 4 gardens were studied. Except for one square, all the others, including the gardens, are planted with trees. The equipment inventory lists 183 benches, including 63.83% permanently and/or partially in the sun, 4 playgrounds, no games for children, and 3 cultural monuments. The flora and health of the trees stands shows 186 trees and 279 shrubs, all corresponding to 26 species. An examination of the health status reveals that 57% of trees show anthropogenic injuries. Floral analysis shows that exotic plants (76.92%) predominate over local plants (23.07%). The average basal area of trees in all green spaces is 1.95 m2·ha−1. The diametric structure is erratic within all green spaces, with a dominance of large diameter subjects. This leads to poor natural regeneration of woody plants. The green spaces in Brazzaville, which are very unevenly distributed within the urban fabric, do not meet the international standards disseminated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and do not fully play their biodiversity conservation and recreational and ecological functions. History of green spaces in Brazzaville states that no creation was born after independence. The existing land has been reduced in size, and the new land has been used for other purposes.
Status of the Beach Litter in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dungonab and Mukkawar Island Marine National Park in Sudan, Red Sea
Information on marine litter in general and beach litter in particular from Sudan and to some extent from the Red Sea region is insufficient. The aim of this study is to assess the beach litter composition, distribution, and abundance in some selected beaches of the World Heritage Site of Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island National Park (DMNP) located in Sudan, Red Sea coast, and to examine the rate of beach litter flux and the cleanliness of its beaches in order to provide baseline information for beach litter management at DMNP. A total of 6 sites were investigated for beach litter over a 10-month period from January to October 2017 on a quarterly basis. A total of 24 collections of beach litter were performed covering a stretch of 600 m or 7700 m2 of DMNP coastline. In total, 3037 beach litter items were collected during the study time from DMNP with an overall average of 506.2 ± 409.8 items/100 m (0.4 items/m2). Plastic beach litter was the most abundant (1738 items), constituting 57.23% with an average density of 289.7 ± 242.2 items/100 m (0.23 items/m2). The beaches of DMNP were clean (CCI = 4.6) at the time of the study. The rate of flux of the beach litter decreased steadily from 21.9 to 16.43 items/100 m/day with an overall average of 18.82 ± 2.8 items/100 m/day. The gradual decrease in the net accumulation of beach litter over the period of the study suggests that the beach litter at DMNP was likely of a local land-based origin and the beaches of DMNP are not a potential sink of marine litter. The determination of the rate of flux of beach litter is a reasonable indicator of the dynamics of beach litter in DMNP. Accordingly, application of preventive measures accompanied with awareness activities and investment in plastic collection and recycling would further enhance and preserve the present status of beach cleanliness and encourage tourism activities.
Population Structure of the Freshwater Crab Potamon algeriense (Bott, 1967) Inhabiting Oued Zegzel, (Northeast of Morocco)
This is the first study to determine the population structure of the freshwater crab Potamon algeriense in Oued Zegzel, a mountain stream in the northeast of Morocco. Monthly collections were carried out by hand, from October 2017 to September 2018. A total of 669 individuals, 378 males and 291 females, were captured, measured, marked, and released. Due to their extremely cryptic behavior during egg incubation, few ovigerous females were caught during the entire sampling period. The average size of males (28.98 ± 10.78 mm CW) is significantly larger than that of the females (28.62 ± 8.48 mm CW). Significant deviation from 1 : 1 sex ratio during the study period was recorded, and the size distribution of the sampled population presented an abnormal distribution where specimens over 31 and under 25 mm CW were often males, whereas females were represented more in the 26–30 mm CW range.
The Tale of a Disappearing Lagoon: A Habitat Mapping and Ecological Assessment of Fosu Lagoon, Ghana
Coastal regions of Ghana are primarily engaged in sea and lagoon fishing. Like many lagoons in Ghana, Fosu lagoon is a major source of livelihood for its surrounding communities. However, the lagoon and its associated marsh vegetation is under serious threat from human-induced interference. Due to this, the lagoon is considered as one of the most polluted lagoons in Ghana. Also, studies reveal that a major conservation challenge is the lack of inventory for the lagoon’s associated vegetation. Hence, the research was to map and assess the lagoon’s habitat and identify threats to the lagoon. In achieving the research objectives, remote sensing and GIS technique were used to effectively map the lagoon and the catchment area. The result indicated that the Fosu lagoon is characterized by a massive decline in lagoon size and the vegetation cover. Thus, the standing water has declined by 50.2 acres from 1970 to 2017 to physical development and weeds. Also, it was evident in the result that the lagoon’s vegetation is now fragmented into six various vegetation types and the weeds in the lagoon make approximately one-third of the lagoon’s vegetation cover. Also, adding to the threat of the lagoon were high levels of plastic waste and metal pollution. Hence, if current trend continues, the possibility of further degradation is very high. The main impact of this research was to provide evidence to the gradual disappearance of the Fosu lagoon.