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  Subjects -> CONSERVATION (Total: 128 journals)
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Tropical Ecology
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  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0564-3295 - ISSN (Online) 2661-8982
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Estimation of above and belowground biomass for grass, herb, and fern
           species in Peninsula Malaysia

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      Abstract: Abstract There are no models for estimating the above- and belowground biomass (AGB and BGB) of herbaceous and fern species in Southeast Asia, and therefore we developed a set of allometric equations for this purpose that were applicable to Malaysia. Grass species, herbs, and ferns of different sizes were harvested and excavated to measure the AGB and BGB. After being harvested and oven-dried, the biomass of plant parts was weighed to develop allometric equations between plant size parameters (height and diameter) and biomass. When comparing the allometric equations among the three plant groups (grass, herbs, and ferns), no differences were found between grass and fern groups in both AGB and BGB, whereas herbs versus grass and/or ferns significantly differed. This suggests that the accuracy of the estimation may improve if plant species were separated into these groups. The allometric equation, which pooled all groups, also showed significant relation with high correlation coefficient, and thus it was possible to make estimations with a certain degree of accuracy, even without grouping. The ratio of BGB to AGB (RSR) increased with plant size for herbs and ferns, whereas the RSR was constant with plant size for grasses. These relationships indicated that the RSR potentially used to estimate BGB from AGB with size parameter in each group, though there was larger variation compared with allometric equations. We concluded that developed allometric equations and the RSR can be used to estimate the AGB and/or BGB without the destructive sampling of grassland species in the region.
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
       
  • Reforestation could bring native mammal species back in the tropical
           highlands

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      Abstract: Abstract The rapid conversion of highland forests into agricultural areas has caused deforestation in Peninsular Malaysia. Since 2017, in the Cameron Highlands, the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia has reforested degraded highland areas by planting native tree species. To date, little is known about the effect of highland reforestation on wild mammals in the region. This study aimed to examine the relationship between mammal detections and habitat variables in the reforested areas that previously had been coverted into intensively managed vegetable farms (for at least 10 years), using camera trapping over four forest reserves. Seven wild mammal species were detected across the study area, including conservation priority species such as the Sumatran serow (Capricornis sumatrensis), the otter civet (Cynogale bennettii), and the Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii). The wild boar (Sus scrofa) had the highest detection and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was the most common carnivorous species at almost all of the study sites. Eight predictor variables determined mammal detection numbers in the highland reforestation areas. Mammal detections increased with elevation, sapling abundance, and number of trees with a DBH above 5 cm. While, detection numbers decreased with the number of fallen trees, palm abundance, and undergrowth coverage. Mammal detections varied with forest reserves and sampling months. Continuous monitoring is vital to understand long term trends in reforestation on wild mammal communities in highland areas, however, the outcome of our study is very promising and suggests reforestation could help reverse defaunation of highland forests in Peninsular Malaysia.
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
       
  • Soil-litter arthropod communities under pasture land use in southern
           Rwanda

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      Abstract: Abstract Land use change caused by human activities is the main driver of biodiversity loss and changes in ecosystem functioning. However, less is known about how the conversion of a natural to pasture land favour the biological diversity of soil-litter arthropods to advance effective conservation plans and management systems. To fill the gap, this study focussed on soil-litter arthropod communities under a pasture land use in southern Rwanda. Data have been collected using pitfall traps and hand collection between April and June 2021. Sampled specimens of soil-litter arthropods have been identified to order and family levels by using dichotomous keys. Further, the species name was given when the identification key was available, while the morphological description was provided in absence of the identification keys. Results indicated a total of 3013 individuals of soil-litter arthropods grouped into 3 classes, 13 orders, 46 families and 87 morpho-species. Coleoptera showed a high number of families, while higher abundance and the number of morpho-species were found for ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Higher abundance of sampled soil-litter arthropods is a sign that the studied area offers suitable habitat for soil-litter arthropods. However, less abundance found for some groups of soil-litter arthropods might be influenced by the used sampling techniques which were not appropriate for them. We recommend surveys using multiple sampling techniques to maximize chances of capturing a wide range of soil-litter arthropods.
      PubDate: 2022-09-19
       
  • Study on composition and spatio-temporal variation of zooplankton
           community in coal mine generated pit lakes, West Bengal, India

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      Abstract: Abstract Most of the ecological studies on mine water have been done in riverine systems, although mine-fed waterways have also been thoroughly studied. Because lakes are thought to recuperate from degradation more slowly than riverine systems, the effects of mine water on lakes are also noteworthy. In India, coal mining first began in the Raniganj coalfield (RCF). There are multiple coal mine-generated pit lakes in the RCF, West Bengal, India; however, there is a fractured and inadequate knowledge of their biological state. Washing, cleaning, and farming are all done with pit lake water. Given their core food web location, zooplankton is a good bioindicator and can be used to access the ecological health of water bodies. The spatio-temporal variation and diversity of major zooplankton groups were studied in five selected pit lakes. Zooplankton, aquatic macrophytes, sediment samples and water samples were collected during three hydrological seasons (viz., pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon). A total of 180 samples were collected (36 from each site, constituting six samples in different locations per site per season) between January 2018 and December 2019 in each pit lake. The spatio-temporal variation of the zooplankton community was found in the studied pit lakes. A total of 25 Rotifera, 7 Copepoda and 9 Cladocera were identified. Copepoda dominated the zooplankton communities in most of the studied pit lakes. Rotifera was more diverse in the Bonbedi Pit Lake, while Copepoda and Cladocera were dominant in the Dalmia Pit Lake. Canonical correspondence analysis (CAA) assesses the effect of some of the water quality, sediment parameters, and aquatic macrophytes on zooplankton density and diversity. Although pit lakes are ecologically unstable, they share some attributes with natural systems and play important roles. The finding adds to our understanding of zooplankton structure and diversity in pit lakes formed by coal mining. The existence and density of zooplankton were found to be related to the quality of their environment, and the zooplankton community delivers basic information about the ecological status of the pit lake, assisting in the formulation of appropriate planning for improved water quality management and could aid in making decisions about water reclamation strategies and conservation of pit lake ecosystem.
      PubDate: 2022-09-17
       
  • Plant conservation in the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot: a case study
           on the Piper genus in Veracruz (Mexico)

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      Abstract: Abstract Maintaining floristic diversity in recognized biodiversity hotspots is a priority for ecosystem conservation. However, different taxonomical treatments often lead to over or underestimation of floristic diversity in species-rich groups, in particular in Tropical regions as Mesoamerica where floristic surveys are less detailed. Also, understanding the effects of climate changes on species distribution is an emerging question of conservation biology and ecological studies. Here, we used the species-rich genus Piper (Piperaceae) in Veracruz, as a model system to compare reported and actual species richness and to model their occurrence under a climate change scenario. We compared morphological characters of specimens preserved in three of the main Mexican herbaria and then applied new taxonomical treatments. We also used environmental niche models (ENMs) as implemented in Maxent to detect the effects of climate changes on species with different levels of habitat specificity and with specialized biotic interactions. We found that from a total of 108 Piper species reported in Veracruz, 80 were consistent to the new taxonomical treatments due to synonymy or misidentification. ENMs showed that the main determinants of Piper distribution are linked to temperature and precipitations depending on the species. Therefore, different species are likely to respond differently to climate changes. As expected, species with higher habitat specificity and species exhibiting specialized mutualisms are more likely to experience niche contractions. This study shows the importance of reconsidering species richness and of modelling species distribution including specialized ecological interactions as prerequisite for establishing conservation criteria.
      PubDate: 2022-09-15
       
  • Impact of forest fire frequency on tree biomass and carbon stocks in the
           tropical dry deciduous forest of Panna Tiger Reserve, Central India

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      Abstract: Abstract Forest fires are an important ecological force that shaped the forest ecosystems, but uncontrolled fires also cause great loss of biological diversity, as well as economic wealth. Fires are critical pathways of carbon loss from a tropical dry deciduous forest. The present work estimates the effect of forest fires on tree biomass and carbon storage pattern of tropical dry deciduous forest of Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Forest fire maps were prepared using Landsat Images (1997–2017), which were classified into seven fire frequency classes (B1–B7) and one control class (B0). Five plots were laid randomly in every fire class and all trees were enumerated in these fire frequency classes. A total of 44 tree species were recorded belonging to 33 genera and 21 families. The density ranged 402–597 individuals/ha while basal area ranged 8.84–15.89 m2/ha. The total trees biomass ranged from 71.41 to 124.58 Mg/ha, and total carbon ranged between 33.87 and 59.26 Mg C/ha. Among all fire frequency classes; the highest biomass was recorded in B2 (124.00 Mg/ha) followed by B0 (118.00 Mg/ha) whereas the least was in the B7 (70.80 Mg/ha) class. Carbon stock has the same pattern as that biomass accumulation. Tree carbon stock showed a significant positive relationship with a basal area (R2 = 9.66). Our results reveal that the higher percentage of carbon was stored in intermediate burned areas whereas the lower percentage was in higher fire frequency areas. The results of the present study would improve understanding of carbon stock present in different fire frequencies and could be used to enhance the carbon sequestration potential in fire-affected areas through conservation and proper management.
      PubDate: 2022-09-15
       
  • Effects of elevated ultraviolet-B on the floral and leaf characteristics
           of a medicinal plant Wedelia chinensis (Osbeck) Merr. along with essential
           oil contents

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      Abstract: Abstract Wedelia chinensis (Osbeck) Merr. is a perennial thermotolerant bioherbicidal plant species spread in tropical and subtropical regions. The impacts of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation on the floral morphology, stomatal characteristics, biochemical properties and essential oil content in leaves have not been investigated in medicinally important ornamental plants like W. chinensis. The present study has evaluated the growth, its leaf, stomatal, and floral characteristics, photosynthetic pigments, various metabolites as well as the essential oil content of W. chinensis under ambient and elevated (ambient + 7.2 kJ m−2 d−1) UV-B (eUV-B) radiation. UV-B exposure stimulated the growth of the test plant indicating the greater chances of its survival under harsh conditions which could be beneficial for ecological sustainability. The leaf thickness, wax deposition, and metabolites such as phenol, proline, anthocyanin, and flavonoids were significantly increased under eUV-B, while the reverse trend was observed for the specific leaf area (SLA) and photosynthetic pigments. Adaxial stomatal density (34.2%) and abaxial stomatal pore surface (146.1%) was also increased; however, the opposite trend was found in abaxial stomatal density (48.6%) and adaxial stomatal pore surface (41.5%). The floral characteristics were positively influenced by the eUV-B. However, yield loss in the form of essential oil content by 39.9% was recorded under eUV-B. Based on GC–MS analysis, an increase in mono-, di-, tri-terpenes, and fatty acids were observed, while sesquiterpene and other aliphatic hydrocarbons showed a reduction under eUV-B treatment. Moreover, α-Pinene, β-Caryophyllene, β-Thujene, β-Myrcene, α-Phellandrene, L-Limonene, Germacrene D, Bicyclogermacrene, δ-Cadinene, Spathulenol, and Shyobunol were identified as the major components of the essential oil. The study concludes that exposure of UV-B radiation was directly beneficial for the floral morphology and unable to aggravate any morphological damage, the protective pigments, and antioxidants which played a strong defensive role in UV-B tolerance. Whereas, UV-B radiation exposure is deleterious to the plant’s commercial importance in terms of yield of essential oil.
      PubDate: 2022-09-15
       
  • Economical and ecological realization of Joint Forest Management (JFM) for
           sustainable rural livelihood: a case study

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      Abstract: Abstract In India, Joint Forest Management (JFM) programme was first introduced in the year 1972 at Arabari forest range in West Bengal with the collaboration of local community and forest department for the protection of reserve forest and improvement of rural livelihood. Subsequently, in 1990 the JFM programme was further extended at nearby Bhadutola forest range of Paschim Medinipur (West Bengal, India). The evaluation of this programme with respect to ecological and economic indicators has not been done. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of JFM scheme in two sites and also assess the ecological impacts of such programs. Applying relevant research methods like focus group discussion (FGD), standard of living index (SLI), livelihood dependence index (LDI) and measurement of forest dependency, the effectiveness of JFM project has been assessed for the sustainable forest management. The ecological impacts were calculated using the value coefficient method through implied for ecosystem service functions. The results showed that the forest dwellers of Arabari forest range are getting more benefits like different non-timber forest products (NTFP) than Bhadutola forest range community. It is stated that around 85% respondents are highly satisfied with the implementation of JFM project. In the recent years, the standard of living index (SLI) of almost sixteen villages under JFM project has been significantly improved. The ecological impact for both the forest ranges clearly shows a positive effect on the ecosystem service values through food production, raw materials, genetic resources, climatic regulation and soil erosion control strategies. The Arabari forest range has shown more positive changes in ecological services function than the Bhadutola forest range. Therefore, this model needs to be applied effectively in different vulnerable forest ranges of tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world for sustainable forest resource conservation as well as improvement of livelihood of forest dwellers.
      PubDate: 2022-09-14
       
  • Population, behavior and conservation status of the northern pig-tailed
           macaque (Macaca leonina) in the Inner-line reserve forest, Assam, India

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      Abstract: Abstract The Northern pig-tailed macaque is listed as Endangered in India and vulnerable globally. In this study, we assessed the status and behavioral activities of Northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) in the Inner Line Reserve Forest (ILRF). Population study was conducted through complete count method. A total of 29 individuals were found in three separate troops. We studied the activity profile of the species following a focal female individual of a selected troop and have obtained information on the anthropogenic threats and other conservation issues in the forest. Eight behavioral activities (viz., feeding, resting, locomotion, playing, grooming, vocalization, agonistic and mating) were recorded both in the summer and winter seasons. The activity budgets of the Northern pig-tailed macaque varied with the seasons and most of the times were spent on locomotion followed by feeding, resting, playing, vocalization and other three behavioral activities. During winter, over three-fourth of the time was spent on four major activities such as locomotion (31.7%), feeding (25.1%), resting (14.3%), and vocalization (9.7%). Although, time spent on locomotion (25.0%) was also highest in summer, however, time spent in resting (24.6%) and playing (15.6%) increased in the season than the time spent in feeding (15.0%). Potential threats were identified through questionnaire surveys of the people inhabited in and around forest. Multistage sampling method was used to select the villages at first and then respondents from the selected villages. One-fourth of the respondents constitute 159 of the total 637 household and additional 51 respondents comprising elder person, hunter and forest staff. As per peoples’ perceptions, the main threats faced by the macaque were timber logging (44.90%), followed by cultivation (30.96%), harvesting of non-timber forest product (8.88%), hunting (6.34%), illegal trade/poaching (5.83%) and forest fire (3.04%). A proper conservation action plan is needed for the species that should ideally include providing alternative livelihoods to the forest villagers to reduce peoples’ impact on the forest.
      PubDate: 2022-09-11
       
  • Study of the interrelationship between woody plants and birds in Pune
           urban area, insights on negative impacts of exotic plants

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      Abstract: Abstract Urban green spaces are composed of native and exotic plant species, and they vary in their vegetation characteristics. In urban areas, vegetation structure is one of the key factors for birds recognizing their environment. The current study was carried out in the smaller urban green spaces in the two adjacent cities in the Pune metropolitan region (PMR), Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The relationship between woody plants and birds was studied in the 20 smaller urban green spaces. Overall 69 woody plant species and 44 species of birds were listed in the sampling sites. Common Myna was the dominant bird species, followed by Purple Sunbird and Oriental White-eye. Regression analysis showed a significant positive relationship between the richness and diversity of woody plants and birds. It was observed that a higher density of exotic woody plants reduces the richness of birds; mainly specialist birds such as insectivores, herbivores and predators. However, it was noted that native woody species support more diverse birds than exotic woody species; the richness of specialist birds was increased with an increase in the richness of native woody plants. It was found that vegetation composition is the prime factor for birds in habitat selection, irrespective of the size and location of urban green space. We recommend native plants over exotic plants for landscaping in the urban environment. This study can help to improve the health of urban green spaces through scientific management and enhance the public understanding of urban vegetation.
      PubDate: 2022-09-10
       
  • Soil organic carbon and its labile pools as modulated by soil microbes
           under different land use practices in Typic Ustochrepts

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      Abstract: Abstract Rainfed lower Himalayas are being faced by soil degradation due to change in land use practices which in turn influence the carbon (C) inputs into the soil and microbial activities. A study was carried out to evaluate the labile organic C pools, soil enzymes and microbial indices in the dominating land use practices of the region. There were six land uses practices viz. forestry, agroforestry, silvipastoral, horticulture, agro-horticulture and agriculture. Soil samples were collected from three depths 0–5, 5–10, 10–15 cm for the labile C pools and the microbial activities were studied for 0–15 cm soil layer. The labile organic C pools viz. permanganate-oxidizable carbon (POXC), microbial biomass C (MBC), cold water extractable organic carbon (CWEOC) and carbohydrate carbon (CHO-C) content were significantly higher in soils under forestry (1.46 g kg−1, 0.227 g kg−1, 80 µg g−1, 389 µg g−1, respectively) and silvipastoral (1.15 g kg−1, 0.193 g kg−1, 70.7 µg g−1, 379 µg g−1, respectively) land uses and was lowest in soils under agriculture (0.88 g kg−1, 0.115 g kg−1, 56 µg g−1, 310 µg g−1, respectively). The labile C pools decreased with the increase in soil depth and the decrease being higher in soils under forestry. The microbial quotient (qmic) decreased on moving from forestry to other land uses and the decrease was highest in soils under agriculture by 38.6%. However, the metabolic quotient was highest in soils under agriculture (0.175 μg CO2-C day−1 μg biomass C−1) and lowest in soils under forestry (0.128 μg CO2-C day−1 μg biomass C−1). The metabolic potential was highest in soils under agroforestry (0.046 μg TPF h−1 μg C−1). Principal component analysis identified qmic and MBC as the most dominant and reliable indicators for the assessment of soil quality under different land uses. The results indicate that under rainfed conditions, silvipastoral land use seems to be comparable to forestry in influencing the microbial indices, labile C pools and C stock.
      PubDate: 2022-09-10
       
  • Bioclimatic modelling of Lantana camara invasion in the Shivalik landscape
           of Western Himalaya

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      Abstract: Abstract Spatial modelling has been an essential tool for predicting and mapping the suitable areas of a species' habitat. Ecological modelling was performed using 744 sampling locations to predict the potential habitat for the invasive plant Lantana camara in the lower Shivalik region of the Western Himalaya, India. The modelling engaged nine bioclimatic, four topographic, one land-cover, and two soil parameters that are known to be ecologically important for the species. Precipitation of the warmest quarter, mean temperature of the wettest quarter, precipitation of the driest quarter, and river flow accumulation contributed to the model. The predicted area for the invasion was classified into high, medium, and low potential areas. We identified nine potential hot spots based on species occurrence over a 2300 km2 area to determine where immediate intervention is necessary to prevent the spread of Lantana camara. The study's findings can assist policymakers and stakeholders in developing an effective and strategic weed management approach at the landscape level.
      PubDate: 2022-09-02
       
  • Assessment of floristic diversity in the arid steppe region of Tiaret,
           Algeria

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      Abstract: Abstract The study of plant diversity of the arid steppe regions is an important aspect of assessing their ecological and economical value and their need for conservation and rehabilitation in light of climate change today. The present study aims to determine the floristic diversity of three sites in the steppe region of Tiaret (Algeria) in terms of species and families present, phytogeographical aspects, and plant life forms using field observations carried out from 2010 to 2018. Overall, 245 plant species belonging to 175 genera and 53 families were recorded in the study region. The richest site in terms of biodiversity was Chot Ech-Chergui with 150 plant species belonging to 38 families, followed by the Massif of Nadhor with 130 species (37 families), then the Plateau of Ain Deheb with 121 plant species (31 families). The most frequent families recorded in these sites were: Asteraceae (17.96%), Poaceae (11.02%), and Fabaceae (7.35%). Shannon’s diversity index analysis showed high diversity at the species level but low diversity in terms of plant families. The Pielou equitability index indicated significant evenness. In terms of Raunkier life-forms, therophytes (annuals and ephemerals) were predominant (37.69–49.59%) followed by chamaephytes (18.46–24.79%) and hemicryptophytes (14.67–17.69%). Mediterranean and Multi-regional species were the most frequent chorotypes contributing 50.20% and 33.23% of the total flora, respectively. Several North African endemic species were noted, namely Saccocalyx satureioides Coss. & Durieu, Carum foetidum (Coss. & Durieu) Maire, Tamarix boveana Bunge, Taraxacum getulum Pomel, Onopordum arenarium (Desf.) Pomel, Helianthemum apertum Pomel, Helianthemum hirtum (L.) Mill., Frankenia thymifolia Desf., Thymus algeriensis Boiss. & Reut., Thymelaea microphylla Meisn. and Pistacia atlantica Desf. Management programs are imperative to preserve the reported biodiversity and these fragile environments.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Rainfall partitioning in important multipurpose tree species of Himalayan
           foothills

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      Abstract: Abstract Rainfall partitioning parameters viz., throughfall (TF), stemflow (SF) and interception losses (I) are measured for consideration as a component in the water balance of a plant–soil complex. An experiment was conducted to study the rainfall partitioning in five important multipurpose tree species viz., Anthocephalus cadamba, Melia azedarach, Tectona grandis, Terminalia bellirica and Quercus leucotrichophora. The annual gross rainfall during the study period was 1221.5 mm. The highest TF and SF were recorded in T. bellirica and A. cadamba, respectively which was 81.1 and 10.1% of gross rainfall respectively. While, the highest and lowest interception was observed in T. grandis and T. bellirica, respectively which was 16.0 and 9.5% of gross rainfall respectively. Results clearly show that TF, SF and I loss varies with tree species type and contributes a significant proportion of incident rainfall towards crop water balance.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Morphology and physiology of Perilla frutescens (Linn.) Britt in relation
           to micro-climate and edaphic characteristics

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      Abstract: Abstract Perilla frutescens L. Britton, a plant widely grown in China, Korea, Japan and the Indian Himalayan Region is known to possess anti-microbial, antioxidative, anti-inflammation, anti-cancer and anti-allergy activities due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in its seeds and perilla-ketone, rosmarinic acid and perilla aldehyde in its leaves. In spite of having health benefits, it is only used by local natives as food supplement and its importance as nutraceuticals is ignored by larger community. Considering its high nutraceutical properties the cultivation of Perilla for human consumption and for commercial purpose is important. In the present study an attempt has been made to understand the morphological and physiological response of Perilla to the change in climatic and edaphic factors with altitude and to investigate what are the environmental conditions that promotes the growth of Perilla. The study was conducted for two years at three different sites, situated in three different altitudes, Udaibag (472 m asl), Papradi (690 m asl), and Dharkot (1082 m asl) of Uttarakhand. A total of 72 composite agriculture soil samples (Site I: 24, Site II: 24, and Site: 24 sample) per season (October 2014, May 2015 and October 2015) were collected and analyzed for macro and micronutrients. Significant variation (P < 0.05) was observed in the soil properties with depth among sites. Morphological parameters studied showed considerable difference with change in environmental condition and parameters such as plant height (3.2 ± 0.05 m), leaf area (132 ± 7.54 cm2), leaf-stem ratio (0.64 ± 0.02 g plant−1) showed higher values at Dharkot site. The physiological attributes of plant also varied significantly (P < 0.05) with altitude and most of the parameters viz., Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium were greater in the seeds as well as in leaves of the plants growing at Dharkot during the study period. The study reflected that morphological and physiological traits of Perilla differed in their responses at different altitudes and the ecotype from higher altitude (Dharkot) could be used within their specific local habitats for cultivation as well as its commercial cultivation could also be promoted in the region as an emerging industrial oil crop.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Using geoinformatics to link forest fire severity and fragmentation in
           India's Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

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      Abstract: Abstract Many wildlife sanctuaries in India are suffering from the effects of increasing urbanization and agricultural expansion. In recent decades, the Jamshedpur industrial township, which is located near the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS) in Jharkhand, has seen a significant increase in pollution because of increased industrial activity. In this study, authors used pixel integration of two indicators, connectedness (Pf) and density (Pff), to simulate forest degradation due to fragmentation in DWS. The Forest Fire Severity (FFS) was calculated using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) Index on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform from 1995 to 2019. Using parametric and non-parametric advanced statistics, the trend and connection between FFS and forest fragmentation were investigated. The change of the core region to perforated (+ 2.72%), edge (+ 10%), transitional (+ 4.75%), and patch (+ 5.3%) was shown by the fragmentation study. Around 70% of the area is experiencing an increasing (positive) trend in FFS. Forest fragmentation in the DWS was found to impact the intensity of forest fires as the amount of fragmentation increased. Forest fires are more likely to occur in patches of transitional forest along the margins. The goal of forest management strategies should be to maintain forest connectedness via collaboration.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Measuring evapotranspiration by eddy covariance method and understanding
           its biophysical controls in moist deciduous forest of northwest Himalayan
           foothills of India

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      Abstract: Abstract Forests play a pivotal role in carbon and water cycles by governing the exchanges of CO2 and H2O between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. The evapotranspiration (ET) is the variable, which links these cycles. The eddy covariance (EC) method provides direct, high-frequency observations of ET of an ecosystem. The present study was carried out in a moist deciduous plant functional type (PFT) of northwest Himalayan foothills of India to estimate ET using the EC flux tower measurements and to study its biophysical controls from 2016 to 2018. The variability of sensible (H) and latent (LE) heat fluxes was also studied. The mean diurnal variation in H was from − 1.31 to 109.35 Wm−2 whereas LE ranged from 4.47 to 186.89 Wm−2. The mean annual ET for 2016–2018 was found to be 693.67 ± 46.70 mm year−1. The highest diurnal variability in ET was witnessed during the post monsoon season followed by the monsoon, winter, and dry summer seasons. A relative weight analysis with multiple regression model was implemented to understand the control of biophysical variables on ET at an 8-day time scale. A combination of incoming solar radiation (Rg), leaf area index (LAI), vapour pressure deficit (VPD), air temperature (Tair), soil water content (SWC), and precipitation was able to explain 73% of the variability of ET at 8-day time scale. The analysis revealed that in the moist deciduous PFT the ET was limited by the availability of energy. The present study is the first-ever attempt to report the direct estimates of ET for an Indian forest.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Distribution of an arboreal snail, Rhachistia bengalensis (Lamarck, 1822)
           in managed and unmanaged habitats: implications for conservation

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      Abstract: Abstract The distribution of the arboreal snail Rhachistia bengalensis was observed from randomly selected sites of an unmanaged and a managed garden of India. The relative abundance of the snail on different host plants was counted and recorded with height gradients and various positions on the host plants. Although R. bengalensis was encountered in ten different plants in unmanaged garden and three different plants in the managed garden, the snail distribution varied significantly in different host plants and different plant parts. The snail preferred Cascabela thevetia, Aegle marmelos, Musa acuminata and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in the unmanaged and Terminalia arjuna and T. elliptica in the managed garden. Based on the variance to mean ratio (s2/m), negative binomial aggregation parameter k and Lloyd mean crowding (ṁ), the distribution of the snail showed more or less clumped distribution in the host plants. Apparently, the snail exhibited various degrees of preference with different host plants and fit with arboreal habit. Information on the abundance and preference of the host plant species can be used for the conservation management of the R. bengalensis in managed and unmanaged habitats.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Plant ecology in Indian Siwalik range: a systematic map and its
           bibliometric analysis

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      Abstract: Abstract The Himalayan foothills or the Siwaliks have been considered as one of the most fragile ecosystems of India. The underlying cause of degradation includes natural settings (geological formation and climate change) and human-mediated pressures (sandstone mining, urbanisation and developmental activities). Since the Siwaliks is associated with the livelihood of about 20 million people, it becomes imperative to respond appropriately for sustaining this ecologically fragile region. Ecological principles have great potential to develop sustainable practices for the conservation and management of natural resources. These principles offer nature-based solutions to sustain the ecologically sensitive and degraded ecosystems such as the ‘Siwaliks’. However, there is a need for concerted research to develop data-driven decisions for effective management. Therefore, a systematic analysis was conducted to assess the current patterns and knowledge gaps about plant ecological studies in the Indian Siwalik region. This article analysed the available peer-reviewed literature using established guidelines and bibliometric analyses. We found an increasing trend in the scientific output, and most studies were concentrated in the Siwalik region belonging to the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Although studies have been conducted on plant ecology, landscape ecology and ecosystem ecology have been disproportionately focused. Our findings suggest a growing interest in the plant ecology of the region; however, these studies seem relatively small compared to the complexity and diversity of this ecosystem structural and functional attributes. Further, with advances in computer application and remote sensing satellite data availability, we observed a shift towards ecological modelling studies, though experimental evidence also needs to be addressed.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Fine root decomposition and nutrient release in two tropical forests of
           Central Himalaya: a comparative and factor controlling approach

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      Abstract: Abstract The decomposition process in the forest ecosystem is regulated by environmental conditions, the chemical nature of litters, and microbial activities. We aim this study to understand the weight loss rate, nutrient release, and controlling factors of fine root decomposition in lower tropical forest (LTF) and upper tropical forest (UTF) of Nepal Himalaya. The nylon net bag technique was used to determine the decomposition rate of the fine root. Five gram air dried samples of < 2 mm and 2–5 mm size class fine roots were kept in nylon net bags and buried at 0–10 cm soil depth in each forest. Bags were recovered from both forests after 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, 365, 425, 485, and 545 days of sample placement and preceded for the estimation of weight loss and nutrient analysis. Initially, the weight loss was fast up to 120 days followed by a slow decomposition rate from the middle to the last phase of the experiment in both forests. At the 365 days of experiment, weight loss in < 2 mm fine root was 12.67% faster in LTF than UTF, while that in 2–5 mm sized root was 21.05% faster in LTF than UTF. An increase in nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the residual materials is accompanied with weight loss of fine root. At the end of experiment, the release of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) in both sized roots was faster in LTF than UTF. The N, P, and K release rates in LTF were 11.36, 8.88, and 3.09% faster than UTF in less than 2 mm root size, and 17.10, 10.25, and 6.38% faster in 2–5 mm root size, respectively. The belowground input of nutrients through fine root plays a significant role in nutrient accumulation in soil which contributes to increase the entire forest production.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
 
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