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Congruence between breeding and wintering biodiversity hotspots: A case study in farmlands of Western Poland

Abstract

Farmland landscapes are recognized as important ecosystems, not only for their rich biodiversity but equally so for the human beings who live and work in these places. However, biodiversity varies among sites (spatial change) and among seasons (temporal change). In this work, we tested the hypothesis that bird diversity hotspots distribution for breeding is congruent with bird diversity hotspots for wintering season, focusing also the representation of protected areas for the conservation of local hotspots. We proposed a framework based on the use of species richness, functional diversity, and evolutionary distinctiveness to characterize avian communities.

Although our findings show that the spatial distribution of local bird hotspots differed slightly between seasons, the protected areas’ representation was similar in both seasons. Protected areas covered 65% of the most important zones for breeding and 71% for the wintering season in the farmland studied. Functional diversity showed similar patterns as did bird species richness, but this measure can be most effective for highlighting differences on bird community composition. Evolutionary distinctiveness was less congruent with species richness and functional diversity, among seasons.

Our findings suggest that inter-seasonal spatial congruence of local hotspots can be considered as suitable areas upon which to concentrate greater conservation efforts. However, even considering the relative congruence of avian diversity metrics at a local spatial scale, simultaneous analysis of protected areas while inter-seasonally considering hotspots, can provide a more complete representation of ecosystems for assessing the conservation status and designating priority areas.

Open access
The contribution of the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) to the winter diet of frugivores in novel ecosystems

Abstract

With the increasing expansion in urban areas, many species have adapted to utilising horticulturally used plants as alternate or augmentary food sources, in particular, during winter – when native foods are largely absent. Ornamental palms, particularly Canary Island Date Palms, fruit continuously during most of the year and thus provide a stable food supply. Based on observational, metric and bio-chemical data, this paper examines the role Canary Island Date Palms can and do play in the nutrition of frugivorous animals, in particular, for birds. It demonstrates that with its nearly year-round provisioning of drupes, the palm plays a major role as a ‘staple’ and backup food source for several species.

Open access
Correspondence of butterfly and host plant diversity: foundation for habitat restoration and conservation

Abstract

At a spatial scale, the diversity of butterflies varies with numerous factors including the availability of the host plant species. In parity with this proposition, the correspondence of diversity of butterfly and plant in the background of the urban–rural gradient was evaluated using Kolkata, India, as a model study area. The results reveal significant positive correlation between the diversity of butterflies and the plants, with the different values for the suburban, rural, and urban areas. Identification of the butterfly loads for the plants in the respective areas can be useful in enhancing the conservation of the butterflies through enhanced plantation of the concerned plant species. Alternatively, the disclosure of the generalist and specialist pattern of the plant species preference by the butterflies may be useful in enhancing the population of the respective species in the concerned areas. The conservation strategy for butterfly species may be refined through the use of both or any one of the quantitative assessment of the butterfly–plant links in the urban–rural gradient in Kolkata, India, and similar places in the world.

Open access
Discriminating between nesting and non-nesting habitat in a vulnerable bird species: implications for behavioural ecology

Abstract

Nowadays, partitioning amongst nesting and non-nesting habitats is not much studied. Here, I investigate whether or not the turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) nesting habitats overlap with those used for other purposes in a North African agroforestry system. A total of 33 nest points and 33 turtle dove presence points were considered. The study, conducted in May to June 2017, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in discriminating between the nesting habitats and non-nesting habitats. I used a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of proximity of food resources, forest edge and human presence variables in the distribution of the species. The results show substantial segregation in the habitats selected for nesting and those selected for other uses [average distance was 1129.69 ± 169.40 m (n = 66) with a maximum of 1518.6 m and a minimum of 617.72 m], with selection depending primarily on the proximity to forest edge and feeding areas. I discuss these findings and their implications on behavioural ecology and future researches of this vulnerable species. I suggest guidelines for future studies that will seek to better understand the behavioural dynamics of turtle doves in the Mediterranean agroforestry systems. This can only be done when disturbance covariates, such as: (i) forest logging, (ii) cereal harvesting and (iii) hunting and predation pressures, were imperatively taken into account.

Open access
Distribution of mosquito larvae in rice field habitats: a spatial scale analysis in semi-field condition

Abstract

The distribution of the mosquito larvae in the breeding habitats varies at the spatial scale depending on the availability of the resources and the predators. This proposition was assessed through the observation of the spatial distribution of Culex larvae (Culex tritaeniorhynchus) in artificially constructed rice field habitats. Using a binomial generalized linear model with logit link, the disparity in the abundance of the larvae was evaluated to justify the effects of light (light vs shade), vertical (surface vs bottom), and horizontal (wall vs center) distribution as explanatory variables. Under light availability, the spatial occupancy of the mosquito larvae was higher in the center than in the walls of the mesocosms. However, the larval orientation was higher on the surface than at the bottom of the mesocosms in all instances. In comparison to open spaces, the larval aggregation was higher in the presence of the floating vegetations like Azolla and Lemna, indicating that the habitat heterogeneity of the mesocosms influenced the distribution of the mosquito larvae in the available spaces. A reduction in the larval aggregation pattern in the spaces was observed in the presence of the predator (Anisops sp.) reflecting the possible evasion tactics of the mosquito larvae. The observations suggest that the mosquito larvae may utilize the vegetation in the rice field habitats quite effectively and occupy empty spaces of predators. The results may be considered as a prototype of the prospective localization of the mosquito larvae in the rice fields and help to frame the strategies of spraying the biopesticides to achieve optimal efficacy in mosquito regulation.

Open access
Diversity of actinobacteria in the marshes of Ezzemoul and Djendli in northeastern Algeria

Abstract

The main purpose of this research is to study the microbial diversity of actinobacteria, living in “Ezzemoul” and “Djendli” sebkhas soils. These salt lakes are situated in the east of Algeria and they are microbiologically underexploited. Such unexplored ecological niches have been considered by many authors as sources of novel actinobacteria and bioactive molecules. Actinobacteria play an important role in safeguarding the environment by improving plant growth through nitrogen fixation, biodegradation, and bioremediation. Therefore, studying the diversity and distribution of actinobacteria in such special environments is important for determining the ecological and biotechnological roles of these microorganisms. In this article, we focused on the occurrence and the diversity of actinobacteria from sebkhas using two techniques: cultural and culture-independent (molecular cloning). The latter are based on phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA gene. Thus, the cultural method allowed us to obtain 62 isolates: 40 from the “Ezzemoul” site and 22 from the “Djendli” site. These isolates tolerate mainly 2, 5, and 10% sodium chloride (NaCl) and belong to the genera Nocardiopsis, Streptomyces, and Rhodococcus. Moreover, the molecular cloning gave us 39 clones. Twenty-four clone sequences from “Ezzemoul” site are affiliated to the genera Demequina, Plantactinospora, Friedmanniella, and Mycobacterium. Also, 15 clone sequences from “Djendli” site are related to the genera Marmoricola, Phytoactinopolyspora, Streptomyces, and to an unclassified actinobacterial clone. Some sequences from both sites are related to uncultured clones. In addition to the data provided by the cultural method, molecular cloning allowed us to have additional information about the unknown actinobacteria, uncultured ones as well as on the genera that exist in both sites. So, the cultural method is complementary to the culture-independent one, and their combination revealed an important diversity in targeted saline environments. Furthermore, all new isolated strains that tolerate 10% NaCl may have a very interesting biotechnological potential in the future.

Open access
Effects of recreational activity on Acorn Barnacle (Tetraclita squamosa rufotincta) in the Red Sea

Abstract

Environmental recreation is a fast growing industry. However, in many cases the consequences for the environment are ignored. Eilat is just such a case wherein tourism is the mainstay of the city and the Red Sea is the main attraction. Most areas are developed specifically for enhancing tourism and one of the most benign of creatures, that sits permanently on rocks and seashores, is trodden upon regularly is the Acorn Barnacle (Tetraclita squamosa rufotincta). We surveyed 10 sites with the same area for the number of barnacles that were live, dead or deserted. We compared between areas frequented by recreationists, and from which, they were denied access. We found a significantly greater number of individuals, live barnacles, and fewer deserted barnacles in the restricted areas. We conclude that the Acorn Barnacles in the undisturbed areas had significantly greater probability of survival and longevity compared to those exposed to anthropogenic activity.

Open access
Efficiency of traps in collecting selected Diptera families according to the used bait: comparison of baits and mixtures in a field experiment

Abstract

Traps made from PET bottles were used to assess the efficiency of four baits in terms of the number of individuals for selected Diptera families collecting in Eastern Slovak gardens in summer and autumn. Bait used in traps significantly affected the taxonomical composition of the samples obtained. Moreover, significant differences in bait efficiencies and temporal shift in bait efficiencies were confirmed for the Diptera order and for selected dipteran families. The most effective bait for baited-trap Diptera sampling was beer, followed by wine, meat, and syrup from the summer sampling season. In the autumn sampling season, the wine was most effective, followed by beer, syrup, and meat. For the family Scatopsidae wine, and for the family Platystomatidae, meat were the most effective baits. Drosophilidae were most attracted to beer in summer and to wine bait in autumn.

Open access
Ethnobotanical Study of Edible Wild Plants in Libya

Abstract

This study was designed to document the use and conservation of edible wild plants in Libya. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. A total of 145 edible wild plant species were identified; of these, herbs represented the majority with 119 species. Regarding the parts used, the most consumed parts were leaves (in 64 species), followed by young shoots (in 39 species), fruits (in 35 species), seeds (in 16 species), flowers and roots (in 14 species each), and 8 species were consumed as a whole plant. Studies on the mode of consumption revealed a total of 12 ways of consumption, of which the majority were consumed raw (90 species), followed by consumption after cooking (56 species) and as a salad (41 species).

Open access
First record of spider Tegenaria ferruginea (Panzer, 1804) from Belarus with notes on overwintering

Abstract

First record of the spider Tegenaria ferruginea (Panzer, 1804) from Belarus, along with taxonomic diagnosis and photographs are presented. Contrary to the expectations, males and females were found during overwintering in the silken sac in the fort of Brest, Belarus.

Open access