Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

Current Issue

Home Articles Current Issue
  • [Abstract] Background: Invasive alien plant species (IAP) significantly threaten Nepal’s protected areas and local communities. Understanding their distribution, impact, management, and utilization is essential for developing effective management strategies and sustainable utilization practices. The systematic literature review of publications from 2010 to 2023. The search was conducted through the database Nepal Journal online database (NepJOL) and Google Scholar, yielding an initial pool of 4,304 publication. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria; we meticulously reviewed 43 articles for data extraction. Results: Seventeen IAP are found in protected area, Nepal with the highest prevalence observed in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, followed by Chitwan and Sukhlaphanta National Park. The most problematic species in terrestrial ecosystems are Mikania micrantha, Lantana camara, and Chromolaena odorata. The grassland ecosystems of wildlife habitats, primarily in the Terai and Siwalik regions, are the most invaded. Various management approaches are employed to mitigate the spread and impact of IAP, including mechanical methods such as uprooting, burning, and cutting. However, these methods are costly, and context-specific interventions are needed. The study also explores the potential use of IAP for economic, ecological, or cultural purposes, such as medicinal properties, energy production potential, and economic viability. Local communities utilize these plants for animal bedding, mulching, green manure, briquette, and charcoal production. Conclusions: Applying silvicultural practices alongside mechanical management is recommended to maintain a healthy terrestrial ecosystem and utilize the removed biomass for valuable products, thereby reducing removal costs and increasing income sources, potentially benefitting both local communities and wildlife in protected areas.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-05-20 JEE 48:18

    Assessment of stingless bee densification to improve pollination service: a case study in strawberry cultivation in field conditions

    Priscila Silva Miranda* , Zilda Cristina Malheiros Lima , Raquel Pérez-Maluf , Paulo Henrique Marques Monroe and Aldenise Alves Moreira

    [Abstract] Background: Pollination is an ecosystem service of utmost importance for agriculture. In this context, the study aimed to evaluate the pollination service of naturally occurring bees and after densification with colonies of stingless bees (Nannotrigona testceicornis and Tetragonisca angustula) in commercial strawberry plantation. The study was carried out in the four seasons of the year and under two experimental conditions: natural pollination (NP) and pollination under bee densification. The supply of flowers and bee density were estimated. For bee densification, four boxes of colonies of Iraí bees and four of Jataí bees were placed near the strawberry plantation. Five treatments were established for each condition, considering NP and pollination with bee densification on different days from flower anthesis, ranging from the 1st to the 5th day. Fruits were harvested, quantified, and submitted to evaluations to determine biometry, degree of deformity, and percentage of fertilized achenes. Results: There was a higher density in summer compared to other seasons in both conditions evaluated. The weight was greater (20.19 g) when fruits were pollinated on the first day after floral anthesis under pollination conditions with bee densification. It was observed that free pollination provided fruits with greater a greater of deformation of flowers on the fourth and fifth day after anthesis. However, when bee density became higher, the greatest degree of deformity was observed only in fifth-day fruits. The densification with stingless bees provided a 50% increase in the number of bees present on strawberry plants in summer and also a 15% increase in fruit weight and the occurrence of a lower degree of fruit deformity. Conclusions: Density with stingless bees provided a 50% increase in the number of bees present on strawberry plant in the summer, with an improvement in fruit quality and aggregate commercial value, providing a 15% increase in fruit weight and a lower degree of deformity under the conditions of densification of Iraí (N. testceicornis) and Jataí (T. angustula) bees. Under the evaluated conditions, the introduction of stingless bee boxes in the summer is recommended.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-05-03 JEE 48:17

    Molecular identification of fruit bats, natural host of Nipah virus in Bangladesh, based on DNA barcode

    Md. Maharub Hossain Fahim1† , Walid Hassan1 , Afia Afsin1 , Md. Mahfuzur Rahman2 , Md. Tanvir Rahman3 , Sang Jin Lim4* , Yeonsu Oh5 , Yung Chul Park4 , Hossain Md. Faruquee1† and Md. Mafizur Rahman1*

    [Abstract] Background: Fruit bats are natural carriers of Nipah virus (NiV). The primary objective of this study is to identify potential reservoir species in a selected geographic regions. It is necessary to determine an accurate species identification of the associated reservoir bat species distributed in a specific region. Results: In this study, we collected 20 different bat specimens from the NiV-prone area of the Kushtia district. Among these, 14 were tissue samples (BT-1–14) and six were fecal samples (BF-1–6). We used the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, one of the most abundant and frequently used genetic markers, for polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing. Out of the 20 samples, 12 tissue samples and 2 fecal samples were successfully amplified and sequenced. However, two tissue samples and four fecal samples yielded chimeric sequences, rendering them unsuitable for annotation. The sequences of the successfully amplified samples were compared to those deposited in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database using basic local alignment search tool to identify the bat specimen collected. The study identified six different bat species using both morphological and genetic data, which may carriers of the NiV. Conclusions: Our results suggest that additional research should be conducted to gather more information on fruit bats from different localities across the country. The study contributes to the establishment of appropriate measures for NiV carrying disease control and management.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-04-23 JEE 48:16

    Regeneration and leaf traits variation of Rhododendron campanulatum along elevation gradient in western Nepal Himalaya

    Dipesh Karki1, Bijay Pandeya2 , Rachana Bhandari2 , Dikshya Basnet1 , Balkrishna Ghimire1 , Shreehari Bhattarai1 and Bharat Babu Shrestha3*

    [Abstract] Background: Plant species of the alpine treeline ecotone are highly sensitive to climate change and may adjust their population dynamics, and functional traits in response to changing climate. This study examined regeneration patterns and leaf traits variations in an important treeline ecotone element Rhododendron campanulatum along the elevation gradient in western Nepal to assess its potential adaptive responses to climate change. The distribution range of R. campanulatum (3,400–3,800 m above sea level [a.s.l.]) was divided into five horizontal bands, each with a 100 m elevational range. Eight plots (10 m × 10 m) were sampled in each band, resulting into a total of 40 plots. In each plot, all R. campanulatum individuals and co-occurring tree species were counted. From each elevation, R. campanulatum leaf samples were collected to determine leaf dimensions, leaf density, specific leaf area (SLA), and stomatal density (SD).Results: The density-diameter curve indicated that R. campanulatum was regenerating well, with enhanced regeneration at higher elevation (3,800 m a.s.l.) than at lower. Tree canopy cover appeared to be the major determinant of R. campanulatum regeneration, as indicated by a higher number of seedlings in treeless stands. With increasing elevation, the leaf length, width, SLA, and stomata length decreased but leaf thickness and SD increased.Conclusions: Overall, a higher regeneration and lower SLA with the high SD in the leaves at the upper limit of the species distribution suggested that R. campanulatum is well adapted at its upper distribution range with the possibility of upslope range shift as temperature increases.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-04-04 JEE 48:15

    Diet analysis of Clithon retropictum in south coast of Korea using metabarcoding

    SoonWon Hwang1 , Kwangjin Cho2 , Donguk Han3 , Yonghae Back4 , Eunjeong Lee3 , Sangkyu Park1*

    [Abstract] Background: This study focused on the diet of Clithon retropictum, level II endangered species in Korea. Since the development of brackish water zones has led to a decline in the population of this species, to obtain information on the ecology of C. retropictum required for its conservation and restoration. To investigate the actual preys of C. retropictum in south coast of Korea, we conducted high-throughput sequencing and metabarcoding techniques to extract DNA from gut contents and periphyton in their habitats.Results: Total 118 taxonomic groups were detected from periphyton samples. 116 were Chromista and Cyanobacteria dominated in the most samples. In gut contents samples, 98 taxonomic groups were detected. Similar to the results of periphyton, 96 were Chromista and Cyanobacteria dominated in the most samples. In the principal component analysis based on the presence/absence of taxonomic groups, gut content composition showed more clustered patterns corresponding to their habitats. Bryophyta was the most crucial taxonomic group explaining the difference between periphyton and gut contents compositions of C. retropictum.Conclusions: Our finding suggests that C. retropictum may not randomly consume epilithic algae but instead, likely to supplement their diet with Bryophyta.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-04-01 JEE 48:14

    The effect of thinning on trade-offs in ecosystem services: the case study of a Korean pine plantation on Mt. Gari

    Kiwoong Lee , Soon Jin Yun , Minsoo Kim , Hee Moon Yang and A Reum Kim *

    [Abstract] Background: The study was carried out to analyze the temporal changes of trade-offs (TOs) between two ecosystem services (ESs) before and after thinning in a Pinus koraiensis plantation on Mt. Gari from 2006 to 2021. As target variables, aboveground carbon (AGC) storage and species richness (SR) were chosen for regulating and supporting services. Thinning was applied from 2007 through 2008 with three treatments: 1) light thinning (LT), 2) heavy thinning (HT), and 3) control (Con).Results: Thinning influenced both AGC and SR. In 2021, AGC in the Con (111.1 t C ha-1) was significantly higher compared to the LT (82.0 t C ha-1) and HT (60.4 t C ha-1) after thinning from 2007 to 2008. Also, SR was marginally higher in the LT (94 species) than in the Con (55 species) and HT (87 species) in 2011. Relative benefits of AGC and SR showed similar trends with the obtained values. In addition, the effects of thinning on TO varied among treatments and over time, demonstrating different degrees of TO between the two ESs. In the LT, TO was 0.13 in 2006 and slightly increased to 0.2 by 2021. TO in the HT exhibited a relatively rapid increase from 0.22 in 2006 to 0.58 by 2021, while To in the Con fluctuated, rising to 0.36 in 2011 from 0.1 in 2006 and decreasing to 0.25 by 2021. Among the three treatments, the degree of TOs between the two ESs was the lowest in the LT.Conclusions: Depending on thinning intensities, the responses of ESs and the degree of TOs vary. Regarding the balance between enhancements and TOs in ESs among treatments, the LT treatment showing intermediate carbon storage, higher SR, and lower TOs will be a proper silvicultural application.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-04-01 JEE 48:13

    Ecological analysis and culture methods for freshwater green algae Prasiola japonica

    Dong Sam Kim1† , Dong Seon Kim2† and Jae Youl Cho2*

    [Abstract] Background: Prasiola japonica is a freshwater green algae species that can only be seen in Korea and Japan. The various conditions necessary for its growth and reproduction have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate conditions related to the growth and reproduction of P. japonica for the purpose of conserving and producing this species. We first examined differences in growth according to various conditions in different habitats to understand the growth environment of P. japonica.Results: The experimental results revealed that the optimal temperature for growth and reproduction of P. japonica was between 10°C–15°C, and the optimal light intensity was 1,000–1,500 lux. Furthermore, when Provasoli enriched seawater with iodine (PESI) agar was used, the growth of P. japonica was found to be at least 1.5–8 times greater than that of the general Sohan Valley water sample, and it also showed 2–4.5 faster growth rate to reach 30 µm. These results emphasize the importance of PESI agar in the culture of P. japonica, and are expected to be helpful in suggesting ways to utilize and conserve P. japonica resources.Conclusions: Through these research findings, we suggest new methods for conserving and producing P. japonica, highlight the importance of preserving the P. japonica ecosystem, and explore ways to utilize P. japonica resources. This research promotes the under- standing and protection of P. japonica resources in Korea and beyond, and underscores the need for further research and conservation efforts.

    Show More
  • Short communication 2024-04-01 JEE 48:12

    Bacterial communities in the feces of insectivorous bats in South Korea

    Injung An1†* , Byeori Kim1† , Sungbae Joo2 , Kihyun Kim3 and Taek-Woo Lee1

    [Abstract] Bats serve as vectors and natural reservoir hosts for various infectious viruses, bacteria, and fungi. These pathogens have also been detected in bat feces and can cause severe illnesses in hosts, other animals, and humans. Because pathogens can easily spread into the environment through bat feces, determining the bacterial communities in bat guano is crucial to mitigate potential disease transmission and outbreaks. This study primarily aimed to examine bacterial communities in the feces of insectivorous bats living in South Korea. Fecal samples were collected after capturing 84 individuals of four different bat species in two regions of South Korea, and the bacterial microbiota was assessed through next generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The results revealed that, with respect to the relative abundance at the phylum level, Myotis bombinus was dominated by Firmicutes (47.24%) and Proteobacteria (42.66%) whereas Miniopterus fuliginosus (82.78%), Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (63.46%), and Myotis macrodactylus (78.04%) were dominated by Proteobacteria. Alpha diversity analysis showed no difference in abundance between species and a significant difference (p < 0.05) between M. bombinus and M. fuliginosus. Beta-diversity analysis revealed that Clostridium, Asaia, and Enterobacteriaceae_g were clustered as major factors at the genus level using principal component analysis. Additionally, linear discriminant analysis effect size was conducted based on relative expression information to select bacterial markers for each bat species. Clostridium was relatively abundant in M. bombinus, whereas Mycoplasma_g10 was relatively abundant in R. ferrumequinum. Our results provide an overview of bat guano microbiota diversity and the significance of pathogenic taxa for humans and the environment, highlighting a better understanding of preventing emerging diseases. We anticipate that this research will yield bioinformatic data to advance our knowledge of overall microbial genetic diversity and clustering characteristics in insectivorous bat feces in South Korea.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-03-11 JEE 48:11

    Ecological health assessment of Mae Kha Canal, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand in 2023

    Onalenna Manene1 , Nick Deadman2 , Chotiwut Techakijvej3 , Songyot Kullasoot3 , Pitak Sapewisut4 , Nattawut Sareein3 and Chitchol Phalaraksh3,4*

    [Abstract] Background: The Mae Kha Canal is one of Chiang Mai’s most important waterways. It supports local agriculture, irrigation, and transportation as well as provides stormwater drainage to prevent floods. Due to the unregulated rapid urbanization of the city and lack of efficient waste and wastewater management systems over the past few decades, the canal has become heavily polluted. This study aimed to evaluate the water quality of Mae Kha canal through assessment of the physico-chemical water quality and coliform bacteria. Moreover, benthic macroinvertebrates were samples and assessed using the Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWPThai) and Average Score Per Taxon (ASPTThai) as biological indices. Results: The physico-chemical showed low dissolved oxygen levels, high levels of ammonia and phosphates, and elevated levels of biochemical oxygen demand, indicating that the water quality had significantly deteriorated. The canal was found to be heavily polluted, with most sites falling into the polluted to very heavily polluted. Coliform bacteria analysis revealed alarmingly high levels of total coliform bacteria and fecal coliform bacteria in the canal. The BMWPThai and ASPTThai scores indicated poor to very poor water quality. Conclusions: The physico-chemical and coliform bacteria indicated that the water quality of the Mae Kha canal had significantly deteriorated. The biological indices also indicated the poor to very poor water quality. This study underscores the urgent need for comprehensive remediation efforts, emphasizing strategic planning, investment, and community engagement to revive the canal’s ecological health and water quality.

    Show More
  • Research 2024-02-23 JEE 48:10

    Tree species migration to north and expansion in their habitat under future climate: an analysis of eight tree species Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

    Muhammad Abdullah Durrani1 , Rohma Raza1 , Muhammad Shakil2 , Shakeel Sabir3* and Muhammad Danish4

    [Abstract] Background: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government initiated the Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project including regeneration and afforestation approaches. An effort was made to assess the distribution characteristics of afforested species under present and future climatic scenarios using ecological niche modelling. For sustainable forest management, landscape ecology can play a significant role. A significant change in the potential distribution of tree species is expected globally with changing climate. Ecological niche modeling provides the valuable information about the current and future distribution of species that can play crucial role in deciding the potential sites for afforestation which can be used by government institutes for afforestation programs. In this context, the potential distribution of 8 tree species, Cedrus deodara, Dalbergia sissoo, Juglans regia, Pinus wallichiana, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Senegalia modesta, Populus ciliata, and Vachellia nilotica was modeled.Results: Maxent species distribution model was used to predict current and future distribution of tree species using bioclimatic variables along with soil type and elevation. Future climate scenarios, shared socio-economic pathways (SSP)2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 were considered for the years 2041–2060 and 2081–2100. The model predicted high risk of decreasing potential distribution under SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 climate change scenarios for years 2041–2060 and 2081–2100, respectively. Recent afforestation conservation sites of these 8 tree species do not fall within their predicted potential habitat for SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 climate scenarios.Conclusions: Each tree species responded independently in terms of its potential habitat to future climatic conditions. Cedrus deodara and P. ciliata are predicted to migrate to higher altitude towards north in present and future climate scenarios. Habitat of D. sissoo, P. wallichiana, J. regia, and V. nilotica is practiced to be declined in future climate scenarios. Eucalyptus camaldulensis is expected to be expanded its suitability area in future with eastward shift. Senegalia modesta habitat increased in the middle of the century but decreased afterwards in later half of the century. The changing and shifting forests create challenges for sustainable landscapes. Therefore, the study is an attempt to provide management tools for monitoring the climate change-driven shifting of forest landscapes.

    Show More
  • [Abstract] Background: In Korea, riparian zones and some floodplains have been converted into agricultural fields and urban areas. However, there are essential for maintaining biodiversity, as they are important ecological spaces. There are also very important spaces for humanity, as they perform various ecosystem services in a changing environment including climate change. Due to the importance of rivers, river restoration projects have been promoted for a long time, but their achievement has been insignificant. Development should be pursued by thoroughly evaluating the success of the restoration project. Ecological restoration is to accelerate succession, a process that a disturbed ecosystem recovers itself, with human assistance. Ecological restoration can be a test bed for testing ecological theories in the field. In this respect, ecological restoration should go beyond a ‘simple landscaping exercise’ and apply ecological models and theories in restoration practice.Results: The cross-section of the restored stream is far from natural rivers due to its steep slope and artificial material. The vegetation profiles of the restored streams did not reflect the flooding regime of the river. The species composition of the vegetation in the restored stream showed a significant difference from that of the reference stream, and was also different from that of an unrestored urban stream. Although species richness was high and the proportion of exotic species was low in the restored stream, the effect was offset by the high proportion of gardening and landscaping plants or obligate terrestrial plants.Conclusions: Based on both the morphological and ecological characteristics of the river, the restoration effect in the restored stream was evaluated to be very low. In order to solve the problems, a systematic adaptive management plan is urgently required. Furthermore, it is necessary to institutionalize the evaluation of restoration effects for the development of river restoration projects in the future.

    Show More
  • [Abstract] Background: Despite many environmental problems, plastic waste emissions have been a significant surge during last few decades in the Republic of Korea. Furthermore, the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has lead to an increased use and disposal of plastic waste worldwide. This paper tried to present summarized data related to the production and disposal of plastics especially before and after the COVID-19 pandemic with environmental impacts of plastics. Also, review of plastic waste reduction policies and feasible policies to promote an act for a safe, sustainable environment are presented.Results: Plastics cause many environmental problems due to their non-degrading properties and have a huge direct and indirect impact on Ecosystems and Public Health. Microplastics need a lot of attention because their environmental effects are not yet fully identified. Despite plastic’s significant impact on climate change, the impact is not yet widely known to the public. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of plastic has surged and recycling has decreased due to the increase in delivery food and online shopping. Korea is introducing very active plastic and waste management policies, but it is necessary to implement more active policies by referring to the cases of other countries.Conclusions: In this article, we have scrutinized the evolution of plastic waste generation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and delved into policy frameworks adopted by other nations, which South Korea can draw valuable lessons from. The formidable challenges posed by plastic waste, the remarkable shifts witnessed during the COVID-19 era, and the multifaceted response strategies elucidated in this paper all play a pivotal role in steering South Korea toward a sustainable future.

    Show More
Close ✕

Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220