Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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  • 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.

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  • [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.

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  • [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.

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  • Research 2024-02-07 JEE 48:07

    Terrestrial pest gastropod diversity and spatiotemporal variations in highland agricultural lands of Sri Lanka

    Dinelka Thilakarathne1,2 , Nadeela Hirimuthugoda3 , Kithsiri Ranawana3 and Shalika Kumburegama3*

    [Abstract] Background: The available information on terrestrial pest gastropods and their impact on the environment worldwide is scarce and outdated. The present study aimed to address this gap by conducting the first comprehensive survey of pest gastropods in the Nuwara Eliya District, an important vegetable growing area in the highlands of Sri Lanka. Eighty agricultural lands were surveyed over two years by establishing ten 1 m2 sampling plots per crop type in each agricultural land. Geo-coordinates, air temperature, elevation, relative humidity, daily rainfall, soil pH, species richness and abundance were recorded for rainy and non-rainy periods. The relationship between species composition and environmental variables was analyzed using multi-regression models and distribution maps.Results: Out of the 14 species recorded in agricultural lands, nine were identified as exotic pest species. Species abundance (t = 4.69, p < 0.05) and diversity was higher in the rainy period and the dominant species during this period were Bradybaena similaris (t = 2.69, p < 0.05) and Deroceras reticulatum (t = 2. 46, p < 0.05). Eggs and estivating adults were found in soil and under decaying organic matter during the non-rainy period. The exotic species showed broader preferences for the measured environmental factors and showed a wider range in distribution compared to the native species. Variation in pest gastropod composition was significantly accounted for by elevation, relative humidity, soil pH and daily rainfall. Additionally, the species richness and abundance varied across locations due to the combined effects of elevation, crop type and stage, and field type.Conclusions: The study emphasizes the importance of understanding the biology and ecology of gastropod pests to develop effective management strategies. By considering the influence of environmental factors and implementing appropriate soil management techniques, such as targeting specific habitats and crop stages, it is possible to mitigate pest populations and minimize their impact on agricultural lands. Overall, this research contributes valuable insights into the dynamics and interactions of terrestrial gastropods in agricultural ecosystems, supporting sustainable pest management practices.

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  • [Abstract] Background: The present study aims to identify the pattern and size of Juniperus species (Juniperus phoenicea and J. procera) in the natural forests in terms of tree dimension, size structure and density, discussing the existing both species in Sarrawat Mountains for suggesting the preservation, conservation, and sustainable development. For achieving this, the height and mean crown diameter of each individual was measured based on 2–4 diameter measurements per ind. (506 ind. for J. phoenicea and 322 ind. for J. procera).Results: The size index of both species was classified into 7 classes: the first (< 100 cm) and the second (100–200 cm) classes were chosen to represent the juvenile stage. The total mean of the J. phoenicea population increased with the increase of altitude, while the whole population decreased after altitude of 2,000 m. The total mean of the J. procera population increased with the increase of altitude till altitude of 2,000–2,100 m.Conclusions: The present study indicated that both of species grow at low altitudes, they only grow at altitude above 1,700 m above sea level. The present study indicated that the study area has the two Juniperus spp. (J. phoenicea and J. procera) associated together all over the area. The results were discussed and compared with other related studies.

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  • Research 2024-01-31 JEE 48:05

    Seasonal variation in longitudinal connectivity for fish community in the Hotancheon from the Geum River, as assessed by environmental DNA metabarcoding

    Hyuk Je Lee1*† , Yu Rim Kim1† , Hee-kyu Choi1 , Seo Yeon Byeon1,2 , Soon Young Hwang1 , Kwang-Guk An3 , Seo Jin Ki4 and Dae-Yeul Bae5

    [Abstract] Background: Longitudinal connectivity in river systems strongly affects biological components related to ecosystem functioning, thereby playing an important role in shaping local biodiversity and ecosystem health. Environmental DNA (eDNA)-based metabarcoding has an advantage of enabling to sensitively diagnose the presence/absence of species, becoming an efficient/effective approach for studying the community structure of ecosystems. However, little attention has been paid to eDNA-based biomonitoring for river systems, particularly for assessing the river longitudinal connectivity. In this study, by using eDNA we analyzed and compared species diversity and composition among artificial barriers to assess the longitudinal connectivity of the fish community along down-, mid- and upstream in the Hotancheon from the Geum River basin. Moreover, we investigated temporal variation in eDNA fish community structure and species diversity according to season. Results: The results of species detected between eDNA and conventional surveys revealed higher sensitivity for eDNA and 61% of species (23/38) detected in both methods. The results showed that eDNA-based fish community structure differs from down-, mid- and upstream, and species diversity decreased from down to upstream regardless of season. We found that there was generally higher species diversity at the study sites in spring (a total number of species across the sites [n] = 29) than in autumn (n = 27). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling and heatmap analyses further suggest that there was a tendency for community clusters to form in the down-, mid- and upstream, and seasonal variation in the community structure also existed for the sites. Dominant species in the Hotancheon was Rhynchocypris oxycephalus (26.07%) regardless of season, and subdominant species was Nipponocypris koreanus (16.50%) in spring and Odontobutis platycephala (15.73%) in autumn. Artificial barriers appeared to negatively affect the connectivity of some fish species of high mobility. Conclusions: This study attempts to establish a biological monitoring system by highlighting the versatility and power of eDNA metabarcoding in monitoring native fish community and further evaluating the longitudinal connectivity of river ecosystems. The results of this study suggest that eDNA can be applied to identify fish community structure and species diversity in river systems, although some shortcomings remain still need to be resolved.

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  • Research 2024-01-23 JEE 48:04

    Evaluation of stingless bee (Tetragonula pagdeni) honey properties and melissopalynological analysis from different geographical origins in Thailand

    Jakkrawut Maitip1* , Amonwit Polgate1 , Woranika Promsart1 , Jinatchaya Butdee1 , Athitta Rueangwong1 , Tanatip Sittisorn1 , Wankuson Chanasit2, Satasak Jorakit3 and Prapai Kodcharin4

    [Abstract] Background: Honey from different geographical origins can have distinct characteristics due to variations in the floral sources available to stingless bees in different regions. The most abundant stingless bee for meliponiculture in Thailand is Tetragonula pagdeni. However, only a few studies about the properties of honey from a different origin were carried out. The objective of this study was focused on a comparative study to evaluate the melissopalynological, physicochemical, antioxidant activities, and total phenolic contents (TPCs) of stingless bee honey produced by T. pagdeni from different parts of Thailand. Results: Fifty honey samples were collected from five locations, and the physicochemical properties of T. pagdeni honey samples are acidic (pH 3.02–4.15) and have a high water content (18.42–25.06 %w/w), which is related to the regions of meliponary. Melisopalynological analysis reveals the predominant pollen from Melaleuca quinquenervia, Cocus nuciferca, Nephelium lappaceum, Salacca wallichiana, and multiflora honey. All honey samples were analyzed for their TPC and 2,2-diphenyl1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity. The results show that all samples had high TPC and antioxidant activities with a strong correlation (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The data from this study indicates the importance of geographical origin, which links physicochemical properties, phenolic compounds, and functional characteristics to their floral. Besides, the floral sources and harvesting location affected the properties of stingless bee honey. Our results identify Melaleuca honey as a promising source of phenolic content and antioxidant activity that can be used as a functional food, as well as multiflora and Cocus honey. However, further studies are required to characterize the phenolic compound and its biological potential, which could be a stingless bee honey biomarker and quality control, simultaneously with the physicochemical analysis.

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  • Research 2024-01-19 JEE 48:03

    Detection of microbial organisms on Apis mellifera L. beehives in palm garden, Eastern Thailand

    Sirikwan Dokuta1 , Sumed Yadoung2 , Peerapong Jeeno1 , Sayamon Hongjaisee1 , Phadungkiat Khamnoi3 , Khanchai Danmek4 , Jakkrawut Maitip5 , Bajaree Chuttong6* and Surat Hongsibsong1,7*

    [Abstract] Background: Honey bees play a crucial role in pollination and ecological balance. Apis mellifera L. colonies, especially those located in specific geographic regions, such as the palm garden in Eastern Thailand, are susceptible to potential threats from microbial contaminants. Understanding and detecting microbial organisms in these beehives is essential for the preservation of bee health, honey production, and the broader ecosystem. However, the problem of microbial infection and antibiotic-resistant bacteria is more severe and continuously increasing, resulting in a health, economic, and social crisis. The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of microorganisms in A. mellifera beehives in palm gardens in Rayong province, Eastern Thailand.Results: Ten swabs in transport media were swabbed and obtained from different parts of each beehive (1 swab per beehive), for a total of 10 hives. Traditional microbial culture- based methods, biochemical tests, and antimicrobial susceptibility (disc-diffusion) tests were used to detect microbial organisms and antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The swab tests from nine beehives resulted in the detection of Gram-positive bacteria (63.64%), Gram-negative bacteria (27.27%), and fungi/yeast (9.09%). These microorganisms are classified as a group of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp. and made up 40.91% of the bacteria discovered. Other bacteria found were Coryneform bacteria (13.64%), Pantoea spp. (13.64%), Bacillus spp. (9.09%), yeast (9.09%), glucose non-fermentative Gram-negative bacilli (9.09%), and Pseudomonas spp. (4.55%). However, due to the traditional culture- based and 0biochemical tests usually used to identify the microbial organisms in clinical specimens and the limitation of identifying some environmental microbial species, the results of the antimicrobial susceptibility test cannot reveal if the organism is resistant or susceptible to the drug. Nevertheless, drug-sensitive inhibition zones were formed with each antibiotic agent.Conclusions: Overall, the study supports prevention, healthcare, and public health systems. The contamination of microorganisms in the beehives may affect the quality of honey and other bee products or even the health of the beekeeper. To avoid this kind of contamination, it is therefore necessary to wear personal protective equipment while harvesting honey and other bee products.

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  • Research 2024-01-19 JEE 48:02

    Current status and characteristics of the Ecological and Natural Map in the Republic of Korea

    Eui-Jeong Ko , Hyosun Leem , Junghyun Lee and Wooseok Oh *

    [Abstract] The integration and management of various national ecological assessments are essential for the benefit of the public. In the Republic of Korea, the Ecological and Natural Map (ENM) serves as a comprehensive platform that synthesizes the results of national ecosystem surveys into a unified system interface. To provide the current status and characteristics of our policy, we analyzed the ENMs and related appeals from 2014 to 2022. Following their implementation, the ENM Guidelines underwent nine revisions, with most of the revisions pertaining to appeals. Nine public announcements were made regarding the ENM, resulting in a gradual expansion of the conservation area. The data also showed a consistent increasing trend in appeals. Most of the 1st-grade areas in the ENM regions where appeals were filed have significantly decreased. The larger area or the smaller population density of an administrative distinct, the more appeals were filed. Our study presents information regarding the current status of the ENM system. The analysis of the operational direction and indicator trends across the 16-year period since the establishment of the system provides valuable insights for similar systems.

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  • Review 2024-01-15 JEE 48:01

    Biodiversity in Egypt contributing to world biodiversity

    Kamal Hussein Shaltout1 and Mohamed Mahmoud El-Khalafy2*

    [Abstract] Background: Available publications (e.g., theses, scientific reports, books and papers) about the elements of the Egyptian biodiversity during 2000–2018 were collected in a progress scientific report. The publications reported in this bibliography were collected from various sources including: site of the Egyptian Universities Libraries Consortium Portal, accounts of the biodiversity specialists on Research gate, direct contact with the national experts of the Egyptian biodiversity, libraries of some universities and research centers and others. The elements of the Egyptian biodiversity are classified into different categories. Results: Up till now, a total of 20,521 species were recorded in Egypt, of which insects have the highest contribution (48.7%), followed by fungi (12.1%) and vascular plants (11.5%). In a descending order, each of amphibians, viruses, reptiles, mammals, cyanobacteria, bryophytes, and bacteria have a minor contribution (< 1%). Based on the available data, Egyptian biodiversity contributes 1.3% of the world biota, although its area contributes only 0.7% of the world area. At a global scale, the most represented groups are algae (12.22% of the world figure), followed by cyanobacteria (6.08%) and birds (4.70%). On the other hand, the less represented are amphibians (0.14% of the world figure), flora (0.84%) and insects (1.00%). Conclusions: Some suggestions are recommended for preparing a phytoplankton checklist based on the rich available publications; further studies should be carried out on the lichen biodiversity in order to prepare acceptable verified checklist for this important group. In addition, paleo-biologists should work together to publish a book dealing with the Egyptian paleo-biology, such studies will lead to high ranking the Egyptian biodiversity.

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  • Research 2023-12-26 JEE 47:28

    Growth environment characteristics of the habitat of Epilobium hirsutum L., a class II endangered wildlife species

    Kwang Jin Cho , Hyeong Cheol Lee , Sang Uk Han , Hae Seon Shin and Pyoung Beom Kim*

    [Abstract] Background: As wildlife habitats are being destroyed and growth environments are changing, the survival of animals and plants is under threat. Epilobium hirsutum L., a species that inhabits wetlands, has held legally protected status since 2012. However, no specific measures are currently in place to protect its habitat, leading to a decline in remaining populations as a result of land use change and human activities.Results: The growth environment (including location, climate, land use, soil, and vegetation) of the five habitat sites (Samcheok, Taebaek1, Taebaek2, Cheongsong, Ulleung) of E. hirsutum L. was investigated and analyzed. These habitats were predominantly situated in flat areas with gentle south-facing slopes, at an average altitude of 452.7 m (8–726 m) above sea level in Gangwon-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. The average annual temperature ranged 11.5°C (9.2°C–12.9°C), whereas the average annual precipitation ranged 1,304.5 mm (1,062.7–1,590.7 mm). The surrounding land use status was mainly characterized by mountainous areas, and human interference, such as agricultural land and roads, was commonly found in proximity to these natural habitats. Soil physicochemical analysis revealed that the soil was predominantly sandy loam with a slightly high sand content. The average pH measured 7.64, indicating an alkaline environment, and electrical conductivity (EC) averaged 0.33 dS/m. Organic matter (OM) content averaged 66.44 g/kg, available phosphoric acid (P2O5) content averaged 115.73 mg/kg, and cation exchange capacity (CEC) averaged 23.43 cmolc/kg. The exchangeable cations ranged 0.09–0.43 cmol+/kg for potassium (K), 10.23–16.21 cmol+/kg for calcium (Ca), 0.67–4.94 cmol+/kg for magnesium (Mg), and 0.05–0.74 cmol+/kg for sodium (Na). The vegetation type was categorized as E. hirsutum community with high numbers of E. hirsutum L., Persicaria thunbergii (Siebold & Zucc.) H. Gross, Phragmites japonica Steud., Humulus japonicus (Siebold & Zucc.), and Bidens frondosa L.. An ecological flora analysis, including the proportion of lianas, naturalized plants, and annual herbaceous plants, revealed that the native habitat of E. hirsutum L. was ecologically unstable.Conclusions: Analysis of the habitat of E. hirsutum L., a class II endangered wildlife species, provided essential data for local conservation and restoration efforts.

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  • Review 2023-12-22 JEE 47:27

    The Great Western Woodlands TERN SuperSite: ecosystem monitoring infrastructure and key science learnings

    Suzanne M Prober1* , Georg Wiehl2 , Carl R Gosper2,3 , Leslie Schultz4 , Helen Langley4 and Craig Macfarlane2

    [Abstract] Ecosystem observatories are burgeoning globally in an endeavour to detect national and global scale trends in the state of biodiversity and ecosystems in an era of rapid environmental change. In this paper we highlight the additional importance of regional scale outcomes of such infrastructure, through an introduction to the Great Western Woodlands TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network) SuperSite, and key findings from three gradient plot networks that are part of this infrastructure. The SuperSite was established in 2012 in the 160,000 km2 Great Western Woodlands region, in a collaboration involving 12 organisations. This region is globally significant for its largely intact, diverse landscapes, including the world’s largest Mediterranean-climate woodlands and highly diverse sandplain shrublands. The dominant woodland eucalypts are fire-sensitive, requiring hundreds of years to regrow after fire. Old-growth woodlands are highly valued by Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and managing impacts of climate change and the increasing extent of intense fires are key regional management challenges. Like other TERN SuperSites, the Great Western Woodlands TERN SuperSite includes a core eddy-covariance flux tower measuring exchanges of carbon, water and energy between the vegetation and atmosphere, along with additional environmental and biodiversity monitoring around the tower. The broader SuperSite incorporates three gradient plot networks. Two of these represent aridity gradients, in sandplains and woodlands, informing regional climate adaptation and biodiversity management by characterising biodiversity turnover along spatial climate gradients and acting as sentinels for ecosystem change over time. For example, the sandplains transect has demonstrated extremely high spatial turnover rates in plant species, that challenge traditional approaches to biodiversity conservation. The third gradient plot network represents a 400-year fire-age gradient in Eucalyptus salubris woodlands. It has enabled characterisation of post-fire recovery of vegetation, birds and invertebrates over multi-century timeframes, and provided tools that are directly informing management to reduce stand-replacing fires in eucalypt woodlands. By building regional partnerships and applying globally or nationally consistent methodologies to regional scale questions, ecological observatories have the power not only to detect national and global scale trends in biodiversity and ecosystems, but to directly inform environmental decisions that are critical at regional scales.

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220