[Abstract] Background: The mango is one of the essential fruit trees for the economy of Thailand. Mango pollination relies primarily on insects. Other external forces, such as wind, are less efficient since pollen is sticky and aggregating. There is only one report from Thailand on the use of bees as mango pollinators. The study of the behavior and pollination efficiency of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and stingless bees (Tetragonula laeviceps species complex) was conducted in Nam Dokmai mango plantings in Phrao and Mae Taeng districts, Chiang Mai province, between February and March 2019.Results: Our results reveal that the honey bees commenced foraging earlier than the stingless bee. The number of flowers visited within 1 minute by honey bees was higher than that visited by stingless bees. The average numbers of honey bees and stingless bees that flew out of the hive per minute from 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the Phrao district were 4.21 ± 1.62 and 9.88 ± 7.63 bees/min, respectively, i.e., higher than those observed in Mae Taeng, which were 3.46 ± 1.13 and 1.23 ± 1.20 bees/min, respectively. The numbers of fruits per tree were significantly higher in the honey bee and stingless bee treatments (T1 and T2) than in the open pollination treatment (T3). The number of fruits between T1 and T2 treatments was not different. In the pollinator exclusion treatment (T4), no fruit was produced. Fruit size factors were not significantly different among T1, T2, and T3 treatments.Conclusions: Our results showed that insect pollination is crucial for mango production, especially with the Nam Dokmai variety in Northern Thailand. As pollinator exclusion treatment showed no fruit set, and pollinator treatment significantly increased the fruit sets compared to open access plots, a managed pollinator program would benefit the mango growers for better productivity. Both the honey bee and the stingless bee were shown to be effective as pollinators.
[Abstract] Background: Bees and flowering plants associations were initially began during the early Cretaceous, 120 million years ago. This coexistence has led to a mutual relationship where the plant serves as food and in return, the bee help them their reproduction. Animals pollinate about 75% of food crops worldwide, with bees as the world’s primary pollinator. In general, bees rely on flower scents to locate blooming flowers as visual clue is limited and also their host plants from a distance. In this review, an attempt is made to collect some relevant 107 published papers from three scientific databases, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science database, covering the period from 1959 to 2021.Results: Flowering plants are well documented to actively emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, only a few of them are important for eliciting behavioral responses in bees. In this review, fifty-three volatile organic compounds belonging to different class of compounds, mainly terpenoids, benzenoids, and volatile fatty acid derivatives, is compiled here from floral scents that are responsible for eliciting behavioral responses in bees. Bees generally use honest floral signals to locate their host plants with nectar and pollen-rich flowers. Thus, honest signaling mechanism plays a key role in maintaining mutualistic plant?pollinator associations.Conclusions: Considering the fact that floral scents are the primary attractants, understanding and identification of VOCs from floral scent in plant-pollinator networks are crucial to improve crop pollination. Interestingly, current advances in both VOCs scent gene identification and their biosynthetic pathways make it possible to manipulate particular VOCs in plant, and this eventually may lead to increase in crop productivity.
[Abstract] Background: Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae; hereafter Parthenium) is an invasive alien species of global significance because of its’ negative ecological and socioeconomic impacts. This species is spreading rapidly from lowland Tarai to Middle Mountain regions in Nepal. In the present study, we analyzed the impacts of Parthenium on plant community composition including their soil seedbank in subtropical grasslands located in central Nepal. Data was collected in a 10 m long transects passing through areas of high (> 90% cover), medium (40%-60%) and low (< 10%) levels of Parthenium cover using a plot of 1 m2. Altogether, we sampled 90 plots in 30 transects. Seedling emergence method was used to estimate soil seedbank density in the soil samples (0-10 cm depth) collected from the plots with high Parthenium cover.Results: There was no significant difference in the plant species richness at different levels of Parthenium invasion whereas there was a significant change in the species composition of above ground flora due to Parthenium invasion. There was also a significant difference in species composition between soil seedbank and aboveground flora in the highly invaded plots. Parthenium was the most dominant in soil seedbank, contributing 65% to the total soil seedbank.Conclusions: Our study suggests that Parthenium has considerable negative impact on the native grassland flora, and the dominance of Parthenium in the soil seedbank means there is a challenge for its management. It also suggests the need of monitoring the soil seedbank dynamics while managing Parthenium weed.
[Abstract] Background: Due to the rapidly changing climatic conditions, South Korea faces the grand challenge of exotic species. With the increasing human movement, the influx of alien species to novel regions is prevalent across the globe. The latest research suggests that it is easy to prevent the introduction and establishment of alien species rather than controlling their spread and eradication. Like other countries, the Korean Ministry of Environment released a list (in 2018) of 45 potential risky exotic fish species considered likely to be invasive candidate fish species if they ever succeed in entering the Korean aquatic ecosystems.Results: The investigation into the invasion suitability traits showed that potential risky fish species could utilize those features in becoming invasive once they arrive in the Korean aquatic ecosystems. If the novel species establish viable populations, they are likely to incur higher economic costs, damage the native aquatic fauna and flora, and jeopardize the already perilled species. Furthermore, they can damage the installed infrastructure, decline overall abundance and biodiversity, and disturb the ecosystem services. Here we reviewed the list of fish species concerning their family, native origin, preferred aquatic biomes, main food items, current status in Korea, and potential threats to humans and the ecosystems. Data shows that most species are either already designated as invasive in the neighboring counties, including Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and China, or originate from these countries. Such species have a higher climate match with the Korean territories.Conclusions: Therefore, it is exceptionally essential to study their most critical features and take regulatory measures to restrict their entry. The incoming fish species must be screened before letting them in the country in the future. The regulatory authorities must highlight the threatening traits of such species and strictly monitor their entrance. Detailed research is required to explore the other species, especially targeting the neighboring countries fish biodiversity, having demonstrated invasive features and matching the Korean climate.
[Abstract] Background: In South Korea, African swine fever virus (ASFV) has spread among wild boars through Gangwon-do to Dangyang-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do on the southern border of Gangwon-do. To prevent the spread of ASFV to African swine fever (ASF)-free areas, it is necessary to identify areas with a high probability of finding ASFV-infected carcasses and to reduce the density of wild boars in those areas. In this study, we described the propagation trend of ASFV among wild boars, constructed the habitat suitability maps for ASFV-infected carcasses, and suggested areas with a high probability of finding ASFV- infected carcasses and an important route of ASFV transmission.Results: Despite the active quarantine policies in Korea to prevent the spread of ASFV through wild boars, there was no significant difference in the monthly average of number of ASFV-infected carcasses observed between 2020 and 2021. The ASFV-infected carcasses were found more in winter and spring (January to April). Since the first ASF outbreak in wild boars on October 2, 2019, the maximum width of ASFV-infected carcass distribution area was 222.7 km for about 26 months till November 20, 2021. The habitat suitability map, based on GPS coordinates of ASFV-infected wild boar carcasses, shows that highly detectable areas of ASFV-infected carcasses were sporadically dispersed in western and southwestern parts of Gangwon-do, and ranged from north to south of the province along the Baekdudaegan Mountains, whereas poorly detectable areas ranged along the north to the south in the middle parts of the province.Conclusions: Our suitability model, based on the GPS coordinates of ASFV-infected carcasses, identifies potential habitats where ASFV-infected carcasses are likely to be found and ponential routes where ASFV is likely to spread. Among ASF-free areas, the areas with high suitability predicted in this study should be given priority as survey areas to find ASFV- infected carcasses and hunting areas to reduce wild boar populations.
[Abstract] Background: The positive effects of Arctic plants on the soil environment and plant-species co-occurrence patterns are known to be particularly important in physically harsh environments. Although three dominant plants (Cassiope tetragona, Dryas octopetala, and Silene acaulis) are abundant in the Arctic ecosystem at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, few studies have examined their occurrence patterns with other species and their buffering effect on soil-temperature and soil-moisture fluctuation. To quantify the plant-species co-occurrence patterns and their positive effects on soil environments, I surveyed the vegetation cover, analyzed the soil-chemical properties (total carbon, total nitrogen, pH, and soil organic matter) from 101 open plots, and measured the daily soil-temperature and soil-moisture content under three dominant plant patches and bare soil.Results: The Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala communities increased the soil-temperature stability; however, the three dominant plant communities did not significantly affect the soil-moisture stability. Non-metric multidimensional scaling separated the sampling sites into three groups based on the different vegetation compositions. The three dominant plants occurred randomly with other species; however, the vegetation composition of two positive co-occurring species pairs (Oxyria digyna-Cerastium acrticum and Luzula confusa-Salix polaris) was examined. The plant species richness did not significantly differ in the three plant communities.Conclusions: The three plant communities showed distinctive vegetation compositions; however, the three dominant plants were randomly and widely distributed throughout the study sites. Although the facilitative effects of the three Arctic plants on increases in the soil-moisture fluctuation and richness were not quantified, this research enables a deeper understanding of plant co-occurrence patterns in Arctic ecosystems and thereby contributes to predicting the shift in vegetation composition and coexistence in response to climate warming. This research highlights the need to better understand plant–plant interactions within tundra communities.
[Abstract] Background: Climate and livestock grazing are key agents in determining current Mongolian steppe vegetation communities. Together with plant coverage or biomass, palatability of steppe community is regarded as a useful indicator of grassland degradation, in particular, at grazing hotspots in arid and semi-arid grasslands. This study analyzed relationships between livestock grazing pressure and steppe vegetation palatability at three summer pastures with different aridity (dry, xeric, and mesic) and livestock numbers (1,100, 1,800, and 4,100 sheep units, respectively). At each site, it was surveyed coverage, biomass, and species composition of different palatability groups (i.e., palatable [P], impalatable [IP], and trampling-tolerant [TT]) along a 1-km transect from grazing hotspots (i.e., well) in every July from 2015 to 2018.Results: In results, total vegetation coverage increased with wetness, 7 times greater at mesic site than dry one in averages (33.1% vs. 4.5%); biomass was 3 times higher (47.1 g m-2 vs. 15.7 g m-2). Though P was the dominant palatability group, the importance of IP in total coverage increased with aridity from mesic (0.6%) to dry (40.2%) sites. Whereas, TT increased with livestock numbers across sites. Locally, IP was observed more frequently near the wells and its spatial range of occurrence becomes farther along the transects with aridity across sites from mesic (< 100 m) to dry (< 700 m from the well).Conclusions: Our results showed that the importance of IP and its spatial distribution are different at both local and regional scales, indicating that the palatability parameters are sensitive to discern balance between selective-grazing demand and climate-driven foraging supply in Mongolian rangelands.
[Abstract] Background: Pollinators help plants to reproduce and support economically valuable food for humans and entire ecosystems. However, declines of pollinators along with population growth and increasing agricultural activities hamper this mutual interaction. Nectar and pollen are the major reward for pollinators and flower morphology and volatiles mediate the specialized plant–pollinator interactions. Limited information is available on the volatile profiles attractive to honey bees and bumblebees. In this study we analyzed the volatile organic compounds of the flowers of 9 different plant species that are predominantly visited by honey bees and bumblebees. The chemical compositions of the volatiles were determined using a head space gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method, designed to understand the plant-pollinator chemical interaction. Results: Results showed the monoterpene 1,3,6-octatriene, 3,7-dimethyl-, (E) (E-β-ocimene) was the dominating compound in most flowers analyzed, e.g., in proportion of 60.3% in Lonicera japonica, 48.8% in Diospyros lotus, 38.4% Amorpha fruticosa and 23.7% in Robinia pseudoacacia. Ailanthus altissima exhibited other monoterpenes such as 3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol (β-linalool) (39.1%) and (5E)-3,5-dimethylocta-1,5,7-trien-3-ol (hotrienol) (32.1%) as predominant compounds. Nitrogen containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were occurring principally in Corydalis speciosa; 1H-pyrrole, 2,3-dimethyl- (50.0%) and pyrimidine, 2-methyl- (40.2%), and in Diospyros kaki; 1-triazene, 3,3-dimethyl-1-phenyl (40.5%). Ligustrum obtusifolium flower scent contains isopropoxycarbamic acid, ethyl ester (21.1%) and n-octane (13.4%) as major compounds. In Castanea crenata the preeminent compound is 1-phenylethanone (acetophenone) (46.7%). Conclusions: Olfactory cues are important for pollinators to locate their floral resources. Based on our results we conclude monoterpenes might be used as major chemical mediators attractive to both honey bees and bumblebees to their host flowers. However, the mode of action of these chemicals and possible synergistic effects for olfaction need further investigation.
[Abstract] Background: Plant vegetation appears in heterogeneous and patchy forms in arid and semi-arid regions. In these regions, underneath the plant patches and the empty spaces between them are covered by biological soil crusts (moss, lichen, cyanobacteria, and fungi). Biological soil crusts lead to the formation and development of fertile islands in between vegetation patches via nitrogen and carbon fixation and the permeation of runoff water and nutrients in the soil.Results: The present study has investigated the association of biological soil crusts, the development of fertile islands, and the formation of plant patches in part of the Takht-e Soltan protected area, located in Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran. Three sites were randomly selected as the working units and differentiated based on their geomorphological characteristics to the alluvial fan, hillslope, and fluvial terrace landforms. Two-step systematic random sampling was conducted along a 100-meter transect using a 5 m2 plot at a 0–5 cm depth in three repetitions. Fifteen samplings were carried out at each site with a total of 45 samples taken. The results showed that the difference in altitude has a significant relationship with species diversity and decreases with decreasing altitude. Results have revealed that the moisture content of the site, with biocrust has had a considerable increase compared to the other sites, helping to form vegetation patterns and fertile islands.Conclusions: The findings indicated that biological crusts had impacted the allocation of soil parameters. They affect the formation of plant patches by increasing the soil’s organic carbon, nitrogen, moisture and nutrient content provide a suitable space for plant growth by increasing the soil fertility in the inter-patch space.
[Abstract] Background: Zanthoxylum armatum is one of the 30 prioritized medicinal plants for economic development of Nepal with a high trade value. Understanding the ecology of individual species is important for conservation and cultivation purposes. However, relation of ecological factors on the distribution and populations of Z. armatum in Nepal remain unknown. To address this knowledge gap, an attempt has been made to study the population structure, distribution, and regeneration potentiality of Z. armatum. Vegetation sampling was conducted at six different localities of Salyan district along the elevation range of 1,000 m to 2,000 m.Results: Altogether 50 plant species belonging to 44 genera under 34 families were found to be associated with Z. armatum. Significantly higher species richness was found at Rim (1,400–1,700 m) and Chhatreshwori (1,800–2,000 m) and lower at Kupinde (1,600–1,800 m). The highest population density of Z. armatum was at Kupinde (1,600–1,800 m) with a total of 1,100 individuals/ha. and the lowest at Chhatreshwori (1,800–2,000 m) with 740 individuals/ha. Based on the A/F value (Whitford index), it can be said that Z. armatum has random distribution in the study area. The plants were categorized into seedlings, saplings and adults based on plant height and the status of natural regeneration category determined. The regeneration potentiality of Z. armatum in the study area was fair with the average seedlings and saplings densities of 150 and 100 individuals/ha. Respectively. A Shannon–Weinner index mean value of 2.8 was obtained suggesting high species diversity in the study area.Conclusions: The natural distribution and regeneration of Z. armatum is being affected in the recent years due to anthropogenic disturbances. Increasing market demand and unsustainable harvesting procedures are posing serious threat to Z. armatum. Thus, effective conservation and management initiatives are most important for conserving the natural population of Z. armatum in the study area.
Jyoti Khatri-Chettri1 , Maan Bahadur Rokaya2,3 and Bharat Babu Shrestha1*
Daniel Bisrat1,2* and Chuleui Jung1,3
Bajaree Chuttong1* , Lakkhika Panyaraksa1, Chantaluk Tiyayon2, Wilawan Kumpoun3, Parinya Chantrasri3, Phurichaya Lertlakkanawat1, Chuleui Jung4 and Michael Burgett1,5
Daniel Bisrat1,2* and Chuleui Jung1,3