Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220
Bioassessment of the quality of surface waters of the Chipoco River using indicators of epilithic diatoms in macrophytes from the mining district of Hidalgo, Mexico
Origins and ingredients of honey from a Salix community in a Janghang Wetland in Han River estuary, Korea
Antipredator response of Korean clawed salamander (Onychodactylus koreanus) larvae to odors of potential predators (Chinese minnow, Rhynchocypris oxycephalusand Korean freshwater crayfish, Cambaroides similis)
Identification of orb-web spider species and their food source through environmental DNA analysis
Allometric equation for estimating aboveground biomass of Acacia-Commiphora forest, southern Ethiopia

Current Issue

  • Research 2024-07-17 JEE 48:24

    Bioassessment of the quality of surface waters of the Chipoco River using indicators of epilithic diatoms in macrophytes from the mining district of Hidalgo, Mexico

    María Jesús Puy-Alquiza1* , Raúl Miranda-Aviles1 , Yuriko Jocselin Martínez Hernández2 , Miren Yosune Miranda Puy3 , Gabriela A Zanor4 and Cristina Daniela Moncada Sanchez1

    [Abstract] Background: In this research work, epilithic communities of diatoms in macrophytes are listed and described to evaluate the ecological conditions of the surface waters of the Chipoco River, whose basin has been exploited for agricultural and mining purposes, degrading natural ecosystems. The diatoms studied are found in calcareous tufa deposits developed in swampy environments where little of their benthic microbiota has been studied, despite the regional relevance of these calcareous formations within the manganese mining district. To describe the diatoms and evaluate the ecological condition of the surface waters, the Chipoco River was divided into three sectors (North, Center, and South) collecting a total of 15 samples along 10 km. For the taxonomic identification of diatoms, scanning electron microscopy techniques, consultations with specialists and specialized literature were used. To evaluate the ecological conditions of the Chipoco River, the linear correlation coefficient was used, where the relationships between diatom species and environmental variables were evaluated. Likewise, species diversity was determined by applying the Shannon–Wiener index and Simpson’s dominance value (D) was calculated to detect diversity impoverishment processes.Results: Ten genera of diatoms were identified in bryophytes of the species Plagiomnium cuspidatum that grow on the banks of said river. The linear correlation coefficient indicated that physicochemical characteristics such as total dissolved solids, temperature, and calcium, and hydrochemical characteristics of the water intervene in the distribution and abundance of four diatoms Rhoicosphenia abreviate, Epithemia turgida, Calloneis bacillum and Achanthidium minutissimum in the different sectors studied. The Shannon–Wiener diversity indices and Simpson’s dominance show that there is greater diversity and marked dominance of diatoms in the northern sector compared to the central and southern sectors.Conclusions: Agricultural and mining activities and the poor sanitary infrastructure of human settlements have caused the Chipoco River to have poor ecological quality.

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  • Research 2024-07-12 JEE 48:23

    Origins and ingredients of honey from a Salix community in a Janghang Wetland in Han River estuary, Korea

    Youngil Ryu1 , Donguk Han2,3 , In Kwon Lee4 and Sangkyu Park1*

    [Abstract] Background: Janghang Wetland is a well-preserved area located in a natural estuary and brackish water zone. There exist a large community of Salix triandra subsp. nipponica–S. koreensis, with S. triandra subsp. nipponica being the dominant species in the tidal forest. The metabolite composition of honey is diverse and influenced by the floral source and environmental factors. The aim of this study is to identify the plant origins of collected honey and examine changes in metabolite composition over time within the willow community in Janghang Wetland.Results: The study found that S. triandra subsp. nipponica was the most prominent component in the honey (50.7%), followed by Prunus padus (21.8%). In terms of pollen, P. padus was the most frequently detected (44.9%), followed by S. triandra subsp. nipponica (32.7%). The honey collected from Janghang Wetland was differentiated based on the collection time (March vs. April). Honeys collected in March exhibited a higher sucrose content than those gathered in April, while honeys collected in April demonstrated a higher mannose content compared to those obtained in March. The honey collected in Janghang Wetland had higher levels of sucrose and mannose content compared to commercial honey. In contrast, honey from an apiculture company had higher levels of lactitol and melibose. When comparing honey samples, it was found that Janghang Wetland honey showed lower levels of total phenolic content and total flavonoid content compared to commercial honeys.Conclusions: The metabolites in honey were found to be affected by both the collection time and geographical origin, and the results of metabarcoding in honey was influenced by the floral origin. These findings can assist in identifying the origin of honey and contribute to a better understanding of metabolite diversity in honey.

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  • [Abstract] Background: To identify and avoid predators, amphibians rely on chemical cues. Onychodactylus koreanus undergo two to three years of the larval stage in mountainous streams, where they encounter various predators. We aimed to identify the potential predators of O. koreanus larvae based on their antipredator responses to predator odors. Additionally, we examined whether the response was innate or can be strengthened by predator olfactory learning.Results: In Experiment 1, O. koreanus larvae exhibited a substantial antipredator response to Chinese minnow (Rhynchocypris oxycephalus) odor but not to Korean freshwater crayfish (Cambaroides similis) odor. In Experiment 2, O. koreanus larvae, who did not previously expose to R. oxycephalus odor, demonstrated a substantial antipredator response to it. Experiment 3 indicated that predator olfactory learning of R. oxycephalus did not enhance the antipredator response of the larvae.Conclusions: Rhynchocypris oxycephalus could prey on O. koreanus larvae, whose antipredator response to R. oxycephalus odor is innate and not enhanced by olfactory learning. Further investigation into the olfactory system of this species may provide insights into the life cycle of O. koreanus, uncovering hidden underground breeding sites and unknown breeding periods.

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  • [Abstract] Spiders play a vital role in agricultural ecosystems by capturing and preying on small insects, thereby controlling the pests around crops. However, without directly collecting the specimen, it is challenging to accurately determine the species of the spider that formed the web and its diet. Spiders dissolve their prey with digestive fluids while consuming; thus, leaving very little residue in their digestive system. This study aimed to identify the spider that formed the web and the prey caught in the web using environmental DNA (eDNA) present in the spider web. For this purpose, eDNA using the mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was extracted from five adjacent spider webs collected from residences near agricultural environments. Based on the genes extracted from spider webs, it was confirmed that the most commonly found gene in all five spider webs was COI of Parasteatoda tepidariorum, and no other spider genes were detected. Among the five spider webs, prey was found in only one web, and in that web, genes of arthropods other than spiders were detected. The genes of the prey found in the spider web were identified to be those of Orthocladius tamarutilus, Tanytarsus tamagotoi, and Yemma exilis. Thus, without directly collecting arthropod specimens from the spider web, it was possible to identify the spider and its prey. This provides crucial information that can help in clearly understanding the predatory activities of spiders in agricultural ecosystems in the future.

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  • Research 2024-06-17 JEE 48:20

    Allometric equation for estimating aboveground biomass of Acacia-Commiphora forest, southern Ethiopia

    Wondimagegn Amanuel1* , Chala Tadesse2 , Moges Molla1 , Desalegn Getinet2 and Zenebe Mekonnen2

    [Abstract] Background: Most of the biomass equations were developed using sample trees collected mainly from pan-tropical and tropical regions that may over- or underestimate biomass. Site-specific models would improve the accuracy of the biomass estimates and enhance the country’s measurement, reporting, and verification activities. The aim of the study is to develop site-specific biomass estimation models and validate and evaluate the existing generic models developed for pan-tropical forest and newly developed allometric models. Total of 140 trees was harvested from each diameter class biomass model development. Data was analyzed using SAS procedures. All relevant statistical tests (normality, multicollinearity, and heteroscedasticity) were performed. Data was transformed to logarithmic functions and multiple linear regression techniques were used to develop model to estimate aboveground biomass (AGB). The root mean square error (RMSE) was used for measuring model bias, precision, and accuracy. The coefficient of determination (R2 and adjusted [adj]-R2), the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and the Schwarz Bayesian information Criterion was employed to select most appropriate models.Results: For the general total AGB models, adj-R2 ranged from 0.71 to 0.85, and model 9 with diameter at stump height at 10 cm (DSH10), ρ and crown width (CW) as predictor variables, performed best according to RMSE and AIC. For the merchantable stem models, adj-R2 varied from 0.73 to 0.82, and model 8) with combination of ρ, diameter at breast height and height (H), CW and DSH10 as predictor variables, was best in terms of RMSE and AIC. The results showed that a best-fit model for above-ground biomass of tree components was developed.AGBStem = exp {–1.8296 + 0.4814 natural logarithm (Ln) (ρD2H) + 0.1751 Ln (CW) + 0.4059 Ln (DSH30)}AGBBranch = exp {–131.6 + 15.0013 Ln (ρD2H) + 13.176 Ln (CW) + 21.8506 Ln (DSH30)}AGBFoliage = exp {–0.9496 + 0.5282 Ln (DSH30) + 2.3492 Ln (ρ) + 0.4286 Ln (CW)}AGBTotal = exp {–1.8245 + 1.4358 Ln (DSH30) + 1.9921 Ln (ρ) + 0.6154 Ln (CW)}Conclusions: The results demonstrated that the development of local models derived from an appropriate sample of representative species can greatly improve the estimation of total AGB.

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  • [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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220