[Abstract] Background: The most hazardous wastewater sources in the northern part of the Middle Nile Delta, Egypt; receiving a massive amount of agricultural, industrial, and sewage drainage are Kitchener drain which is one of the tallest drainage systems, and Burullus Lake which represents the 2nd largest Egyptian coastal lake.Results: The current work is to determine the abundance and frequency of cyanophytes, chlorophytes, and bacillariophytes and the correlation between them and environmental abiotic components. Among sixty nine microalgal species, 19 species are belong Cyanophyta, 26 belong Chlorophyta and 24 belong Bacillariophyta. Genus Scenedesmus (Chlorophyta) was the most abundant in the study area (13 species), followed by Genus Oscillatoria (9 species) and Genus Navicula (7 species). Nostoc muscorum and Chlorella vulgaris were the most common and recorded in all sites (100% of the locations) under study. The application of the two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) and detrended correspondence analysis revealed agglomerating of 4 groups (communities) at 4th level of classification and reasonable segregation between these groups. Zinc, cadmium and lead were showed the highest levels (0.26 ± 0.03, 0.26 ± 0.06, and 0.17 ± 0.01 ppm, respectively).Conclusions: The correlation analysis between water and community variables indicated a high negative correlation of total algae richness with nickel (r = –0.936, p < 0.01). Cyanophyta and Bacillariophyta were correlated negatively (r = –0.842, p < 0.01). However, Chlorophyta showed a negative richness with each of Ni and Pb (r = –0.965, –0.873, respectively) on one hand and a high positive correlation was revealed (r = 0.964) with all environmental variables on the other hand.
[Abstract] Background: Endemic species are important components in the flora of most world regions. Most of these species have become threatened and exposed to extinction within the last few years. The present study aims to evaluate the ecosystem services offered by the endemic plant taxa in Egypt and the threats that affect them. Twenty-five field visits were conducted during summer 2018 to spring 2022 to several locations all over Egypt. In each location, the main habitats, national distribution, abundance, goods and threats were recorded.Results: Egypt has 41 endemic taxa belonging to 36 genera and 20 families inhabiting 10 main habitats. Rocky surfaces and sandy formations have the highest number of endemic species. The relation between the number of endemic taxa and the abundance categories indicated that 2 taxa are rare (4.9% of the total taxa), while the remaining were very rare (95%). The most represented offered good was the medicinal uses (32 taxa = 78%), while fuel plants were only represented by 2 taxa (2 taxa = 4.9%). Besides, 14 taxa (34.1% of the total studied taxa) have at least 1 environmental service. Soil fertility (7 taxa = 50%) was the most represented, followed by sand accumulations (6 taxa out of 14 taxa = 43%), while shading plant was the least (1 taxon = 7.1%) (Rosa arabica). The most represented threat is over-cutting and over-collecting (38 taxa = 92.7%), while mining and quarrying is the least represented (4 taxa = 9.8%).Conclusions: The potential and actual goods, services and threats of the endemic taxa were assessed as follows; field observation, information collected from local inhabitants and herbalists, and a literature review. The present study recommended planning a strategy about the importance, threats and conservation of endemic taxa in Egypt that would help in the protection and rescue of these plants and increase awareness about the importance of these plants.
[Abstract] Background: The flowering and fruiting periods play an important role in biological processes. The deciduous dipterocarp forest is an important forest type in Thailand, however the phenological studies are still limited, particularly in different plant life forms. Thus, the present study focused on the flowering and fruiting phenology of herbs, climbers, shrubs, and trees in the deciduous dipterocarp forest at Lampang province of Northern Thailand. Field visits were made to record plant life forms and observe reproductive phenological events at monthly intervals from November 2018 to October 2019 and September to December 2020.Results: The phenological observations were based on 126 species of 45 families and 102 genera. Flowering and fruiting periods showed similar patterns in herbaceous plants, climbers, and shrubs. Most of these species produced flowers and fruits from the end of the rainy season (October) to the winter season (November–January). Whereas most of flowering and fruiting trees were found from the summer season (March–April) to the beginning of the rainy season (May–June). Most of the dry-fruited species occurred during the dry period (winter and summer seasons), while the majority of fleshy-fruited species dominated in the wet period (rainy season). The statistical analysis supported the phenological patterns of flowering and fruiting in the present study. There were significant negative correlations between the number of flowering and fruiting species and temperature. The number of flowering and fruiting species is significantly impacted by the interaction between seasons and plant life forms.Conclusions: Plant life form seems to be the important factor that affects the different phenological patterns in the studied plants. The abiotic and biotic factors play major roles in reproductive phenology. However, long-term study and in-depth phenological observations are necessary for better understanding.
[Abstract] Background: Free-living amoebae (FLA) are widely distributed in freshwater, seawater, soil, and extreme environments, and play a critical role as feeders on diverse preys in the ecosystem. Also, some FLA can become opportunistic pathogens in animals including humans. The taxa Amoebozoa and Heterolobosea are important amoeboid groups associated with human pathogens. However, the identification and habitat of amoebae belonging to Amoebozoa and Heterolobosea remain poorly reported in the Republic of Korea. This study highlights the first record for identification and source of four amoebae including putative pathogens in the Republic of Korea.Results: In the present study, four previously reported FLA were isolated from freshwaters in Sangju Gonggeomji Reservoir (strain GO001), one of the largest reservoirs during the Joseon Dynasty period, and along the Nakdong River, the largest river in the Republic of Korea (strains NR5-2, NR12-1, and NR14-1) for the first time. Microscopic observations and 18S rDNA phylogenetic trees revealed the four isolated strains to be Acanthamoeba polyphaga (strains NR5-2 and NR12-1), Tetramitus waccamawensis (strain GO001), and Naegleria australiensis (strain NR14-1). Strains NR5-2 and NR12-1 might be the same species and belonged to the morphological Group 2 and the T4 genotype of Acanthamoeba. Strain GO001 formed a clade with T. waccamawensis in 18S rDNA phylogeny, and showed morphological characteristics similar to previously recorded strains, although the species’ flagellate form was not observed. Strain NR14-1 had the typical morphology of Naegleria and formed a strongly supported clade with previously recorded strains of N. australiensis in phylogenetic analysis of 18S rDNA sequences.Conclusions: On the bases of morphological and molecular analyses, four strains of FLA were newly observed and classified in the Republic of Korea. Three strains belonging to the two species (A. polyphaga and N. australiensis) isolated from the Nakdong River have the potential to act as opportunistic pathogens that can cause fatal diseases (i.e. granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, Acanthamoeba Keratitis, and meningoencephalitis) in animals including humans. The Nakdong River in the Republic of Korea may provide a habitat for potentially pathogenic amoebae, but additional research is required to confirm the true pathogenicity of these FLA now known in the Republic of Korea.
[Abstract] Background: This study analyzed the physiological adaptations of a woody plant, Vitex rotundifolia, in Goraebul coastal sand dunes from May to September 2022. Environmental factors and physiological of plants growing under field and controlled (pot) conditions were compared.Results: Photosynthesis in plants growing in the coastal sand dunes and pots was the highest in June 2022 and July 2022, respectively. Chlorophyll fluorescence indicated the presence of stress in the coastal sand dune environment. The net photosynthesis rate (PN) and Y(II) were highest in June in the coastal sand dune environment and July in the pot environment. In August and September, Y(NPQ) increased in the plants in the coastal sand dune environment, showing their photoprotective mechanism. Chlorophyll a and b contents in the pot plant leaves were higher than those in the coastal sand dune plant leaves; however, chlorophyll-a/b ratio was higher in the coastal sand dune plant leaves than in the pot plant leaves, suggesting a relatively high photosynthetic efficiency. Carotenoid content in the coastal sand dune plant leaves was higher in August and September 2022 than that in the pot plant leaves. Leaf water and soluble carbohydrate contents of the coastal sand dune plant leaves decreased in September 2022, leading to rapid leaf abscission. Diurnal variations in photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence in both environments showed peak activity at 12:00 hour; however, the coastal sand dune plants had lower growth rates and Y(II) than the pot plants. Plants in the coastal sand dunes had higher leaf water and ion contents, indicating that they adapted to water stress through osmotic adjustments. However, plants growing in the coastal sand dunes exhibited reduced photosynthetic activity and accelerated decline due to seasonal temperature decreases. These findings demonstrate the adaptation mechanisms of V. rotundifolia to water stress, poor soils, and high temperature conditions in coastal sand dunes.Conclusions: The observed variations indicate the responses of the V. rotundifolia to environmental stress, and may reveal its survival strategies and adaptation mechanisms to stress. The results provide insights into the ecophysiological characteristics of V. rotundifolia and a basis for the conservation and restoration of damaged coastal sand dunes.
[Abstract] Background: Ecophysiological characteristics of Rosa rugosa were analyzed under different environmental factors from May to October 2022. Photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, chlorophyll content, leaf water content (LWC), osmolality, carbohydrate content, and total ion content were measured to compare the physiological characteristics of R. rugosa at two study sites (i.e., in large pots and in the Goraebul coastal sand dune area).Results: When R. rugosa was exposed to high temperatures, photosynthetic parameters including net photosynthetic rate (PN) and stomatal conductance (gs) in both experiment areas declined. In addition, severe photoinhibition occurs when R. rugosa is continuously exposed to high photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and because of this, relatively low Y(II) (i.e., the quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in photosystem II [PSII]) and high Y(NO) (i.e., the quantum yield of non-regulated, non-photochemical energy loss in PSII) in the R. rugosa of the pot were observed. As the high Y(NPQ) (i.e., the quantum yield of regulated non-photochemical energy loss in PSII) of R. rugosa in the coastal sand dune, they dissipated the excessed photon energy through the non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) mechanism when they were exposed to relatively low PAR and low temperature. Rosa rugosa in the coastal sand dune has higher chlorophyll a and carotenoid content. The high chlorophyll a + b and low chlorophyll a/b ratios seemed to optimize light absorption in response to low PAR. High carotenoid content played an important role in NPQ. As a part of the osmotic regulation in response to low LWCs, R. rugosa exposed to high temperatures and continuously high PAR used soluble carbohydrates and ions to maintain high osmolality.Conclusions: We found that Fv/Fm was lower in the potted plants than in the coastal sand dune plants, indicating the vulnerability of R. rugosa to high temperatures and PAR levels. We expect that the suitable habitat range for R. rugosa will shrink and move to north under climate change conditions.
[Abstract] Background: Knowledge of the spatial trends of plant invasions in different habitats is essential for a better understanding of the process of these invasions. We examined the variation in invasive alien plant species (IAS) richness and composition at two spatial scales defined by elevation and habitat types (roadside, forest, and cultivated lands) in the Makawanpur district of Nepal. Following an elevation gradient ranging from 500 to 2,400 m asl along a mountain road, plant species cover was recorded within sample plots of size 10 m × 5 m. Systematic random sampling was adopted in every 100 m elevation intervals on three habitat types.Results: Altogether 18 invasive alien plants belonging to eight families were recorded within 60 plots, of which 14 species (representing 80%) were from tropical North and South America. The most common plants by their frequency were Ageratina adenophora, Chromolaena odorata, Bidens pilosa, Lantana camara, and Parthenium hysterophorus. We found a significant relationship between species composition and elevation in the study area. Low-elevation regions had a higher number of alien species as compared to high-elevation regions within different habitat types.Conclusions: The species richness and density of IAS were higher in the road site followed by the cultivated land and forest sites. This pattern occurred throughout the elevation range and habitats. IAS were found mostly in the open land with high sunlight availability. Information from such scientific assessment of invasive alien plants will assist in developing appropriate management plans in the Makawanpur district.
[Abstract] Background: Comparing with the several types of infrastructures, linear infrastructures are known to facilitate the spread of undesirable species in ecosystems. Recently, some new man-made habitats (e.g., gravel pads of the high-voltage towers, solid wastes and sewage habitats) were established along the Deltaic Mediterranean coast of Egypt as a result of the construction of the E-W coastal international highway. The current study evaluates the floristic composition associated with the pads of high-voltage towers that had been constructed for stabilizing the power line towers in the North Nile Delta. Plant cover was measured for 22 randomly stand.Results: Eighty-four species were recorded, of which 35 are perennials (41.6%), 2 biennials (2.3%) and 47 annuals (56.0%) belonging to 23 families. The largest families were Asteraceae (16 species), Poaceae (15 species), Chenopodiaceae (12 species), and Fabaceae (7 species). Ten aliens (10.7%) out of the 84 species were recorded. Therophytes have the highest percentage (58%), followed by hemicryptophytes (14%), chamaephytes (11%). Six vegetation groups were recognized in the study area after the application of two way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN), Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Phragmites australis, and Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum have the highest presence percentage. Both of Salsola cyclophylla and Solanum villosum were recorded for the first time in North Nile Delta. Natural habitat had the highest α-diversity, but the lowest β-diversity (4.9, 15.4), while gravel pads had the reverse (2.7, 30.8). Some species which are native to the desert habitats (e.g., Rumex pictus, Salsola kali, and Carthamus tenuis) were able to invade the North Nile Delta.Conclusions: Habitat of gravel pads is an expressing form about the intense of disturbance in Deltaic Mediterranean coast of Egypt. More of efforts should be carried out to avoid more human disturbances that creating as ruderal habitats which open the gate to invasive species in the flora of North Nile Delta.
[Abstract] Background: Over the past three decades, gradual eustatic sea-level rise has been considered a primary exogenous factor in the increased frequency of flooding and biological changes in several salt marshes. Under this paradigm, the potential importance of shortterm events, such as ocean storminess, in coastal hydrology and ecology is underrepresented in the literature. In this study, a simulation was developed to evaluate the influence of wind waves driven by atmospheric oscillations on sedimentary and vegetation dynamics at the Skallingen salt marsh in southwestern Denmark. The model was built based on long-term data of mean sea level, sediment accretion, and plant species composition collected at the Skallingen salt marsh from 1933–2006. In the model, the submergence frequency (number yr–1) was estimated as a combined function of wind-driven high water level (HWL) events (> 80 cm Danish Ordnance Datum) affected by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in surface elevation (cm yr–1). Vegetation dynamics were represented as transitions between successional stages controlled by flooding effects. Two types of simulations were performed: (1) baseline modeling, which assumed no effect of wind-driven sea-level change, and (2) experimental modeling, which considered both normal tidal activity and wind-driven sea-level change.Results: Experimental modeling successfully represented the patterns of vegetation change observed in the field. It realistically simulated a retarded or retrogressive successional state dominated by early- to mid-successional species, despite a continuous increase in surface elevation at Skallingen. This situation is believed to be caused by an increase in extreme HWL events that cannot occur without meteorological ocean storms. In contrast, baseline modeling showed progressive succession towards the predominance of late-successional species, which was not the then-current state in the marsh.Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that variations in the NAO index toward its positive phase have increased storminess and wind tides on the North Sea surface (especially since the 1980s). This led to an increased frequency and duration of submergence and delayed ecological succession. Researchers should therefore employ a multitemporal perspective, recognizing the importance of short-term sea-level changes nested within long-term gradual trends.
[Abstract] An adult male Eurasian river otter (Lutra lutra) with ataxia and lethargy was rescued. Through the necropsy of this otter with neurological symptoms, a broad range of vascular damage caused by mercury toxicity in several organs, hepatocellular necrosis, and vacuolation in the brain. In mercury examination, liver, kidney, and hair showed values of 0.878 ± 0.027, 1.807 ± 0.049, and 5.712 ± 0.102 μg/g, respectively. Compared with certified reference material, it was confirmed that the concentration of mercury were 6.7 times, 13.7 times, and 43.3 times higher, respectively. When the symptoms and diagnosis results were comprehensively reviewed, this otter’s demise was revealed due to mercury poisoning. The mercury concentration in the liver does not exceed the lowest observed effect level of 3.4 μg/g. However, even at low concentrations, long-term accumulation can cause symptoms including neuropathy, and the possibility that these heavy metals have accumulated in other wild animals cannot be ruled out. It seems that continuous monitoring using sentinel animals is necessary.
[Abstract] Background: Several species of amphibians in agricultural areas are often infected with ranaviruses; however, the biological or ecological factors that cause this infection are not well understood. In this study, we investigated whether local tadpole density, Gosner developmental stage, and weather conditions affected ranavirus infection in Dryophytes japonicus tadpoles in rice paddies over three months.Results: During the study, eight samplings were undertaken between June 6 and August 21, 2022. No die-off of tadpoles occurred, but 20 of 110 tadpoles (18.8%) were found to be infected with ranavirus. The tadpole density at the sampling site and Gosner stage of the sampled tadpoles were not related to the daily ranavirus infection rate. The mean daily highest temperature during the two weeks prior to the sampling date and the mean daily lowest and highest temperatures during the week prior to the sampling date were negatively related to the daily infection rate.Conclusions: Our results suggest that low and extreme temperatures caused by flooding and draining of paddy fields or climate change in summer could be a significant risk factor for ranavirus infection in summer-breeding frogs in agricultural areas.
[Abstract] Background: The understanding of ecosystem services can be quantified and qualitative to assess the impacts of changes in the ecosystem to support human well-being. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, sustainable use of ecosystem services has attracted the interest of a range of decision-makers. However, although there is a concern for biodiversity, natural ecosystem, and their services, linking ecosystems with conservation planning remains challenging.Results: This study assessed the first qualitative ecosystem services provided by the Mundok wetland with decision makers of the West/Yellow Sea region. Furthermore, this study applied the Rapid Assessment Wetland Ecosystem method to support natural resources management, improving living conditions. We identified that cultural and supporting services index are highly provided, but preparing a plan to increase the provisioning and regulating services in Mundok wetland is necessary.Conclusions: The assessment results can provide helpful information for ecosystem services assessment, habitat conservation, conservation planning, and decision-making at local level.
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
This journal was supported by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies Grant funded
by the Korean Government (Ministry of Education).