ISSN : 2287-8327
Background: There have been many studies on the growth conditions of Zostera marina and Zostera japonica, but few studies have examined how spatial and temporal factors affect growth in established seagrass beds or the distribution range and shoot density. This study aims to clarify the factors that determine the temporal and spatial distribution of Zostera marina and Zostera japonica in the Seto Inland Sea east of Yamaguchi Prefecture. Methods: The study site is in Hiroshima Bay of the Seto Inland Sea, along the east coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. We monitored by diving observation to confirm shoot density, presence or absence of both species and observed water temperature, salinity by sensor in study sites. Results: The frequency of occurrence of Zostera marinawas high in all seasons, even in water depths of D.L. + 1 to −5 m (80 ± 34% to 89 ± 19%; mean ± standard deviation), but lower (as low as 43 ± 34%) near the breakwall, where datum level was 1 to 2 m, and it was further reduced in datum level −5 m and deeper. The frequency of occurrence of Zostera japonica was highest in water with a datum level of +1 to 0 m. However, in datum level of 0 m or deeper, it became lower as the water depth became deeper. Datum level +1 m to 0 m was an optimal water depth for both species. The frequency of occurrence and the shoot density of both species showed no negative correlation. In 2011, the daily mean water temperature was 10 °C or less on more days than in other years and the feeding damage by S. fuscescens in the study sites caused damage at the tips. Conclusions: We considered that the relationship between these species at the optimal water depth was not competitive, but due to differences in spatial distribution, Zostera marina and Zostera japonica do not influence each other due to temperature conditions and feeding damage and other environmental conditions. Zostera japonica required light intensity than Zostera marina, and the water depth played an important role in the distribution of both species.
Background: “Igune,” a traditional agricultural landscape in the Tohoku region of Japan, is characterized by small-scale artificial woodlots surrounding a farmer’s house that are interspersed with paddy fields. During the rapid economic growth of Japan over recent decades, some igune woodlots have been abandoned or logged. Biodiversity conservation is an important issue worldwide, and traditional agricultural landscapes are of particular interest. To elucidate the role of igune landscapes in conserving biodiversity, we examined the effects of environmental factors on avian communities. Results: The study was conducted in the suburban areas of Oshu and Hanamaki cities, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, at eight sites that varied in the density and area of igune woodlots within the landscape. Bird surveys were conducted from the middle to late breeding season, and several environmental factors of the igune landscape were also measured. The results of canonical correspondence analysis indicated that the characteristics of avian communities were mainly determined by the total forested area in the landscape. Increased total forested area and shrubs layer of igune woodlots did not cause a reduction in number of bird species of any habitat and foraging types, while increased both in species number and abundance of insectivores and forest species. The number of raptor species increased in igune sites without shrubs. Conclusions: Our results suggest that maintaining igune landscapes may enhance avian diversity within this landscape, although the effects of shrubs within igune varied; developed bush communities increased the evenness of the avian community, whereas some raptor species preferred an open forest understory.
Background: The sprouts of oak species play an important role in maintaining the oak community in a disturbed environment. In this study, we cut 1-year-old oak in three times during the 3 years and measured the sprout responses to know sprouting ability of six deciduous oaks in Korea. Results: Oak sprouts have appeared in spring and fall, and some of the sprouts had lifespan as short as a month. As the number of cutting increases, sprout number of Quercus acutissima increased whereas the other oak species decreased or died. The average number of sprouts over the 3 years was from 1.4 (Quercus mongolica) to 2.2 (Q. acutissima) per individual. Quercus serrata died after the second cutting, and Quercus dentata died after the third cutting. So, the two species have the lowest sprouting ability among six oak species. The sprouts grew actively during fall and slowly in summer. The sprout length during the 3 years was in the following descending order: Q. acutissima, Quercus aliena, Q. dentata, and Q. mongolica. Sprout of Q. acutissima and Q. aliena generated steadily over the 3 years, and sprout of Quercus variabilis and Q. mongolica was changed by year. After the 3 years, the number of sprouts increased only in Q. acutissima but sprout number of the other five oak species decreased. The sprout length of Q. acutissima, Q. aliena, and Q. variabilis increased, but sprout length of the other three oak species decreased. The average survival rate of saplings over the 3 years was in the following descending order: Q. acutissima, Q. aliena, Q. variabilis, and Q. mongolica. Conclusions: As a result, the sprouting ability of Q. acutissima was the highest. Such level of sprouting ability may be the evidence of how Q. acutissima community exists as a dominant species in a disturbed environment in lowlands of Korea peninsula.
The world of technology is pleasantly evolving to a stage where small robotic aid may be used to ease the work of researchers, and to one day bring more accurate results than the current human abilities allow. In the research field of species monitoring in biology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have begun to play an important role in how research is approached, analyzed, and then applied for further investigation, particularly by focusing on a single species. This paper uses data that has been collected from June to October 2015, to demonstrate how the innovative idea of using UAVs to monitor a particular species will bring a positive development in conservation research, and what it was able to achieve in this research field so far. More precisely, we examine the potential of UAVs to take center stage in future research, as well as their current accuracy. This paper describes the use of the commercially available Phantom 2 Vision+ for the detection, assessment, and monitoring of the butterfly species Libythea celtis, demonstrating how it can help the monitoring of butterflies and how it could be developed for even more adventurous and detailed research in the future.
Recently, great demands are rising around the globe for monitoring and studying of long-term ecological changes. To go with the stream, many researchers in South Korea have attempted to share and integrate ecological data for practical use. Although some achievements were made in the meantime, we still have to overcome a big obstacle that existing ecological data in South Korea are mostly spread all over the country in various formats of computer files. In this study, we aim to handle the situation by developing a semi-automatic data conversion tool for Korean ecological data standardization, based on some predefined protocols for ecological data collection and management. The current implementation of this tool works on only five species (libythea celtis, spittle bugs, mosquitoes, pinus, and quercus mongolica), helping data managers to quickly and efficiently obtain a standardized format of ecological data from raw collection data. With this tool, the procedure of data conversion is divided into four steps: data file and protocol selection step, species selection step, attribute mapping step, and data standardization step. To find the usability of this tool, we utilized it to conduct the standardization of raw five species data collected from six different observatory sites of Korean National Parks. As a result, we could obtain a common form of standardized data in a relatively short time. With the help of this tool, various ecological data could be easily integrated into the nationwide common platform, providing broad applicability towards solving many issues in ecological and environmental system.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a new and yet constantly developing part of forest inventory studies and vegetation-monitoring fields. Covering large areas, their extensive usage has saved time and money for researchers and conservationists to survey vegetation for various data analyses. Post-processing imaging software has improved the effectiveness of UAVs further by providing 3D models for accurate visualization of the data. We focus on determining the coniferous tree coverage to show the current advantages and disadvantages of the orthorectified 2D and 3D models obtained from the image photogrammetry software, Pix4Dmapper Pro—Non-Commercial. We also examine the methodology used for mapping the study site, additionally investigating the spread of coniferous trees. The collected images were transformed into 2D black and white binary pixel images to calculate the coverage area of coniferous trees in the study site using MATLAB. The research was able to conclude that the 3D model was effective in perceiving the tree composition in the designated site, while the orthorectified 2D map is appropriate for the clear differentiation of coniferous and deciduous trees. In its conclusion, the paper will also be able to show how UAVs could be improved for future usability.
Background: Although phytoremediation is a promising method for pollution control, biomass produced by the remediation process must be managed; otherwise, it will eventually return to the environment and cause secondary pollution. Therefore, research and policy development for the post-remediation management of biomass are both required. Results: While there are many published studies of phytoremediation, research into post-remediation management is very limited. Therefore, a new study using biomass as a co-composting material was conducted and showed positive effects on soil characteristics and plant performance. However, despite its potential, research and policies to promote this form of management are still lacking. Conclusions: We suggest public engagement in support of “Post-phytoremediation management” legislation that stipulates management of biomass after phytoremediation, promotes recycling of biomass with known environmental risks, and includes specific policies developed for managers. Further research to support and inform such policies and laws is also required.
Background: Plants over-expressing Arabidopsis ABF3 (abscisic acid-responsive element-binding factor 3) have enhanced tolerance to various environmental stresses, especially drought. Using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis, we compared the rhizosphere-associated structures of microbial communities for transgenic potato containing this gene and conventional “Jopoong” plants. Results: During a 2-year field experiment, fungal richness, evenness, and diversity varied by year, increasing in 2010 when a moderate water deficit occurred. By contrast, the bacterial richness decreased in 2010 while evenness and diversity were similar in both years. No significant difference was observed in any indices for either sampling time or plant line. Although the composition of the microbial communities (defined as T-RF profiles) changed according to year and sampling time, differences were not significant between the transgenic and control plants. Conclusions: The results in this study suggest that the insertion of ABF3 into potato has no detectable (by current T-RFLP technique) effects on rhizosphere communities, and that any possible influences, if any, can be masked by seasonal or yearly variations.
Background: As the habitat changes in Korea due to climate change, the emergence of disease-mediated vectors is increasing rapidly. Thus for the surveillance of mosquito- and chigger mite-borne disease, their seasonal prevalence and species composition were investigated at seven locations in Daegu, Gunwi and Sangju. Methods: Mosquitoes were collected twice every month from five collection sites using a black light and BG sentinel traps in Daegu and Gunwi from April through November. Chigger mites were investigated twice per month from wild rodents caught with Sherman live traps in Gunwi and Sangju from April through May and September through November. Results: A total of 2,361 female mosquitoes were collected. Cowshed (626 individuals, Trap index (TI) 44.7) and Kyungpook National University campus (846 individuals, TI 60.4) in Daegu had the highest number of mosquitoes in the black light and BG sentinel trap, respectively. The mosquitoes were collected more by BG sentinel trap than the black light trap. Nine mosquito species were trapped, and the Culex pipiens complex was the most commonly mosquito (1,397 individuals, 59.2%), followed by Anopheles sinensis (554 individuals, 23.5%). Anopheles sinensis (531 individuals, 51.9%) and Culex pipiens complex (1,142 individuals, 85.4%) were the most mosquitoes from black light and BG sentinel trap, respectively. In terms of seasonal prevalence, the highest abundance was in July, with 824 individuals collected. In chigger mites, eighty-one wild rodents of five species that are hosts of chigger mites were collected; among them, 53 and 25 individuals of Apodemus agrarius and Crocidura suaveolens, respectively were trapped. Leptotrombidium pallidum was a dominant species, with 2,467 individuals collected (67.8%). Conclusions: The mosquito was the dominant species in Culex pipiens complex and the highest in July and August. Apodemus agrarius was most abundant in wild rats and Leptotrombidium pallidum was dominant in the collected chigger mites.