ISSN : 2287-8327
We investigated the changes in the population size and inter-specific space usage for breeding in mixed breeding sites of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), great egret (Ardea alba modesta) and intermediate egret (Egretta intermedia) in Gammul-myeon, Goesan-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea, in 2016–2017. These species bred in two adjacent habitats (site A and site B). The number of breeding pairs of all species and the size of the breeding area at site B increased in 2017. In 2017, great cormorants at site B occupied the breeding sites previously occupied by the other species in 2016, while the grey heron and great egret occupied the sites around the great cormorant breeding site. The heights of nest trees and nests of great cormorant and grey heron did not differ temporally, but these heights in site B were significantly higher than those in site A for great cormorants. For great egrets, these greatly decreased in site B in 2017. Thus, the great cormorant either moved to favourable nest sites for breeding success or selected nest sites used by the herons in the previous year. Further studies of these two possibilities are necessary.
We investigated the mortality and the oxidative damages of Deschampsia antarctica in response to waterlogging stress. In field, we compared the changes in the density of D. antarctica tuft at the two different sites over 3 years. The soil water content at site 2 was 6-fold higher than that of site 1, and the density of D. antarctica tuft decreased significantly by 55.4% at site 2 for 3 years, but there was no significant change at site 1. Experimental results in growth chamber showed that the H2O2 and malondialdehyde content increased under root-flooding treatment (hypoxic conditions—deficiency of O2), but any significant change was not perceptible under the shoot-flooding treatment (anoxic condition—absence of O2). However, total chlorophyll, soluble sugar, protein content, and phenolic compound decreased under the shoot-flooding treatment. In addition, the catalase activity increased significantly on the 1st day of flooding. These results indicate that hypoxic conditions may lead to the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, and anoxic conditions can deplete primary metabolites such as sugars and protein in the leaf tissues of D. antarctica. Under present warming trend in Antarctic Peninsula, D. antarctica tuft growing near the shoreline might more frequently experience flooding due to glacier melting and inundation of seawater, which can enhance the risk of this plant mortality.
Background: The growing wild boar population has become a social issue and its feeding characteristics could affect the physical condition and the plant species composition in the South Korean forests. We aimed to reveal the preference of the wild boar on forest type and site condition as feeding grounds in two cool-temperate forested national parks, Odaesan and Seoraksan, in order to provide information to manage the growing population. Results: The 75 plots (53.6%) out of 140 plots were used as feeding grounds by the wild boar, implying a considerably large population. Especially, the observation frequency as feeding ground was the highest in Quercus forests (73.3%), and it was significantly more preferred than deciduous forest type (44.2%) and coniferous forest type (32.4%) (χ2 = 17.591, p < 0.001). Significantly more and deeper pits were found in Quercus forests. Moreover, high elevation and gentle slope ridge were relatively preferred regardless of forest distribution. Conclusions: South Korean forests are growing qualitatively and quantitatively. Particularly, Quercus forest area has increased markedly, while coniferous forest area has decreased. Since the Quercus forest provides rich food sources for the wild boar, the enlargement of this forest type is expected to increase the wild boar population. The forests located at high elevations have high species diversity, and it is expected that these forests will be greatly affected by the increase in the wild boar population as preferred feeding grounds.
Background: This research aims to study the effect of climate change on the phenology, growth, and physiological traits of Silene capitata Kom., a Korean endangered species II. This study increased CO2 concentration in a closed glass greenhouse, with the daily mean temperature and CO2 concentration respectively being 4.61 °C and 93.63 ppm higher than the outside temperature (ambient conditions, control). The seeds of S. capitata were sown in control and treatment environments in March 2013 while seedlings were transplanted into individual pots in May 2013. To research phenological changes, the first day of the flowering and ripening of the plants transplanted in 2013 and first day of leafing in 2014 were observed. The growth and physiological responses of mature leaves were also studied in 2013. Results: There was no difference in the first day of flowering, but the first day of ripening was earlier in the treatment group than the control group. There was no difference in the number of rosette leaves between the two groups, but leaf area was wider in the treatment group than the control group. Transpiration rate and stomatal conductance were higher in the treatment group than the control group, chlorophyll content decreased, and photosynthetic rate and water use efficiency were the same for both groups. As a result of simple regression analysis among the transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, photosynthetic rate, and water use efficiency, stomatal conductance increased when transpiration rate increased. Stomatal conductance increased with photosynthetic rate in the control unlike in the treatment group. The photosynthetic rate and water use efficiency increased with transpiration rate in the control group unlike in the treatment group. Furthermore, water use efficiency increased as photosynthetic rate increased in both groups. Conclusion: Due to high CO2 concentration, the photosynthetic rate was no longer controlled by the stomata, which appeared to suppress the excessive production of photosynthetic products by reducing chlorophyll content. It is believed that the phenological responses of S. capitata under climate change conditions will advance and that stable growth will be difficult in regions lacking moisture due to the high transpiration rate.
Background: The dramatic worldwide decline in the butterfly species Leptalina unicolor (Bremer & Grey) is largely the result of continuous habitat decline and disturbance by humans. The discovery of a narrow habitat in riverside wetlands utilized by L. unicolor raises the hope that such restricted key areas could be rather easily protected. Results: Here, we explain the environmental variables and habitat characteristics that primarily influence the distribution of L. unicolor discovered at the riverside areas along the Geum River. L. unicolor larvae were found at 9 of 13 study sites, and their abundance was strongly positively correlated with plant biomass. Our investigation showed that among four plant species (Miscanthus sinensis, Spodiopogon cotulifer, Setaria viridis, and Imperata cylindrica), L. unicolor larvae were the most abundant on the leaves of M. sinensis. They were not abundant on the leaves of S. cotulifer, S. viridis, or I. cylindrica. Interestingly, the number of L. unicolor larvae was positively correlated with the coverage area (m2) of M. sinensis (F = 41.7, r2 = 0.74, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: It appears that water (e.g., wetlands, ponds, and watersides) located along the riverside areas along the Geum River is important for the constant maintenance and conservation of L. unicolor. This is based on the habitat characteristics (water preference) of M. sinensis, which is used as a habitat by L. unicolor larvae. However, the waterside is dry and terrestrialization is in progress owing to the decreased water levels and water supply caused by an opened weir. Hereafter, this area will likely require management to secure a stable habitat for L. unicolor.
Background: Dioecious plant species having both male and female plants have been investigated regarding sexrelated characteristics such as sex ratio, sex-differential resource requirements, and spatial segregation of the sexes. Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to the survival of plant populations, but dioecious species are particularly more prone to such habitat degradation than non-dioecious species because of their dimorphic sexual system. We examined the sex-related demographics of two Ilex cornuta populations being different regarding land use history. Methods: During 2016–2017, we examined I. cornuta trees with a basal diameter ≥ 1.5 cm in the Yongsu-ri population (YS population) and the Gotjawal Provincial Park population (GP population). Plant sex (male, female, or unsexed) was identified. The tree size (basal diameter and height of the main stem), clonal production (the ramet numbers per genet), and vitality for each clone were measured. The associations between population, sex, tree size, clonal production, and vitality were examined using ANOVAs and contingency table analyses. Finally, point pattern analyses using O-ring statistics were conducted to assess spatial patterns. Results: Upon excluding unsexed trees, the YS population with 74 trees was significantly male-biased (0.66), while the GP population with only 26 trees had a 1:1 sex ratio. In both populations, males and females did not differ in tree size. Although the mean number of ramets differed significantly between populations, females tended to produce more ramets than males. The proportion of weak trees was significantly higher in the YS than in the GP population. Neither population showed evidence of spatial segregation of the sexes. Conclusions: The two populations of dioecious I. cornuta are characterized by the small number of trees and relatively high frequencies of non-reproductive trees. Both indicate that these populations are quite susceptible to environmental and genetic stochasticity. On the other hand, the differences between populations in sex ratio, clonal production, and vitality suggest that conservation efforts for I. cornuta need to be population-specific. In order to help recover and enable this vulnerable species to persist, it is necessary to find ways to enhance their sexual reproduction and simultaneously reduce habitat disturbances due to anthropogenic activities.