Two aquatic plants, water spinach Ipomoea aquatica and water hyacinth Echhornia crassipes were studied, with three varieties of the former ('HAT' (seed), 'NUOC'(on the water surface) and 'DONG' (in the field) and three populations of the latter collected at three sites at Cantho University campus, rural river banks and in farm ditches. All samples were examined using protein electrophoresis by the SDS-PAGE method, and levels of crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), amino acids, total oil and fatty acid composition were determined. The results showed that the three water spinach varieties were diverse in phenotype (Ho), genetic marker (H_<EP>), and the sum of the effective number of alleles (SENA) ranged from 1.5 to 2.0 according depending on the variety, the 'NUOC' variety was best in terms of protein value as well as genetic diversity; CP and EE content of the stems and leaves (powdered) ranged from 18.6-29.5% and from 6.9-7.2%, respectively. High lysine and α-linolenic acid contents ranged from 0.8-1.4% and from 45.1-47.3%. Water hyacinth collected in Cantho University was also diverse in phenotype (Ho), and the sum of the effective number of alleles (SENA); CP and EE contents of the young light green stems and leaves (powdered) ranged from 16.4-21.8% and from 4.3-4.8%; while lysine and α-linolenic acid ranged from 0.56-1.03% and from 37.6-38.6%. It is considered that the selection, conservation, and improvement of aquatic plant species are important for the future development of these species as crops.
This experiment was conducted into the impacts of diversity loss and as a re-evaluation of the nutritional resources originating from agricultural crops, because there is no conservation strategy for either wild crop species or locally adapted cultivars used for human and animal consumption. Three important agricultural crops were investigated: soybean Glycine max, sweet potato Ipomoea batatas, and coconut Cocus nucifera, with five varieties of each collected for protein electrophoresis using the SDS-PAGE method. Crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE) and amino acids (AAs) of each of the representative samples were determined. The total oil was extracted from each sample and analyzed for its fatty acid (FAs) composition. Results showed that five soybean varieties 'MTD65', 'MTD176', 'Nam Vang C', 'Nam Vang H' and 'Can Tho 4' varied little from each other as shown by the fact that all sample individuals of each variety showed similar bands, indicating that they were in fact neither diverse nor pure genetic varieties. The CP content of soybean seeds ranged from 37.5-41.7% and EE content ranged from 20.4-22.1%, while methionine ranged from 0.2-0.6% and linoleic acid from 40.4-55.0%. Among the sweet potato varieties, 'Hong Dao', 'Hsinchu', 'Duong Ngoc' and 'Lang Bi', were diverse in phenotype (Ho), genetic marker (H_<EP>), and the sum of the effective number of alleles (SENA), while the 'Hong Ngoc' variety was not diverse (Ho=0), e.g all individual samples proved to share the same genetic material; the CP and EE content of the leaves ranged from 19.8-26.8% and 4.8-5.8%; while lysine ranged from 0.48-1.07% and linolenic acid from 39.7-45.5%. Among the coconut varieties, 'Bi', 'Lua', 'Ta Xanh', 'Ta Dai' and 'Dau', were diverse, although the 'Lua' variety was less diverse (Ho=1) than the others (Ho=1.9-2.3); the copra CP ranged from 7.7-9.0%, the amino acid contents were very small compared with those of the soybean varieties; EE content ranged from 65.0-71.6% and lauric acid from 44.4%-49.9%. These three crops are currently producing decreasing yields, and suffering genetic erosion mainly due to insect damage or as a result of being replaced by new high yield varieties, thus the direction of selection, conservation and improvement of each of the breeds should be based on our data.
Two bird communities of streamside and upland habitats in deciduous broadleaved forest along the Mamachi River in south-western Hokkaido, Japan, were compared during winter and summer. In winter, the habitats did not differ significantly in three avian community indices: the number of bird individuals, the number of bird species, and bird species diversity (Shannon's function). In contrast, in summer all of the community indices were significantly higher in the streamside than the upland habitat. This difference was caused by the arrival of larger numbers of summer migrants such as Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa latirostris, Eastern Crowned warbler Phylloscopus coronatus, Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala, and Short-tailed Bush Warbler Cettia squameiceps, and by the increase of the residents such as Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea, into the streamside habitat than in the upland area. Seasonal changes of niche (habitat and food) diversity for birds may contribute to the above differences between two avian communities.
This study was conducted on the food habits of gray wolves (Canis lupus) and two species of fox, red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and corsac fox (V.corsac), in a grassland-forest ecotone of the western Daxing'anling Mountains, northern Inner Mongolia. We analyzed 298 scats for wolves and 70 scats for foxes between 1999 and 2002. During the first two years of the study, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and domestic sheep (Ovis aries) occurred in more than 50% of the scats gathered. However, roe deer increased to 85.2% in September 2002, while sheep decreased to 27.2%. Those changes might have been caused by a newly launched conservation policy of the Chinese government that has prohibited the hunting of wildlife, including ungulates and wolves, and removed livestock out of forested areas. Cattle occurred at 23.3% in frequency during the first year, but in the other years it decreased to several percents or none. Since cattle are likely too large for wolves to kill, wolves may have scavenged on the carcasses of the many that died of hunger and/or illness during the hard winter of 1998-99. Although wild boar (Sus scrofa) were common in the study area, they occurred at low frequencies in the scats. In contrast, fox scat contained mostly rodents (68.6%) and insects (65.7%), showing a clear difference in food habits from wolves.
Tropical dry evergreen forest is a little known forest type of southern India. These unique, commonly two layered evergreen forests occurring in drier areas, harbour mainly evergreen species with a few deciduous and semi evergreen species. Sriharikota Island in southeast India supports one of the last remaining vestiges of natural dry evergreen forest still in a protected condition. The intact patches there have been largely protected by local communities because of their religious beliefs. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) conducted a brief ornithological survey of Sriharikota Island in south eastern Andhra Pradesh in 1976. The late Dr Salim Ali and his team in two separate surveys recorded preliminary information on the ornithology of the island environs. The coastline of the island is dotted with extensive coastal vegetation including small patches of mangrove forest in the north. The present study recorded 43.8% (200 species) of the total of 456 species occurring in the state. A total of 72 terrestrial species was recorded from the seven habitats on the island during the present study with the highest number of species (47) from dry evergreen forests. Six additional species (Lesser Frigate Bird Fregata minor, Red Knot Calidris canuta, Great Knot C. tenuirostris, Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Black Tern Chlidonias niger, and Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus and one subspecies Philippine Shrike Lanius cristatus lucionensis) were also noted during the current study. Of the 30 passerine migrant species recorded from the island three species, Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum, Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides and Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus, were the commonest. The tropical dry evergreen forests of the Coromandel Coast are currently threatened by excessive tree felling and grazing. Protection given by the Indian Space Research Organisation, at Sriharikota is a commendable effort as these forests provide us with vital insights into ecosystem patterns.