Scientific Program

Conference Series LLC Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend 7th International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management Melbourne, Australia.

Day 2 :

Keynote Forum

Geetha Annavi

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Keynote: MHC genes in Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus): The implication in ex-situ conservation

Time : 9:30-10:00

Biodiversity Congress-2018 International Conference Keynote Speaker Geetha Annavi photo
Biography:

Geetha Annavi has her expertise in population genetics, molecular and behavioural ecology, and conservation biology, particularly of wild animals (i.e., mammals) and terrestrial ecosystems. Currently, her research is focused on the endangered Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) both in captive and wild in Peninsular Malaysia.  She is investigating the genetic, ecology and behaviour aspects of this animal to protect them from extinct further in the wild. She is also interested to develop an effective ex-situ captive breeding model to maximize the number of healthy progeny that are produced in captivity and a successful reintroduction program of these captive born tapirs into wild.

 

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) comes from family Tapiridae and presently facing high risk of extinction due to multiple factors including loss of habitat and human disturbance. Currently, Malayan tapir is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, which calls for more serious conservation efforts for this mammal. Mating with relatives in captivity becomes common when the number of individuals decreases. As this happens, inbreeding depression and the reduction of population fitness will cause major threats to the viability of successive generation. Therefore, successful mating, fertilization, and genetic diversity are vital to ensure the viability of the population. Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a set of highly polymorphic genes in vertebrates with hundreds of different alleles at some loci. Some of the functions related to MHC region include immune response, olfaction and reproduction. One of the mechanism MHC genes polymorphism is maintained is by disassortative mating selection by kin recognition that contributes to inbreeding avoidance. The objective of this study is to characterise the MHC genes of Tapirus indicus.  Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: gDNA was isolated from whole blood samples from 7 individuals. Next, primers targeting MHC Class II loci were designed from closely related species on consensus region and amplified using PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of each MHC loci was performed on consensus alignment against sequences from other closely related species. Findings: In exon 2, we found at least two alleles that encode for DRα and DQα domains, while three alleles are found encoding DRβ and DQβ domains. Evidence of selection was observed at DRB loci and exhibit possibility of trans-species polymorphism when aligned with closely related species. Conclusion & Significance: This preliminary study in Malayan tapir will serve as a basis for further studies of MHC variability, mate choice, and pathogen resistance which aims to increase the population size of Malayan tapir in Malaysia through ex-situ conservation by improving its survival rate and reproduction success in long term.

 

Keynote Forum

Nikita Gavrilovich Solomonov

Institute for Biological Problem of Cryolithozone , Russia

Keynote: Yakutia as the territory of the crane most diversity in the northern part of Asia-Pacific region

Time : 10:00-10:30

Biodiversity Congress-2018 International Conference Keynote Speaker Nikita Gavrilovich Solomonov  photo
Biography:

Solomonov Nikita Gavrilovich,   Research Professor, Doctor of Biology, Corresponding member of Russian Academy for Science, honored scientist of Russia, honored worker of science of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia). He was born in 1929. He conducted research to identify regional features for population ecology of mass mammal species in Central Yakutia, the number dynamics of the most endangered species. Under his leadership, the Red Data Book of Yakutia was prepared and published in 1987. Together with foreign partners, he conducted research on ecology and migrations of unique birds of North, Siberian crane and spectacled eider. He is author of more than 280 publications, including 7 monographs. He has supervised 25 master and 16 doctoral Thesis. He is member of scientific councils, commissions and editorial boards of academic journals. He is Chief Editor of the journal of the Academy for Sciences of Sakha (Yakutia) Science and Education.

 

Abstract:

Asia-Pacific region occupies the great part of northeastern Eurasia and North America. Two crane species, Whooping crane Grus americana and Sandhill crane G. canadensis, inhabit North America including USA, Canada and Mexico. 7 cranes, Common crane species: G. grus, Sandhill crane, Hooded crane G. monarcha,  White-naped crane G. vipio, Siberian crane G. leucogeranus, Red-crowned crane Grus japonensis, Demoiselle cranes Anthropoides virgo inhabit Russia. Republic Sakha (Yakutia) territory includes 6 crane species, 4 nesting (Common, Hooded, Siberian and Sandhill cranes), and 2 vagrant species. Demoiselle crane appears regularly in the Middle Lena River, Vilui River and Upper Yana River Valleys. The first appearance of White-naped crane was reported in 2014, when a pair of birds was registered in Upper Yana River Valley in 2014. Case of vagrant Brolga Antigone rubicunda was described in 90-s XIX century by the Moscow State University Museum data. The bird was killed in 80-s near Yakutsk city (Central Yakutia). But the information was no confirmed for the whole XX and early XI centuries and later this species was excluded from Yakutia ornithological fauna list due to a possible error in the labeling.  Nevertheless, Republic Sakha (Yakutia), situated in the north-eastern part of Siberia and is the largest subject of Russia Federation, occupying more than 18% of Russia (3.1 million of km2), is the territory of the crane most diversity in the northern part of Asia-Pacific region.

 

Biodiversity Congress-2018 International Conference Keynote Speaker Aluri Jacob Solomon Raju photo
Biography:

Dr. Aluri Jacob Solomon Raju is a Professor and Chairman, Board of Studies of Environmental Sciences and Microbiology in Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. He was the Head of the Department during 2009-2012. He was the Visiting Professor of University of Colima, Mexico. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Akron, USA for a period of two years. He has conducted extensive field work in Olympic Mountains, Colorado Rocky Mountains, Siskiyu Mountains, Yosemite National Park, Yellostone National Park and Grand Teton Mountains in connection with reproductive biology of an arctic-alpine genus Pedicularis and its conservation and management aspects. Further, he has also conducted field research in Mexico. He has published more than 300 research papers, participated and presented scores of research papers at more than 50 national and more than 30 International conferences held in India and abroad. He visited USA, Canada, UK, Brazil, Paraguay, Italy, Mexico, Spain, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Ethiopia and Tanzania. In recognition of his superior record of scholarship, he was awarded Distinguished Achievement Award by the University of Akron, Ohio, USA. He is also the recipient of Best Research Award and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Best Academician Award of Andhra University, Loyola Environmental Award from Loyola College, Chennai and Andhra Pradesh Scientist Award from Andhra Pradesh Council of Science & Technology, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. Recently, he received State Level Best Teacher Award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh. He is the Consultant of Convention of Biological Diversity Programme of Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy.  He did excellent work on the effects of radiation on tomato seeds which were exposed to space by NASA, USA. He successfully completed a number of major research projects on the Eastern Ghats Forests funded by ICAR, UGC, DST, CSIR, DBT and MoEF. Further, he successfully completed All India Coordinated Research Projects on the endangered species of Eastern Ghats funded by MoEF and Phytogeography and morphometrics of honey bees and stingless bees of Andhra Pradesh funded by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, New Delhi. He is the Expert member of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India. He has worked on biodiesel plants such as Pongamia and Jatropha and his work laid foundation for others to initiate work in commercial lines. He has also published ten books on various subjects published by national and international publishers. Thirty Ph.Ds and eight M.Phils were awarded under his guidance. Further, he is currently serving as a resource person for All India Radio, TV Channels, Consultant for issues relating to environmental issues. He is an expert-cum-reviewer for scores of scientific journals published by Elsevier, Springer publishers, Indian Publishers, US Publishers and African Publishers. He is the Chief Editor of Advances in Pollen-Spore Research Journal and Journal of Palynology. 

Abstract:

Butterflies occupy a vital position in the ecosystem and are useful as indicators of environmental change. Their occurrence depends on the climatic dicta, the presence of suitable caterpillar foods and appropriate adult nectar sources or other food, suitable arenas for flight and courtship. They require a continuous supply of food sources, especially nectar sources from a number of plant species. In this context, floral morphological and nectar characteristics are important for visitation by butterflies.  Nectar plays an important role in the nutrition of adult butterflies. Nectar is a highly enriched food resource consisting of carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, antioxidants, alkaloids, proteins, vitamins, salts, etc. But, all these nutrient chemicals are not found in a single floral nectar source and hence flower-visiting butterflies should pay visits to different floral nectars to acquire all the required nutrients. The knowledge accumulated in this direction is very much limited and it is particularly so for India; this knowledge on butterfly-flower interactions is essential especially in the context of changing environments for the effective conservation and management of the butterfly diversity. 

 

  • Marine Biodiversity | Forestry | Vulnerable species | Threats to Biodiversity | Biodiversity and Food Security | Environmental Pollution & Management
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Session Introduction

Xiaoli Wang

Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Title: Dynamic of consecutive dry-wet days in the coastal area of China during 1961~2017
Speaker
Biography:

Xiaoli Wang is dedicated to assessing and predicting climate change as well as risk management of meteorological disasters, especially focusing on such a region with high climate vulnerability in the coastal area of China. She has used a set of mathematical and statistical methods and models to conduct a thorough research on extreme temperature events and extreme precipitation events in the coastal area of China. Her expert research provides a reference for understanding of regional climate change in-depth and a technical support for mitigation and adaptation of climate change.

Abstract:

Coastal area of China (CAC) is of high ecological vulnerability and extremely sensitive to the adverse effects of climate change. Based on the daily precipitation dataset of 156 surface meteorological station records, Consecutive Dry Days (CDD) and Consecutive Wet Days (CWD) on meteorological station scale in the CAC were calculated by RClimDex model. And a set of statistical methods, including trend analysis, Pettitt test, Mann-Kendall test and Accumulative anomaly analysis were employed to investigate the dynamics of CDD and CWD in the CAC. Results showed that annual average of CDD and CWD presented the opposite spatial patterns of north-high south-low and north-low south-high, respectively, and annual average of CDD is generally more than that of CWD, especially in the Hebei province and western of Liaoning province. The continuous dry situation is most prominent in Shandong, Guangdong and Guangxi, and the consecutive wet condition is more obvious on the border of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, especially in the Yangtze estuary. However, the dry-wet conditions are more uncertain in Liaoning, Hebei and Jiangsu, where the dry and humid climate change is more complicated. The mutation of CDD and CWD mainly occurred between 1970s and 1990s, and the mutations in CDD were slightly earlier that those in CWD. This study are beneficial to raise awareness of extreme climate change in the coastal area of China, and provide scientific basis and support for climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as climate change risk management at the regional scale, which is an important supplement to the study of regional responses to global climate change.

 

Dong Li

Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Title: Dramatic morphological changes caused by intensive coastal development: A case study in the Longkou Bay, China
Speaker
Biography:

Dong Li has his expertise in acoustic data processing and submarine sediment classification. He is familiar with basic knowledge and principle of acoustic seabed detection, skillful in operating multibeam equipment and post-processing software, and able to explore data mining to solve some scientific issues. He devised a technical approach to characterize, classify, and map shallow coastal areas with artificial reefs using an multibeam echosounder. The automated classification method is confirmed to process bathymetric and backscatter data from multibeam echosounder and transform the variables into simple, easily visualized maps.

 

Abstract:

Tracing the evolution of subaqueous topography in coastal water enables us to understand the effects of intensive coastal development on bays and estuaries. Analysis of a series of historical bathymetric acoustic surveys has revealed large changes in morphology from 1960s to 2010s in Longkou Bay, China. Water depths were extracted from digitized admiralty charts to explore the accretion-erosion characteristics in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment, providing quantitative estimates of morphological changes. Multibeam echosounders (MBES) were used to map and analyze the geomorphologic features caused by the construction of artificial islands. Results illustrated that the shoreline and bathymetry of Longkou Bay changed dramatically in recent decades. The subaqueous area decreased by about 15%, while land area increased by more than 13 km2 in the study area during the last 50 years. From 1960s to 1990s, the evolution of Longkou Bay was mainly governed by natural processes with a patchy distribution of deposition and erosion, and there were few signs of being related to large-scale human activities. During the period of 1990s to 2010s, intensive coastal developments including large port engineering projects, channel dredging and artificial islands construction became the main processes affecting morphological changes in the Longkou Bay. The high-resolution bathymetric results near the artificial island showed that the seafloor was dredged at many sites, leaving large areas of borrow pits. The sudden change of the underwater topography will lead to the destruction of local benthic habitat and effective measures need to be taken to protect and remediate heavily disturbed subaqueous environment.

 

A. K Sreekala

Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden And Research Institute, Palode, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Title: Reproductive ecology of Humboldtia decurrens Bedd. ex Oliver : An endemic legume of the Western Ghats, India.
Speaker
Biography:

University 1998 with specilization of  Plant Reproductive Biology. She  has published more than 80  papers in reputed journals, Chapters in books and presented her  research in national and international meetings. She has succesfully obtained research grants from funding agencies such as DBT, DST and KSCSTE. She currently supervises Eight Doctorate candidates and produced Five Ph.Ds.

 

Abstract:

Humboldtia decurrens Bedd. ex Oliver belongs to the family Fabaceae, is restricted to the evergreen forests of Kerala and Tamilnadu in the southern Western Ghats. The plant favours much shady, riparian and undisturbed environment at an altitude of 200-900m asl with severely fragmented population. The study on reproductive ecology was conducted in the natural habitat to understand its phenology, floral biology, pollination mechanism, fruit set and seed germination. The phenological study reveals that leaf flushing takes place from August to October, flower bud initiation commences in November and flowering period extends up to March. The plant possess cauliflorous, racemose inflorescence with 12-15 flowers and varied sepal colouration from white to pink, but petal remains white. Pollen grains are spherical and 52.25µm in diameter. Pollen-Ovule ratio was calculated as 1062:1. Maximum pollen viability was noticed on the day of anthesis itself which get decreased on consecutive days after anthesis. The species imparts various pollination traits including flower shape, colour, reward type and amount, nectar composition and timing of flowering. Occurrence of versatile anthers illustrate a proof for anemophilous pollination but species display a more support towards melittophily by rewarding subsequent amount of floral as well as extra floral nectaries. Bees and butterflies are the major pollinators. Breeding experiments confirmed that the species permits both geitonogamy and xenogamy. The fruitification will take about a month after the drooping of flowers and continues till the next vegetative phase. The scarcity of pollinators, low insect visitation rates and infestation of fruits by insects affect the fruit production and thereby decreases the seed set. Natural factors along with anthropogenic activities adversely affect its population growth and its establishment in the wild.

 

Xiaowei Li

Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Title: Assessing changes of habitat quality for shorebirds in stopover site: a case study in Yellow River Delta, China
Speaker
Biography:

Xiaowei Li graduated with a BSc from the Ocean University of China in 2005, and then served as a visiting doctoral researcher in Land and Water at CSIRO (Australia) 2008-2009, receiving her PhD from IGSNRR in 2012. Dr. Li was a postdoctoral researcher at IGSNRR 2012-2014. Her areas of specialization include ecosystem-based management and adaptation and ecosystem monitoring and assessment. More recently, Dr. Li has been interested in assessment and valuation of coastal ecosystem services, recognizing the trade-offs between migratory bird protection, human well-being and social-economic development. She brings her experience with spatial valuation of coastal wetlands to the study of coastal mudflats and migratory bird habitat in particular.

 

Abstract:

The population of shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) is on a severe, long-term decline. One of the reasons is low survival during stopover sites in Yellow Sea Ecoregion due to habitat degradation. In this paper, we focused on the shorebird habitat quality in Yellow River Delta (YRD), which is a representative shorebirds stopover site in the Yellow Sea Ecoregion on EAAF. We adapt the habitat quality model of the InVEST for the assessment of shorebirds habitat quality change in YRD during 2000-2015 and future, considering the effects of anthropogenic threats on shorebirds habitat. In our results, the abundance of 11 species of shorebirds had significant downward trends (70%-97% reduction) during 1999-2015. The most prominent land use changes in the YRD during 2000–2015 are the shrinkage of estuarine delta and dense-grass, along with the expansion of city, saltern, and mariculture. The area of estuarine delta, unused land, tidal flats, and sparse grass reduced 30214, 21792, 6510, 6166 ha, respectively during the 15 years. There was high spatial heterogeneity in modeled habitat quality in the YRD. Tidal flats areas in the nature reserve (part 2) had higher habitat quality than areas in the northwestern (part 1), and eastern (part 4) parts of the study area, where the major mariculture occurs. Mean habitat quality in the part 1and part 4 were 26% and 44% lower than mean habitat quality in part 2, respectively. The mean habitat quality in part 1 and part 4 decreased 27% and 31% during 2000–2015, respectively. Optimal habitat in YRD declined from 1433km2 in 2000 to 1154 km2 in 2015. The habitat quality shows a significant downward trend in the southeast and northeast of YRD during 2015-2020. The results would help decision makers avoid inefficiencies in land use management.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Amjad is currently working as lecture in Department of Botany, Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Bagh. He is awarded with Goldmedal in MSc as well as M Phil. He Published more than 30 Research articles on various aspect of Phytodiveristy, ethnobotany and conservation in various Journal of International repute. Currently his research mainly focuses on phytogeographic, systematic and conservation assessment of endemic flora of remote biodiversity rich area of Azad Jammu & Kashmir using advance multivariate statistical techniques.

 

Abstract:

A phytosociological survey was carried out during 2014-2016 using a stratified random sampling design at 15 different localities in Kotli District, AJK Pakistan. Quantitative data on species composition and environmental variables were collected from 450 quadrats. Based on cluster analysis, three different plant associations were recognized viz subtropical scrub forest association, subtropical pine forest association and subtropical broad leaf humid association which are clearly separated on a two dimensional Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) diagram.  The number of plant species per site varied from 17 to 47; Shannon and Simpson diversity indices were 1.83-3.19 and 0.75-0.95 respectively; Menhinick  and Margalef species richness values were between 0.68-1.35 and 2.48-5.95 respectively, Equitability values between 0.65-0.90 and Evenness values between 0.37-0.71. DCA and Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated altitude and aspect to be the main determinants of the plant species distribution patterns and classification and grouping of vegetation into different associations. CCA indicated that both species diversity and richness showed strong correlations with altitude as well as aspect and grazing intensity. All the forest stands were immature (33.8-54.7%) with average tree density varying between 280 to 2060 ha-1, and basal area between 1.99-19.18 m2/ha-1.  The results clearly reflect the deteriorating forest structure in this region, demanding urgent conservation measures involving effective participation by local communities.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Dr Avinash Kumar, Assistant Professor in the Department of Botany, Vinoba Bhave University, Jharkhand, India is actively engaged in Teaching and Research. During his Ph.D., he has worked extensively on the assessment of genetic diversity of endangered medicinal plant species growing in the extremes of Himalayan regions of India, as well as the genetic diversity study of few endemic tree species. Based on his finding and subsequent recommendations, few germplasm of Picrorhiza kurroa, Valeriana jatamansi, Gentiana kurroo have been taken for ex situ conservation and cultivation. Presently he is guiding students for their Ph.D on diverse topics such as- Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) associated with drought tolerance in upland local rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties, Assessment of diversity of Diospyros melanoxylon, Floristic survey of different areas of India.

 

Abstract:

Picrorhiza kurroa (family Scrophulariaceae) is a well-known medicinal herb in the Ayurvedic system of medicine used for centuries to treat disorders of the liver and upper respiratory tract, jaundice, fever, dyspepsia, chronic diarrohea and scorpion sting. Commonly known as kutki, it grows in moist areas of Himalayan regions of India at elevations of 3000 - 5000 m. Due to intensive harvesting from its natural habitat, it is now classified as an endangered species. In order to meet the ever increasing demand of the species, it is essential to genetically improve the species for not only meeting obvious goals for conservation and improvement but it is important also to bring it to the status where it can be cultivated in larger areas other than the condition where it is at presently growing in wild. To obtain the desired objectives as above, the first requisite beyond doubt is to compartmentalize the nature, extent and form of variations at DNA sequence level of the germplasm, and levels of gene flow between populations, of this over exploited plant species.

            In the present study, we employed RAPD, ISSR and AFLP markers to determine the nature and extent of genetic diversity of P. kurroa germplasm resources of representative 91 genotypes belonging to 10 populations, collected from different parts of the Himalayas. The RAPD, ISSR and AFLP fingerprints with 22 and 15 primers and 07 primer combinations, respectively, revealed 83.5%, 80.6%, and 72.1% polymorphism among 140, 88, and 327 genetic loci amplified from the 91 genotypes, respectively. The AMOVA analysis indicated more variation existed in differences in genotypes within population than between population within a region and between regions, respectively. The results obtained are very interesting and informative with regard to not only genetic diversity diagnostics but also from the point of view of utilization for its genetic enhancement as above.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Author is an Associate Professor from The Department of Botany, Carmel College, Goa (India). Has a Doctorate Degree in Plant Anatomy & a Post Graduate Diploma in Ecology and Environment. Passionate about Biodiversity concerns. Presently documenting Plant diversity in cultural practices of a specific indigenous community of Indian Peninsula.

 

Abstract:

The Brahmin community in Kerala has a ritualistic culture and each & every customary ritual is eco-friendly and largely makes use of the local plant biodiversity. Written documentations in this regard are very rare and if at all recorded are ancient and thereby inaccessible to the common man due to linguistic barriers. In the backdrop of this scenario, the author who herself is  a member of this community felt the necessity for a scientific documentation, largely because the traditions followed by the community ingrained within it the  ancient wisdom of living in unison with nature. The book written in Malayalam language by Late Smt. Parvathy Antherjanam- ‘Antherjanangalude aacharanushtanangal’  (‘Customary rituals & religious rites observed by women of Brahmin community’, 2002)- the only one of its kind and discussions with the elders in the community have formed the basis of this research.

The research paper  brings forth some expressions of Traditional Agro- biodiversity in connection with a religious festival celebrated in the state called -  ‘Thiruvathira’.‘Ettangadi’ is a customary edible preparation made during the festival which makes use of six types of tubers and a few other agricultural products. The ‘Ethno Agro diversity’in ‘Ettangadi’ preparation is discussed and the eight species are scientifically documented. A review on the food value and nutritional & therapeutic aspects of the plants are also recorded in the study. Documenting, tapping such indigenous knowledge go a long way not only in opening new vistas in food security but also in conserving biodiversity of a region.

 

  • YRF
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Session Introduction

Kai Yuan Lin

Graduate school of Media design, Keio University, Japan

Title: Integration of Agricultural Education and Biodiversity: Introducing Synecoculture into elementary school in Taiwan
Speaker
Biography:

Kai Yuan Lin has his expertise in industrial design as well as system design and passion in improving the Food Safety and Agricultural education. He had education experience in Imperial College, London and Pratt Institute, NewYork which made him able to integrate the advantage of Europe and US in agriculture field. He is a engineer and designer which focus on complex system toward the important social issue. He collaborates with Masatoshi Funabashi in SonyCSL on the Synecoculture project in Taiwan. The biodiversity education is the first step to introduce Synecoculture to Taiwan.

 

Abstract:

As food safety incidents happen continually, people put more concern on food, therefore “Food and agricultural education” become a trend. Food and agricultural education are divided into two parts, one is food education that combines nutrition, safety and culture, the other is agriculture education that focuses on food source, farming and environment. Currently, teachers teach the nutrition, biology which are written on the textbook, but without the practical and in-field experience, the agriculture education is insufficient in Taiwan. Our project combines agriculture education and Synecoculture, in collaboration with Sony CSL in Japan. Synecoculture is an open-field crop cultivation method, which eliminates the use of tillage, fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide and totally relies on the productivity based on biodiversity. There are three reasons to introduce Synecoculture to the elementary school:

1.Less field labor which makes easier access for elementary school students to experience and understand.

 

  1. It includes both knowledge and practice: Learning on biodiversity and the training of farming skills.
  2. Elementary school is the primary education that makes an important influence in one’s life.

 

Our primary object of introducing this system into elementary school is to raise future educators and students’ confidence and familiarity to farming. Inspire their concern about biodiversity, and rethinking the origin of food. The first step is to build teachers’ know-how and skill of Synecoculture. After teachers would become more familiar with field working and acquire farming skill, the next step is to realize and fuse the agriculture education into the courses and work with students. This research proposes method and design of biodiversity knowledge building in agricultural education, step by step overcoming the difficulty, and design a series of courses for students in a practical way. In addition, within the agriculture education, the data on plant growth will be collected and analyzed with statistical tools.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Changes in the living environment such as restricted space, continuous stream of visitors and being under the management of humans have been shown in many other wild animals to cause significant changes in their natural behaviours that can result in stress, breeding difficulties, poor health, and repetitive stereotypic behaviours. However, it is still unknown whether the above factors can also affect the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). Therefore, we undertook a study to investigate the potential stressors in both male and female captive Malayan tapirs by evaluating the effect of enclosure type, enclosure size, climatic and human factors on behaviours that were quantified through direct and indirect observations. Analysing our data using Akaike’s Information Criterion, AICc, we found that enclosure type had a significant effect on feeding behaviour where tapirs in semi-wild enclosures fed more frequently than tapirs in captivity. We noticed significant adverse effects from visitors and background noises that caused increases in vigilance behaviour and reduced the time spent on resting in captivity. We also observed stereotypic behaviours in captivity such as frequent pacing and sleeping under water while holding their breath for over one minute at a time. From this study, we conclude that the enclosure with improper enrichments and surroundings with loud sound exposure are potential stressors that will affect the welfare of Malayan tapir.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Michal Kuchár has a BSc in Biology and MSc in Plant Physiology from the Charles University in Prague in Czech Republic. His PhD at the Bio-Protection Research centre is aligned to the Next-Generation Biopesticides programme, and is focusing on fungal endophytes in Brassica species and their potential use as bioprotection agents. Michal is isolating fungal endophytes from plants under different environmental and agricultural growth conditions, and assessing the factors that shape composition of fungal endophytic communities using next-generation sequencing techniques.

 

Abstract:

Statement of the problem : Agricultural crops such as cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) are vulnerable to a plethora of pests and diseases.

Endophytic fungi are increasingly used in biological control against these pests and diseases as agricultural producers attempt to reduce their environmental footprint.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: In this study, putative endophytic fungi were isolated from cabbage grown in 3 regions in New Zealand in order to identify isolates with potential to assist crop production. Selected fungal isolates were tested in bioassays to determine their potential for biological control of a fungal disease caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and an insect pest of cabbage - Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella).

In addition to isolation from plants, patterns in fungal communities were also described using metabarcoding data acquired by high-throughput sequencing and compared with data on direct isolation through culturing.

Findings: Over 100 species were identified using culturing approaches, while metabarcoding approaches suggest the number of fungal species associated with cabbage tissues could be over 200. Fungal communities differ in above- and belowground parts of cabbage. There does not seem to be a significant difference between fungal communities in different regions of New Zealand.

Increased mortality of Diamondback moth larvae feeding on cabbage leaves treated with spore suspensions of several isolates of Lecanicillium sp. was observed. None of the tested isolates used as seed inoculants significantly reduced disease symptoms caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in a bioassay on cabbage seedlings.

Conclusion & Significance:

In this study several isolates were identified as promising biological control agents of an insect pest of cabbage. However, these isolates are members of a large consortium of fungi. The uncovered patterns in the fungal communities underline the importance of understanding of the microbial communities associated with agricultural crop for us to improve it.

 

Speaker
Biography:

Amrit is a Commonwealth Scholar from the UK in the final year of her PhD. Her work focusses on social-ecological trade-offs in mangrove conservation in New Zealand. She has previously worked in tropical mangroves for her Masters research and has co-authored a book chapter on tropical mangrove ecosystem services and an article on blue carbon between salt marshes, mangroves and seagrasses. She won an Emerging Scholar Award in Jan 2018 for the On Sustainability Conference in Cairns. Her review paper on mangrove ecosystem service studies is currently in review for publication.

 

Abstract:

Statement of the Problem: The accelerated seaward growth of the mangrove Avicennia marina subsp. australasica over the last century has altered the ecology of estuarine and coastal ecosystems throughout North Island, New Zealand (Morrisey et al. 2007). Expansion has created a myriad of real and perceived social-ecological issues regarding the future of the local communities who live in these areas and potential impacts to New Zealand biodiversity. As a result, there have been many applications submitted to regional councils for their removal (Green et al. 2003; Harty, 2009). However, the social-ecological issues and related impacts are not yet well understood and there are significant knowledge gaps. Further research is necessary for making informed and evidence-based decision-making around the removal and preservation of these mangrove systems. Whilst there has been a strong effort to quantify benthic community compositional change following mangrove establishment and subsequent removal (Alfaro, 2010; Lundquist et al. 2012), there is a lack of long-term monitoring of other groups of organisms, particularly terrestrial vertebrate and invertebrate species. Findings: This research presents the findings of integrated biodiversity surveys collected at four sites in mangroves of Manukau Harbour (March-Apr 2018). A range of different non-invasive techniques were employed to record presence/absence data of reptiles, mammals, fish and birds utilising mangroves. Insects and spiders were captured and preserved for identification and future research. These integrated assessments are the first of their kind in New Zealand mangroves and will provide valuable insights into species present and differences between and within sites. It will also provide information regarding ecosystem function and health of degraded and fragmented mangroves. The results of these assessments have the potential to be implemented in policy for mangrove biodiversity monitoring which may be applied across New Zealand and to mangroves internationally.