Open Access Original Research Article

Is Adaptation to Climate Variability Gendered? Evidence from a Developing Country, Ethiopia

Gutu Tesso

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 92-104
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/11711

Universally, it is agreed that adaptation is largely a social issue (as opposed to purely biophysical or technological). However, it is surprising that gender, one of the social issues is not yet playing a more explicit role in adaptation studies. Hence, in this twenty first century, when we are still experiencing gender inequality, ensuring successful adaptation of all community members to climate variability and change is less likely due to the prevailing gender power differences in terms of having access to key resources and services which has significant contribution for adaptation. This article attempts to uncover the gender difference in having access to resources and its impacts on adaptation to climatic shocks with cross sectional data from 452 households in Ethiopia and time series data on climate variability and agricultural production of the period 1981-2012. Trend analysis and statistical measurements were used to analyze the data. The study found out that there are gendered impacts of climate variability longitudinally and spatially. Moreover, there are differences in adaptation strategies pursued by female and male farmers to overcome climate variability and extremes. Therefore, there is a need for gendered intervention in terms of policies and actions to enhance adaptation and reducing recurring food insecurity. 


Open Access Original Research Article

The Effect of Soil Physical Properties and Soil Microclimate on Rodent Burrows’ Abundance and their Characteristics in Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

Joel L. Meliyo, Leon Brabers, Boniface H. J. Massawe, Balthazar M. Msanya, Didas N. Kimaro, Loth S. Mulungu, Nganga I. Kihupi, Jozef A. Deckers, Hubert Gulinck, Herwig Leirs

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 105-119
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/13695

The present study was carried out between September 2009 and June 2013 in Western Usambara Mountains plague focus with the aim of establishing the influence of selected soil physical properties and soil microclimate on rodent burrows’ abundance, portal orientation and use. Two landscapes with high and medium plague frequencies in Lokome and Lukozi villages were studied. In the two landscapes data were collected from 117 and 200 observation sites respectively, using 100 m x 200 m quadrats. At each quadrat crossing, a sample quadrat of 20 m x 20 m was demarcated for scanning rodent burrows whereby burrows encountered were counted and their portal orientation and burrow use described. Within each sample quadrat, selected soil physical properties including thickness of the soil genetic horizons and soil dry consistence were determined. Soil samples were collected from each horizon for laboratory texture analysis. Temperature (surface and subsurface to a depth 10 cm) and relative humidity at a depth of 10 and 30 cm were collected using infrared, thermo-couple thermometers and i-Buttons. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA and logistic regression were used to analyse the data by R-software. There were significant (P=.0001) differences between the two landscapes regarding topsoil depth, infrared temperature, relative humidity and rodent burrows’ abundance. In the high plague frequency landscape there was a significant influence (P=.05) of topsoil horizon thickness on rodent burrows’ abundance and use. Results also indicate that soil temperature to a depth of 10 cm was significantly (P=.05) correlated with rodent burrow use. Likewise, in the medium plague frequency landscape, soil physical properties and soil microclimate significantly (P=.0001) discouraged rodent burrowing. It was concluded that soil physical and soil microclimate encouraged and discouraged burrowing in the high and the medium plague frequency landscapes, respectively. The landscape with high rodent burrows’ abundance corresponded with high plague frequency records. 


Open Access Original Research Article

Human Impact on the Water Quality and Benthic Macro-Invertebrate Compositions in Ogunpa River, Nigeria

A. O. Iyiola

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 120-128
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14323

Human activities are important factors that affect the quality of water. The study was conducted to determine the impact of Human activities on the water quality and the Bio-diversity of the river system using benthic macro-invertebrates as indicators. Bottom samples were collected fortnightly from three sampling sites. The study showed that the majority of respondents were men and generated liquid wastes from washing of cars and motorcycles, oils from mechanic activities while the women generated solid wastes from household and domestic activities. The decomposition of such wastes had negative impact on the quality of water evident by high mean values of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) 20.79±6.82mg/l; Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) 29.2±1.01mg/l and Nitrate 5.21±0.19mg/L and low Dissolved oxygen 6.10±0.66mg/l concentrations. Surface water temperature of 25.54ºC±0.14ºC, Phosphates 0.008±0.004mg/L and pH 7.85±0.21 were also recorded. The three sites showed significant differences (p<0.05) in concentration of Dissolved oxygen, Chemical Oxygen demand, Nitrate and Phosphate. The species diversity of macro-invertebrates was low and seven species namely; Lymnaea truncatula, L. grabla, Chironomus sp.Tubifex sp. Whirligig beetle larvae, Dragonfly larvae and leech were observed. The relative abundance of pollution tolerant species are L. truncatula (36.03%), L. grabla (15.35%) and Chironomus sp (14.70%). The study found that high values of BODCOD and high abundance of L. truncatula, a pollution tolerant macro-invertebrate indicates that the river is likely under pollution stress as a result of the negative impacts of human activities. 

Open Access Original Research Article

Effectiveness of Selected Soil Conservation Practices on Soil Erosion Control and Crop Yields in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

S. B. Mwango, B. M. Msanya, P. W. Mtakwa, D. N. Kimaro, J. Deckers, J. Poesen, I. Massawe, J. Samwel

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 129-144
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/13636

Indigenous soil conservation measures such as miraba have been widely used in Usambara Mountains for controlling soil erosion but with little success. On-farm runoff experiments were set from 2011–2014 onAcrisols in Majulai and Migambo villages with contrasting agro-ecological conditions in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of miraba and miraba with various mulching materials in reducing runoff, soil and nutrient losses and improving productivity of maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Results show that mean annual runoff coefficients (mm mm-1) ranged from 0.72 for cropland with no soil conservation measure (control) to 0.15 for cropland with mirabaand Tithonia (Tithonia diversifolia) mulching in Majulai village and respectively from 0.68 to 0.13 in Migambo village. Soil loss was significantly (P = .05) higher under control than under miraba with either Tughutu(Vernonia myriantha) or Tithonia mulching e. g. 184 vs. 20 in Majulai and 124 vs. 8 Mg ha-1 year-1 in Migambo village in 2012. The P-factors were significantly (P = .05) higher under miraba sole than under miraba with mulching in Majulai village (0.18 vs. 0.11) and in Migambo village (0.10 vs. 0.05).The annual nutrient losses in kg ha-1yr-1 were significantly (= .05) higher under control than under miraba with mulching 367 vs. 37 total N, 0.8 vs. 0.1 P and 14 vs. 4 K for Majulai village; 474 vs. 26 total N, 0.7 vs. 0.1 P and 20 vs. 1.2 K for Migambo village in 2012. Maize and bean yields were significantly (P = .05) higher under miraba with Tughutu mulching than under control (e.g. 2.0 vs. 0.7 Mg ha-1 for maize in Majulai in 2012). Thus miraba with Tughutu mulching is more effective in improving crop yields than miraba with Tithonia and miraba sole.


Open Access Original Research Article

Insects Associated with Underutilized Crop: Grain, Leafy and Ornamental Amaranth in Ibadan, Nigeria

O. A. Oke, C. A. Odiyi, T. I. Ofuya

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 145-155
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14227

Aim: Staple crops face major challenges in the near future and a diversification away from over-reliance on staples is important towards the achievement of global food security, this stimulate the retrieving and field evaluation of underutilized amaranth accessions for pest infestation before recommendation for wider adoption in Nigeria.
Study Design: Field experiments were laid out in a randomized complete block design while the laboratory experiments were laid out in a completely randomized design.
Place and Duration of Study: Experiments were conducted at the vegetable field and entomology laboratory of the National Horticultural Research Institute, Ibadan, Nigeria, during the rainy and dry seasons of 2008–2009.
Methodology: The 91 accessions of amaranth which comprised of 28 grain amaranth type (26 introduced and 2 indigenous accessions), 54 leafy amaranth type (2 introduced and 52 indigenous accessions) and 9 ornamental amaranth type (6 introduced and 3 indigenous accessions), were planted in the field. All the plants were observed daily in the morning, a week after transplanting through grain maturity and all insects were collected with sweep nets and aspirators.
Results: The most abundant insect pests on all the 3 amaranth types were from the orders Coleoptera,Lepidoptera and Hemiptera. Among the natural enemies, the heteropterans were the most abundant belonging to the Reduviidae. All the twelve (12) major pests from the families: Curculionidae, Coreidae, Pentatomidae and Pyralidae were observed on all the 3 amaranth types planted. The major leaf eating larvae were Hymenia recurvalis Fabricius, Psara bipunctalis Fabricius and Psara palpalis Hampson all from Pyralidae. The major stem borers were Baris circumscutellata Hustache, Gasteroclisus rhomboidalisBoheman, Leucogrammus paykulli Boheman, Lixus camerunus Kolbe, Hypolixus nubilosus Boheman and Hadromerus sagittarius Olivier all belonging to Curculionidae. The major grains sucking bugs were the coreids Cletus fuscescens Walker and Cletomorpha unifasciata Blote and the pentatomid Aspavia armigeraFabricius.
Conclusion: The introduced underutilized grain amaranth accessions could be cultivated alongside the indigenous leafy amaranth with the application of the same pest control methods.