Open Access Short Research Article

Comparative Evaluation of the Species Richness and Diversity of Three Parallel Forest Ecosystems in South-Eastern Nigeria

Nkumah C. Okereke, Ebenezer I. Mbaekwe, Peter C. Nnabude, Kenneth U. Ekwealor, Godwin N. Nwonumara, Chisom F. Iroka, Chukwujekwu G. Ukpaka

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/27154

The comparative evaluations of the species diversity of three parallel forest ecosystems were evaluated to ascertain and establish the differences in species diversity and abundance. The Point Center Quarter method of plotless sampling was employed while Shannon Wiener’s Index of diversity was used to analyze the accrued data. Results showed that Newbouldia laevis recorded the highest importance value index (28.80) while Datarium microcarpius has the least importance value index (2.77) in Ogugu-Nza Shrine forest. It was obvious that Ceiba pentandra had the highest importance value index (8.87) in Ukpor Community Forest while Rauvolfia vomitoria recorded the lowest importance value index (2.58). When compared to Osomari forest reserve, the importance value index proved that Gmelina arborea was the highest with (69.7), followed by Tectona grandis, (43.64) while the lowest was Borassus aetheopicum. It is crystal clear that there is no iota of relationship in the experimental forests when the observed abundances of different species in terms of importance value index were compared. This could be explained by the fact that the sampled forests were of different orientations, management motives etc (nature reserve, shrine, and community forests). Meanwhile, Ogugu- Nza shrine forest has species diversity of (0.949), with 31 plant species. The dominant species are Newbouldia laevis, Pterocarpus sp, Gambeya albida, among others (Table 4). Osomari forest Reserve had species diversity of (0.8), with 24 plant species. The dominant species are Tectona   grandis and Gmelina aborea (Table 5). Ukpor community forest had high species diversity (0.976), with 35 number of plant species recorded in the forest. In Ukpor community forest, the dominant species are Ceiba pentandra, Sarcocephalus latifolius and Pentaclethra macrophylla (Table 6). Comparatively, it is glaring that Ukpor community forest ranked highest in species diversity, followed by Ogugu-Nza Shrine forest. This goes a long way to confirm that species richness of a particular forest ecosystem is also a function of its species diversity. Management, mode of exploitation and environmental factors could actually account for the paucity of plant species as well as the low species diversity as observed in the Osomari forest reserve.

Open Access Original Research Article

Live Performance and Rumen Microbial Composition of Yankasa Rams with Supplemented Levels of Zingiber officinale

N. Muhammad, U. M. Ibrahim, S. A. Maigandi, I. A. Abubakar

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/26510

Aim: The experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of graded levels of Zingiber officinale on performance and rumen microbial composition of Yankasa rams.

Methodology: A complete experimental diet was formulated while ginger was supplemented at 0, 2.5, 5 and 7.5 g/kg inclusion levels to serve as treatments. The four treatment diets were fed to twenty (20) intact male animals with an average live weight of 34.2±1.07 kg. A completely randomized experimental design (CRD) was used in the experiment with four treatments replicated five times. Each animal serves as replicate and graded levels of ginger representing treatments.

Results: Results indicated significant difference (P<0.05) in animal’s final weight, live weight gain and average daily gain. Ginger supplementation beyond 2.5 g/kg resulted in decreased bacterial specie composition in the rumen. Bacillus sp was found to be persistent even at the highest level of supplementation.

Conclusion: It was concluded that for efficient animal performance, ginger supplementation should not exceed 2.5 g/kg.

Open Access Original Research Article

Nitrate Movement, Transformation, and Accumulation Following Diverse Nitrogenous Fertilizer Regimes in Arable Soils

Bandunee Champika Liyanage, Masafumi Tateda, Morihiro Maeda, Michihiko Ike, Masanori Fujita

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-17
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/20733

Arable farming with intensive agricultural practices causes severe damage to groundwater quality.  Hence study on mechanisms of diverse nitrogenous fertilizer regimes were focused relate to nitrate movement, transformation, and accumulation in arable soils.

Knowledge of effects of N-leakage from soils of different chemical and physical compositions fertilized by various organic and inorganic N-fertilizers is of upmost importance. Few studies have compared the fate of N in relation to the properties of soils and nitrifying denitrifying potential, when it is applied in the form of municipal solid waste (MSW), commercial organic fertilizer (COF), or commercial inorganic fertilizer (CIF). Tsukuba Kuroboku, Kagawa loamy clay, and Sizuoka sandy soil types were selected as representatives of Andisol, Andosol, and Sandy soils because most of the soils in Japan are based on volcanic ash.

It is concluded that the N transformation and nitrate leaching strongly influenced by the soil’s chemical characteristics and secondarily by the physical characteristics in agricultural lands. Denitrification was increased markedly by readily available C. NO3‑N transport was influenced by fertilizer type and soil properties. Nitrogen transformation rates were higher in the Tsukuba Kuroboku soil than in the Sizuoka sandy soil and Kagawa loamy clay soil, however the nitrogen transport rate was lower. The differences were more pronounced between the Kagawa and Tsukuba soils. NO3-N movement in Andisol columns treated with MSW and COF showed similar patterns however NO3-N movement in sandy soil columns was more rapid than in the other soil types. Soils treated with COF showed slightly higher crop yield (10%) than soils treated with MSW compost fertilizer.

Open Access Original Research Article

Efficacy of Kensil Fine, a Diatomaceous Earth, When Applied to Protect Maize Stored under Simulated and Real Farmer Situations in Kenya

C. M. Ngatia, J. N. Mbugua, K. Mutambuki

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/16741

Kensil fine, a local diatomaceous earth was evaluated under simulated and real farmer storage conditions. Three serial concentrations of: 0.3%, 0.5% and 0.7% w/w were applied on 8 kg of grain in mini sacks (simulation trial) or 90 kg grain (full bags) under farmer storage conditions. The Australian amorphous silica diatomaceous earth (Dryacide) Dryacide and a cocktail of 1.6% Pirimiphos methyl and 0.3% permethrin (Actellic super), the currently recommended storage chemical dust were included for comparison. All treatments including the control were replicated four times in the simulation trial. Two bags represented each treatment in the farmer situation. Changes in the quantities of dust and foreign matter (fm), grain moisture, pest population (live and dead) and percent grain damage were monitored through sampling. For 24 weeks, there were no statistical differences among treatments or between them and the control at both sites and the trials were extended by three months. After 36 weeks, significant differences were observed between the control and treatments for each of the four parameters. However, no significant differences in the quantity of fm sieved from treatments which reflected the DE doses applied. Grain moisture was slightly influenced by climate while applied treatments effectively suppressed pest establishment resulting into very low grain damage. Higher Kensil doses suppressed infestation, but it was the lowest dose that did not pose health challenge to the farmer and still gave effective grain protection.

Open Access Original Research Article

Characterization of Heading Times and Duration of Heading Time of an Individual Using a Wide Range of Variety of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) in One of the Northern-limit Regions of Rice Cultivation, Hokkaido Islands

Youki Itoh

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2016/27210

Aims: Hokkaido islands are one of northern limit regions of rice cultivation. There is about 170-year history about cultivation and breeding of Hokkaido rice and the history was well described in Japanese. Hence, cultivation and breeding of rice in Hokkaido islands can be a model case for the history in high latitudes. However, there is no English references about the history with hard data and the cultivars studied in the reports written in English have been limited to modern cultivars. Plant breeders in Hokkaido have mainly genetically improved earliness due to small range of suitable flowering times. Then, heading times and heading time duration need to be characterized using wide range of cultivar from introduced to modern cultivars. I provided basic knowledge of total nature of heading time of Hokkaido cultivars with hard data in this report.

Study Design: The seven land races and six modern cultivars were used. In each genotype, plants were divided into high-density (H) and low-density (L) condition. Two replicates were prepared. In each of replicates, genotypes were placed according to plant height to avoid intergenotypic competition.

Place and Duration of Study: The place of this study is Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center (HARC) in Sapporo (43°N). Duration of the study was summer season in year 2006.

Methodology: In each of replicates of a genotype, middle three plants were measured in both H and L conditions. In each plant, the first, second and third heading times were recorded based on daily observation. After the records, days to the first heading time from germination (DFH), days to the second heading time from germination (DSH) and days to the third flowering time from germination (DTH) were calculated. Heading-time duration (HTD) of each plant was conveniently defined as the equation: HTD = DTH – DFH.

Results: From frequency distribution of DFH, DSH and DTH, DFH showed larger variation of days to heading time than DSH and DTH, suggesting that genetic control of DFH might differ from that of DSH and DTH. Analysis of variance revealed that DFH was deterministically dependent on genotype, while the other flowering time can respond to environment, showing genotype × environment interaction, suggesting DFH specific genetic controlling. To examine that each of components of HTD, DFH and DTH, contributes to HTD, regression analyses were performed. As a result, HTD was primarily determined by DFH. As for HTD and DFH, comparison between land race and modern cultivar was performed. Modern breeding decreased HTD by genetically modifying the first flowering time from earliness to lateness, and as a result, HTD decreased due to the negative correlation relationship between HTD and DFH.

Conclusion: As shown in Results, it was clarified that rice breeders genetically modified rice population fitted to Hokkaido island as to heading time. This report will be essential reference of heading time of Hokkaido cultivars. Total nature of heading time of Hokkaido cultivars was unknown because existence of land race has been neglected until the present study.