Open Access Original Research Article

The Structure, Composition, and Health of Remnant Forest Vegetation of West Timor, Indonesia

Mangadas Lumban Gaol, I Wayan Mudita

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430186

Aims: The forest of West Timor has been cleared for different purposes for decades, leaving only small patches of remnant forest vegetation. Understanding tree-shrub composition and structure of this remnant forest vegetation is a vital instrument in assessing the sustainability of forest, species conservation, and management of forest ecosystems. This research was therefore conducted to investigate the current structure and composition pattern of tree-shrub species in such remnant forest vegetation.

Study Design: This research project was designed using a vegetation survey employing the Point Centered Quarter Method.

Place and Duration of Study: The research project was conducted in five sample stands of remnant forest vegetation, namely Oliana, Tablolong, Fatukoa, Oenesu, and Alak, the District of Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia, between April to July 2020.

Methodology: In each sample stand, the tree-shrub vegetation was surveyed using Point Centered Quarter Method by placing three 100-m-long transects. The first transect was placed at random and the second and third transects were placed parallel to the first, with a distance of 100 m between two transects. Sample points were then determined in an interval of 10 m along each transect to construct four quarters. In each quarter, the nearest tree or shrub (≥ 1 m height) to the sample point was identified and the distance measured. For each tree or shrub species, number of individual, dominance, frequency, Importance Value Index (IVI), stem diameter at 0.5 m height, and average value of plant height for each species were determined. Index Similarity (IS) between stands were also calculated using Sørensen Coefficient.

Results: Of the 600 invidual tree and shrub measured in a total of about 1,500-m-long line transect, about 28 tree-shrub species of 16 families were identified. The number of plant/hectare was 833 and the mean number of species/stand was 9.60 (sd = 1.94). Generally, the number of species and families found in the remnant vegetation community was relatively low compared to that of commonly found in rain forests. The IS between stand was 28.21 (sd = 14.40)%. The highest IS were between stand 1-2 (IS 55.56%) and between stand 1-4 (IS 47.62%). The lowest IS were between stand 3-4 and 3-5 (IS 10.53%). Based on the number of species, the five stands of remnant vegetation was dominated by families of Fabaceae, Arecaceae, and Anacardiaceae, but based on the IVI, they were dominated by families of Lamiaceae, Fabaceae, and Sapindaceae. On the basis of plant height, about 6.15% of the total individual was within the category of small plant (≤2 m) and 3.32% was of big tree (>14 m). However, on the basis of stem diameter, about 27.86% of the total individual was on the category of small plant (≤10 cm) and about 2.99% was of big tree (>130 cm). Most existing species were within the category of small and very small IVI, only about 14.26% of the existing species were within the category of very high IVI (>20%) and 71.43 were within the category of low and very low IVI (<10%). Four most prominent species, namely Tectona grandis Linn., Schleichera oleosa (Lour.), Vachellia nilotica (L.) P.J.H.Hurter & Mabb., and Spondias pinnata (L.f.) Kurz contributed to more than 50% IVI in the five stands of remnant vegetation. Among all species found, Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit, Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw., Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poiret, Syzygium cumini (L.), Pterocarpus indicus Willd., Pinus mercusii Jungh. & de Vriese, and Acacia auriculiformis A.Cunn. ex Benth. were present in very small IVI. In general, the contribution of invasive species in the stands of remnant vegetation was relatively high (total IVI 56.96%), about a quarter of which were invasive weedy shrub species.

Conclusion: Based on this result it can be concluded that the five stands of remnant forest were in the state of poor health as indicated by the low number of species and families, the low species diversity, the heterogeneous floristic composition as most of species present were in the category of low occurrence, and the dominance of invasive non-native tree and shrub species. Therefore, the forest needs immediate intervention by taking conservation and restoration action to prevent further destruction.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Challenges and Management Strategies of Non-Timber Forest Products for Sustainability in Nguti Sub Division, South West Region, Cameroon

Ngambong Ngwafu Tita Blandine, Robert Njilla Mengnjo Ngalim, Nfor Frederick

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 15-30
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430187

Nguti is one of the three Sub-divisions in Kupe Muanenguba Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. This Sub-division is endowed with great potentials and diversity in Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) resulting from the eco-floristic composition within the sub-division. The objective of this study is to investigate the challenges that are plaguing the exploitation of NTFPs and present management options for sustainability. Secondary data were collected from published and unpublished sources whereas primary data tools included questionnaires, interviews and participant observations. Findings showed that Nguti Sub-division has endowed with enormous forest entities and rich in several NTFPs ranging from nuts, seeds, barks, leaves, trees and roots as well as several species of bush meat. Five major challenges viz. transformation and storage, government policies and customary regulations, depletion and scarcity of resources, deforestation and poaching as well as population pressure and agricultural activities were observe which attributed in reducing quantity and quality of these resources. For sustainable harvesting and management of these resources, cottage industry must be developed and promoted along with cultivation or domestication of these NTFPs, market chain should be monitored and certain government policies should be framed to regularize harvest and methods of extraction. Controlling of deforestation, poaching, agricultural activities and generating new alternative sources of income will certainly reduce the pressure meted on the available resources in the forest.

Open Access Original Research Article

Investigating Organic Manure and Inorganic Fertilizer for Sustainable Maize (Zea mays) Production in Southwestern Nigeria

K. O. Olatunji, A. O. Adebayo, G. E. Bolaji

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 31-40
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430188

Aim: This research investigated the utilization of livestock manure as nutrient source in maize farming.

Place and Duration: The field experiment was carried out at the research field of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lagos State Field Office, Nigeria during the late planting season (July/August) of 2019.

Methodology: An experimental field research was conducted to compare the variation in the vegetative parameters and yields of maize grown with different livestock wastes. The experiment consisted of six treatments, cattle, pig, poultry, sheep manures, NPK and control experiment set-up in a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replicates. The following data were recorded during the experiment: plant height, number of leaves, number of days to first tasselling and silking, number of cob, cob length, effective cob length, cob diameter, cob weight, ear weight, 100 grain weight, grain yield and shelling percentage. Data recorded were exposed to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the means were separated with Duncan Multiple Range Test.

Results: The plant height and number of leaves recorded at 9 Weeks After Planting were 215.53, 217.57, 219.69, 188.85, 219.19, 182.76 and 13.60, 13.40, 13.8, 12.4, 13.8, 12.2 cm for cattle, pig, poultry, sheep, NPK and control respectively while the yield were 3193.00, 3055.20, 3513.00, 2855.00, 3791.00 and 1523.80 kg/ha for cattle, pig, poultry, sheep, NPK and control respectively.

Conclusion: Considering the yields recorded, it has shown that cattle, pig, poultry and sheep manures are suitable for sustainable maize growth and is a means of livestock waste management.

Open Access Original Research Article

Food and Nutrition Coping Strategies in Flood Prone Areas of Bunyala and Nyando Sub Counties Kenya

Lynette Ochuma Odida, Ferdinand Nabiswa

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 41-51
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430189

The nutrition situation in flood affected areas in Kenya is precarious and likely to deteriorate sharply in the coming years. Humanitarian crises exacerbate nutrition risks and poor food consumption practices thereby aggravating malnutrition. There is lack of data on the pre and post floods food and nutrition situation. This study sought to assess Coping strategies by vulnerable groups for sustainable food consumption patterns and nutrition status in flood prone areas of Bunyala and Nyando Sub Counties, Kenya. The study sample comprised of 208 households out of which the vulnerable groups (children 6-59 months and lactating mothers 15-49 years) was derived, key informants interviews and focus group discussions and informed consents from the participants were taken. The study sites were Nyando and Bunyala Sub counties, in western Kenya. The areas were purposively selected given the long history of floods over time, the study started from 4th November to 15th December, 2018. The study adopted a cross sectional descriptive survey and evaluation design. Cluster sampling was used to select the administrative units and households, purposive sampling to select the key informants and simple random sampling to select the vulnerable groups. The data was collected using questionnaires, key informant interview guide, focus group discussions and secondary data. The data was analyzed by SPSS version 16, Nutri-survey and ENA soft wares. Chi square statistical test was used to determine the relationship between the food consumption patterns and nutritional status of the vulnerable groups. The results were then presented using tables and graphs. The main findings were that most households continued to stay in flood prone areas despite early warnings and food aid was hardly available. The coping strategies were limited with majority adjusting the frequency of food intake and type of food eaten. The study concluded that the coping strategies  were varied and uncoordinated and therefore not sustainable. Thus, there is need to build community resilience through expanding multi-agency social protection programs in flood prone areas to cushion the vulnerable groups against food and nutrition insecurity.

Open Access Original Research Article

Geometric Characterization of Fluvial Associated Braid Bar Deposits in the Niger Delta

Tombra Susan Akana, Oyinkuro Austin Oki

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 52-57
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430190

Remote sensing and GIS based results from the geometric characterization of braid bar deposits in the Niger Delta are presented in this work. In this study the geometry of 67- braid bar deposits from Landsat images of 1985 and 2015 were documented and compared to determine the relationship that exist between geometric dimensions and the amount of change that has occurred on them. The braid bars identified in this work are all associated with fluvial environment in the Niger Delta. Braid bars in 1985 are observed to be greater in length, width and area than those in 2015. R² values (0.6) indicate that a significant relationship exists between braid bar length and width. R² values also indicate a significant relationship exists between both length and area (0.7) and width and area (0.8) of the braid bars values within the study area. Thus, the utilization of width to predict the length and vice versa of braid bars is reasonable. Hence data from this study provides relevant information on size ranges that can be utilized for the efficient characterization, modelling and development of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Open Access Original Research Article

Study of the Effects of Soil Acidity and Salinity on Aluminium Mobility in Selected Soil Samples in Sri Lanka

H. A. D. D. T. Gunasekera, R. C. L. De Silva

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 58-67
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430191

Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust. In soil, aluminum is mainly found in the mineral form as aluminosilicates and aluminum oxides and this aluminium is in stable inactive form. In addition, Al can be found as precipitates or in very minute quantities appear in soluble forms such as conjugated organic and inorganic, and molecular ions. Aluminium mobility and as a consequence aluminium toxicity, is mainly restricted to acid environments. Depending on the soil pH these mobile forms are capable of influencing biological systems. Aluminium has low mobility under most environmental conditions. However, below a pH of 4.0 its solubility increases and aluminium is released from silicate rocks under such acidic conditions. The levels of dissolved aluminium in natural groundwater samples are generally low, probably due to its low solubility at neutral pH values. Release of acids by anthropogenic activities influence the soil acidity levels. Therefore, elevated levels of aluminium have been found in acidified soil solutions and surface waters causing harmful effects to living organisms. The present study was aimed at proving the above theoretical hypothesis and existence of a possible relationship between soil salinity and soil acidity on the concentration of mobile aluminium ions in samples obtained during the location surveys. Samples were collected from selected locations in Ratnapura, Rathupaswala, Marawila, Mabima and Muthurajawela to get different soil types and the survey results were used to test the hypothetical relationship between the presence of the stated factors, and the existence of a high concentration of mobile aluminium in the soil water samples. The analysis covered basic parameters such as soil pH, soil cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic matter, soil electrical conductivity and the influence of the concentration of mobile aluminium at different pH and Na+ concentration levels. The total aluminium concentration in the soil was assayed by digesting samples with strong acid. Concentration of mobile aluminium in soil samples were analyzed using the flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results indicated that there is no clear relationship between mobile aluminium and total aluminium in the soil. It was also found that the concentration of mobile aluminium released increased with decrease in soil pH and that the increase was marked when the pH of soil water was less than 4.0. Highest mobile aluminium release to the soil solution was found from Mabima sites [at pH 5.00 was 0.54 (±0.06) mg kg-1 of dry soil, at pH 0.00 was 90.12 (±7.01) mg kg-1] and least in samples from Marawila sites [at pH 5.00 was 0.48 (±0.03) mg kg-1, at pH 0.00 was 4.52 (±0.36) mg kg-1]. This result confirmed that there is an effect of soil acidity on the concentration of mobile aluminium in the soil but with no direct correlation. Results also showed that the concentration of mobile aluminium released increased with increasing soil salinity and that the increase was rapid when the Na+ ion concentration was higher than 2.0 %. Highest mobile aluminium release to the soil solution was found from Muthurajawela sites [Na+ 1.0% = lower than detection limit, Na+ 5.0% = 9.87 (±0.67) mg kg-1] and least found from Marawila sites [Na+1.0% = lower than detection limit, Na+ 5.0% = 2.24 (±0.23) mg kg-1] confirming the effect of soil salinity on the concentration of mobile aluminium in the soil. The study also points towards the future opportunities for research to confirm these findings using wider samples and employing more vigorous research methodologies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Dynamics of Approaches to Disseminate Measures for Sustainable Land Management and Adaptation to Climate Change within Agricultural Holdings in the Zou Department

Edmond Yetongnon, Julien Avakoudjo, Félix Kouelo Alladassi, Lambert Agodo, Roch L. Mongbo, Firmin Amadji, Mélanie Djedje, Tobias Godau

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 68-76
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430192

The restoration and preservation of terrestrial ecosystems are important challenges for human beings and are subject of many initiatives and intervention approaches. The present paper focuses on the dissemination approaches of sustainable land management and climate change adaptation (SLM/ CCA) measures implemented under the Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security Project. The influence of changes in these dissemination approaches on the adoption of SLM/ CCA by farmers in the department of Zou were analyzed. A survey was conducted on 150 farmers who are adopters and non-adopters of the targeted measures. These farmers were randomly selected in nine villages in the department of Zou. Interviews were carried out with the team of the project. As methodological approach, 150 farmers were randomly sampled in nine villages of the department of Zou. In addition, interviews were carried out with the project team. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics, as well as Chi-square and Pearson's correlation tests. The results showed that the dynamics noted in the dissemination approaches influence the adoption of sustainable land management and climate change adaptation measures, depending on the main activity and the farm total area of the farmers. In addition, adopters of SLM/CCA measures are more affected by the "SOL-Mobil" (98.0%) and "ProSOL Technician" (85.1%) approaches. They are less affected by the “Relay producer” (41.8%) and “Radio broadcast” (4.4%) approaches. Non-adopters are affected by the “ProSOL Technician” (63%) and “Relay Producer” (33.3%) approaches. However, they are less aware of the “Radio broadcast” approach (33.3%) and not affected by the “SOL-Mobil” approach. It is therefore important to take into account the diversity of farmers when implementing these approaches.

Open Access Original Research Article

Knowledge of Health Impact of Climate Change and Practice of Preventive Measures among Students of a Nigerian Tertiary Institution

J. R. Nzeobi, H. N. Chineke, C. F. Ubajaka, P. O. U. Adogu

Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, Page 77-87
DOI: 10.9734/ajee/2020/v13i430193

Background: Every century has its own public health challenge. Climate change is the present century's challenge. There are various health risks arising from climate change which without mitigation actions, will tend to worsen with each passing day.

Study Aim and Objective: To study the knowledge of health impact of climate change and practice of appropriate preventive measures among students of a Nigerian Tertiary Institution

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out using structured questionnaires. These questionnaires were shared randomly among students from five selected departments in the college of health science and data was analyzed using SPSS Version 20.0

Results: It was found that all the students were aware of climate change and 91.7% knew about the effect of climate change on health. Significantly 78.7% believed that climate change was from man-made causes but surprisingly only 34.3% were taking actions in mitigating the effect of climate change.

Conclusion: Despite the high knowledge about climate change, majority of actions taken by the students were just for convenience and to save money, not necessarily because they wanted to prevent the effects of climate change on health.

Recommendation: Government and Non-governmental organizations should form advocacy clubs for young students as a platform to sensitize them on climate change and its effects. There is need to introduce rewards and sponsorships for individuals who successfully learn about climate change and ways to mitigate its effect on health.