Environmental

Hydrology: Asian glaciers

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Water stress makes some region vulnerable economically and socially to drought, but glaciers are a uniquely drought-resilient source of water. The studies show that these glaciers provide summer meltwater to rivers and aquifers that is sufficient for the basic needs of 136 million people, or most of the annual municipal and industrial needs of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. During drought summers, meltwater dominates water inputs to the upper Indus and Aral river basins.

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Influence of Extraction Methods on the Composition of Essential Oils of Achillea millefolium L. from Lithuania

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In this study, flowering aerial parts of Achillea millefolium were used as a matrix for supercritical CO2 extraction (SFE) of volatile oil. The collected extracts were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS methods and their composition were compared with that of the essential oil isolated by hydrodistillation (HD). The composition of the essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation and SFE methods is widely different. Indeed, the SFE volatile oil had a pale yellow color whereas the HD oil had a blue color due to the presence of chamazulene (48.0% vs. 4.3%). Other important constituents of HD oil were (E)- caryophyllene (19.5 %) and γ-muurolene (13.1%).

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The Linkages between Plant Species Composition and Soil Microbial Communities: What about Symbiotic Microorganisms within Man-Made Tree Plantations?

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Man-made forest systems are usually focused upon the trees and are defined mainly in relation to their capacity to produce timber and prevent catastrophic events such as damage by wind. In recent years, however, there has been a growing awareness amongst plant ecologists and soil microbial ecologists that understanding the connectivity between their study organisms is of utmost importance. The interactions between plants and soil microorganisms are particularly important because plants represent the main pathway through which carbon, the element that severely limits microbial growth, enters into soil. From a reciprocal viewpoint, microbial associations have been pointed as an important strategy to guarantee plant survival under semiarid conditions. However, there are several recent studies that have been carried out on the devastating ecological impact resulting from anthropogenic dispersal of exotic plants.

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Satellite Image Mapping of Tree Mortality in the Sierra Nevada Region of California from 2013 to 2016

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Extreme drought from 2013 to 2015 has been linked to extensive tree dieback in the Sierra-Nevada region of California. Landsat satellite imagery was analysed for the region from Lake Tahoe to the southern Sequoia National Forest with the objective of understanding the patterns of tree mortality in the years of 2013 to 2015 and into the near-normal precipitation year of 2016. The main mapping results for Landsat moisture index differences from year-to-year showed that the highest coverage of tree dieback was located in the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests, at four to five times greater area each year than within any other National Park or National Forest unit.

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Upholding the Rights of Indigenous People Trough Biodiversity Conservation and Taxonomic Studies: Lessons Learned From Orang Asli Issues in Kelantan.

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The rights of Orang Asli have been the subject of scrutiny of lately in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. All these stem from the land rights and encroachment of ancestral land where Orang Asli resides. Such encroachment may be due to logging (literally for extraction of timber) or forest conversion to plantations or other land use.In Kelantan, the drive to generate more state income through logging concession has caused disagreement between the Orang Asli, the state government and the logging concessionaires. As the livelihood of the Orang Asli is highly dependent on the forest, their survival in this century will rely on how effective conservation efforts in the region, where rapid loss of forest coupled with the pressure of development initiatives is right on their door step.

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Development of Allometric Equation for Estimating Aboveground Biomass in Ampang Forest Reserve, Malaysia

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The accurate estimation of aboveground biomass is crucial for assessing the amount carbon sequestration in tropical forest. Although various allometric equations already developed across the region, few researchers have been agreed that the sitespecific allometric equations are capable to improve the accuracy of aboveground biomass estimation. The intent of this study is to develop new site-specific allometric equation using stem diameter at breast height and tree height parameters. In total 96 trees with stem diameter at breast height more than 30 cm from 25 different species were measured from the Ampang Forest Reserve. The estimated total aboveground biomass for 96 trees using reference allometry was 383.714 while the estimated total aboveground biomass using new developed equation was 380.202 tonnes with only 0.9% different percentage. The results indicated a good coefficient of determination (R2 ) value with 0.985

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Impact of Slash-And-Burn Agriculture on Forest Ecosystem in Garo Hills Landscape of Meghalaya, North-East India

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Slash-and-burn (jhum) is one of the primary causes of deforestation in tropics. In North-East India, increasing human population density has resulted in the practice of unsustainable form of slash-and-burn that includes shortening of the fallow period as well as permanent conversion of forest to permanent agricultural expansions. This unsustainable form of slashand- burn leads to soil degradation, soil erosion, loss of forest vegetation and threatens the survival of wild flora and fauna. Garo Hills has the richest reservoir of plant diversity of India and is one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world. There are numerous sacred forest patches in the Garo Hills. The prominent pressure to native forest biodiversity in the Garo Hills is the increasing anthropogenic conversion of mature and primary forest to jhum land. The decreasing fallow period has a deep impact on the life sustainability in Garo Hills and has reduced the quality of soil and thereby reducing the possibility of vegetative restoration at the locality.

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