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Escobar L, Awan M, Qiao H (2015)
Anthropogenic disturbance and habitat loss for the red-listed Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus): Using ecological niche modeling and nighttime light satellite imagery
Biological Conservation 191 400-407.
Habitat loss is a critical factor driving extinction of biodiversity worldwide, with models of future land use anticipating increases in rates of destruction of native habitats worldwide. The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is a red-listed species with a broad geographic range that has been fragmented dramatically by land use change. Remaining populations of U. thibetanus occupy diverse habitats, ranging from highlands to coastal regions. We integrated ecological niche models (ENMs) with nighttime satellite imagery to identify areas suitable for U. thibetanus after anthropogenic alteration. We found that at least 10% of the potential distributional area for the species is not suitable owing to urban or suburban encroachment. U. thibetanus seems to persist in highland areas, characterized by low temperature and high precipitation, whereas humans concentrate in lowlands and less-extreme climatic conditions. ENMs based solely on climate frequently overestimate suitable areas available for species; nighttime light imagery offers a robust alternative to refining estimates of species' ranges, designing protected areas and corridors, prioritizing threatened species, and determining areas of human–wildlife conflict across broad areas. Our approach is transferable to other taxa and contexts, and should be considered in conservation planning and policy implementation.
Keywords: Disturbance, Ecological niche model, Habitat loss, Land use change, Nighttime lights, Ursus thibetanus
Gull T, Anwar F, Sultana B, Alcayde M, Nouman W (2015)
Industrial Crops and Products 67 81-96.
Capparis species, also known as Caper plants, are recognized as a potential source of valuable nutrients and biochemical compounds with physiological functions. The multiple biological activities including antibacterial, antifungal, hepatoprotective, anthelmintic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antihyperlipidemic as well as folk medicinal uses of Caper plants have been ascribed to the presence of functional bioactives, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, alkaloids, phytosterols, natural sugars, vitamins, and organic acids. In view of the high nutritional value and traditional food and folk medicinal uses of Capparis species, it is important to compile a comprehensive review on related aspects of these multipurposes plants. Hence, the present review manuscript focuses on the detailed profile of valuable nutrients and biochemical compounds as well as medicinal health functions and biological activities of selected species of Capparis, so as to explore their potential uses as ingredients of functional food and nutraceuticals and natural pharmaceutics.
Keywords: Biological attributes, Caper, Folk medicinal uses, Food value, Functional compounds, Phytochemistry
Khan S (2015)
Pakistan Journal of Botany 47(SI) 93-104.
The monocot order Poales is one of the largest (ca. 20,000 species), and economically and ecologically most important group of flowering plants. Exploring this important component of the biodiversity is of paramount significance in conservation of species and developing climate change models. Northern Pakistan occupies a unique biogeographic position at the summit of the planet’s three highest mountain ranges i.e.Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakurum.These ranges contain the hot spots of floral and faunal diversity with high proportions of endemic and rare species.The studies revealed 117 species belonging to 30 genera in three families of the order Poales. Juncaceae is represented by single genus Juncuswith four species, Cyperaceae by 5 genera and 27 species, and Poaceae being the dominant family with 25 genera and 86 species. Carexand Poaare the largest genera having 21 and 16 species respectively. Phytogeographic analysis of the Poalesof temperate and alpine regions of Northern Pakistan shows twelve different phytogeographic elements. The highest percentage of species (30%) belongs to the western Himalayan floristic region (near endemics), with cosmopolitan elements (19%), Central Asian elements (17%) and Eurasian elements (12%) being the other significant elements. The proportion of Endemic species (8%) is less apparent, while the rest of the seven categories are poorly represented. The Two Way Cluster Analysis (TWCA) divided the sixteen districts into two major groups, and four subgroups based on environmental gradients of altitude, latitude and longitude. TWCA classified the data matrix including 114 species into seven clusters based on presence/absence data and elevation from mean sea level. Species in each cluster can be attributed to similar habitat conditions and altitudinal ranges. Hence it is clear that climatic characters associated with each category control the species distribution pattern. PHYTOGEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS AND DIVERSITY OF GRASSES AND SEDGES (POALES) OF NORTHERN PAKISTAN (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289406557_PHYTOGEOGRAPHIC_ANALYSIS_AND_DIVERSITY_OF_GRASSES_AND_SEDGES_POALES_OF_NORTHERN_PAKISTAN [accessed Feb 1, 2016].
Keywords: Diversity, Floristic elements, Grasses, Northern Pakistan Introduction, Phytogeography, Sedges
Khan A, Qureshi R, Qaseem M, Munir M, Ilyas M, Saqib Z (2015)
Pakistan Journal of Botany 47(5) 1957-1968.
A comprehensive floristic survey was conducted to record the botanical diversity, ethnotaxonomy and the reproductive phenological response of the vascular flora of the district Kotli, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan during 2011-13. A total of 463 plant species belonging to 306 genera and 93 families were recorded. The most dominant families in the study area were Poaceae (54 spp.), Leguminosae (39 spp.), Compositae (33 spp.), Lamiaceae (23 spp.) and Rosaceae (22 spp.), whereas the leading genera were Ficus (8 spp.), Ipomoea, Cyperus, Euphorbia and Solanum (6 spp. each). Use of online taxonomic literature and databases enabled us to document most of the species with their current accepted names, author citations and their placement in the higher taxa. Two different aspects, flowering duration and start of flowering event (or timing) were also recorded. Phenological studies revealed that most of the species found in flowering stage during the August (252 spp.), followed by July (245 spp.), May (239 spp.) and April (237 spp.); while with respect to flowering event, maximum number of species started their flowering in the month of March (111 spp.), followed by April (67 spp.) and July (62 spp.).With respect to floral growth forms, there was higher diversity of trees compared to the shrubs in the study area.This information pertaining to nomenclatural status, current placement of taxa and their phenological responses may provide baseline information to taxonomists, ecologists or phytogeographer, natural resource managers and conservationists for carrying out studies from this part of the western Himalaya. Floristic Checklist of District Kotli, Azad Jammu & Kashmir - ResearchGate. Available from: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/283010845_Floristic_Checklist_of_District_Kotli_Azad_Jammu__Kashmir [accessed Nov 9, 2015].
Keywords: Botanical diversity, Floristic checklist, Kotli, Nomenclatural status, Phenological response, Taxonomicdatabase
Liede-Schumann S, Khanum R, Mumtaz A, Gherghel I, Pahlevani A (2015)
Going West - a subtropical lineage (Vincetoxicum, Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) expanding into Europe.
Molecular phylogenetics and evolution.
Vincetoxicum sensu lato is a tropical lineage comprising two clades that have reached high northern latitudes. Of the temperate clades, one is restricted to the Far East, the other one (Vincetoxicum s. str. Clade) extends into Europe, but their ranges overlap in Central China and Japan. Three species invasive in North America, V. hirundinaria, V. nigrum and V. rossicum, are members of the Vincetoxicum s. str. Clade. We explore the prerequisites for the range expansion in the Vincetoxicum s. str. Clade performing Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic analyses on sequences of the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, the nuclear external transcribed spacer region (ETS), and five plastid markers. The resulting phylogeny is used to conduct biogeographic analysis using BioGeoBEARS to reconstruct ancestral species ranges. Moreover, we map the known occurrences of two rare characters in Asclepiadoideae, the possession of phenanthroindolizidine alkaloids and reported cases of autogamy onto our phylogeny. Finally, we have conducted ecological niche modelling using Maxent on a total of 220 spatially unique occurrences of nine Vincetoxicum s. str. species spanning more than 4,000 km along the east-west gradient to learn about the climatic conditions along the presumed migration route. Our results indicate a north-westward migration in Vincetoxicum s. str. along the Asian mountain chains to Europe. Climatic preferences of the nine species sampled are dissimilar, except for the common exposure to at least one month of subfreezing temperatures, indicating a rather wide climatic tolerance for the clade as a whole. The three species invasive in North America belong to the northern Eurasian subclade and show the rare combination of phenanthroindolizidine alkaloids and autogamy.
Keywords: Ancestral area reconstruction, Biogeography, Climatic niches, Invasive species, Maxent, Molecular phylogeny