Ranomafana (01.01.2013 to 03.31.2013)

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Year: 
2013
Quarter: 
January - March
Communications activities: 

A press conference on Ranomafana TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment and monitoring) was organized by CI Madagascar, led by the team from Centre ValBio Ranomafana, at the WWF Antananarivo conference room on February 20st, 2013.  Attended journalists from different national newspapers radio, and Television, included the Newspaper “Gazety Taratra”, “Express de Madagascar”, “La Vérité”, “Les Nouvelles”, «Midi Madagasikara», «Madagascar Matin»; the national radio «Radio National Malagasy», «RDM»; the television « Madagascar National Television (TVM)», and a private television «Radio Television Analamanga (RTA)».

A presentation about the TEAM project was also given to groups of students from different local and national schools.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

None

New Species: 

It is very likely that two new species may be described within the plots after further examination and coupling with the fertile plant parts of the genus Malleastrum (Family of Meliaceae) and Ludia (Family of Salicaceae).

Protocol Activities: 

Terrestrial Vertebrates

The last pick up for the “Terrestrial Vertebrates” monitoring within the half of Array 1 (site Andranofady) was accomplished successfully by the end of January. Regardless the one misfired camera trap at the point number CT-RNF-1-05, a total number of 2,692 pictures were collected from the remaining of the camera traps set within the half of Array 1 (Andranofady). All camera trap photos from all the three Arrays had then been downloaded, annotated, and uploaded into the DeskTEAM. In addition, all the memory cards with the collected photos were then sent to the CI Headquarter in Washington. DeskTEAM files had also been exported to the TEAM portal. After the monitoring season, all equipments have been gathered, cleaned, checked for any default if exist; and with the few which had given some fuzzy/overexposed photos, we discussed about the possible causes of the problem, and we have been trying to find solutions to those.

Among the results from the camera trap photos monitoring, demonstrated the presence of the species of Aye aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) within the half of Array 1 (Andranofady). No information on the distribution of this nocturnal species was already studied in this middle part of the park before. Also, from our previous camera trapping results, this lemur species has also been detected within the half of Array 2, at Mangevo site in the southern part of Ranomafana National Park. The Aye aye belongs to the family of Daubentonidae with only a single extant species. It has a very peculiar morphological trait and a very distinct reproductive behavior. A couple individual of this species was caught up in the camera trap photos this time.

Other carnivorous species, such as, Fossa fossana, Cryptoprocta ferox, Galidictis fasciata, and Galidia elegans were also detected among the camera trap photos. The rainforest bird species, Lophotibis cristata, Atelornis pittoides, Canirallus kioloides, and Coua reynaudii were also present within this Array 1 of Ranomafana TEAM site. Some signs of disturbance were also noticed with the presence of Potamochoerus larvatus, Homo sapiens, Rattus rattus, and Canis lupus. Combined data and analysis for all the three Arrays will be presented within the next report.

Vegetation

Vegetation data analysis continued for the six Ranomafana vegetation plots altogether. By looking at the changes on the stem plot diameter (DBH) from 2011 to 2012, most of the tree and liana’s stems did not show much change. Overall, about 65.80% of all six plot stems represented no DBH change. However, respectively 25.89% and 06.32% had their DBH increased and decreased within all the six Ranomafana TEAM vegetation plots. The plots located in the northern parts represented the most fluctuation in the plot stem DBH changes, compared to those from the more southern parts of Ranomafana National Park (Table 1). Many of the plot stems at the more southern parts of Ranomafana National Park did not show much DBH variation from 2011 to 2012 (79.85% at Andranofady (plot 3); 94.52% at Mangevo (plot 6); and 100% at Maharira (plot 5)), while, in the more northern plots (Ranomena (plot 4); Bevoahazo (plot2); and Andemaka (plot 1)), there were only respectively 27.61%, 28.45%, and 50.36% of unchanged DBH stems (Figure 1).

Table 1. Percentage of different stem DBH variation among the six plots from 2011 to 2012

 

Plot 1

Plot 2

Plot 3

Plot 4

Plot 5

Plot 6

A = (DBH increased)

456

(61, 13%)

529

(50, 33%)

270

(18, 96%)

386

(40, 25%)

0

(00%)

59

(05, 39%)

B = (DBH no change)

206

(27, 61%)

299

(28, 45%)

1137

(79, 85%)

483

(50, 36%)

1292 (100%)

1035

(94, 52%)

C = (DBH reduced)

84

(11, 16%)

223

(21, 22%)

17

(01, 19%)

90

(09, 38%)

0

(00%)

1

(00, 09%)

Total Nb Stems

746

1051

1424

959

1292

1095

Plot stem taxonomic updates:

Taxonomic identification was conducted in collaboration with the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) in Antananarivo for some of the unknown plot stems. Among the unknown collected voucher specimens, 51 out of the 77 unknown individual plot stems have been identified. 100% were identified at the Family level, 90% at the species and 10% at the genus level. Among the identified species, one species has extended its known range of distribution (Family of Chloranthaceae, genus Ascarina coursii). This endemic species had been known only from two localities above 1,500m in Madagascar: massif of Marojejy and Special Reserve of Anjanaharibe-Sud; and also the genus was originally from South-East Asia and the Pacific. In addition, it is very likely that two new species may be described within the plots after further examination and coupling with the fertile plant parts of the genus Malleastrum (Family of Meliaceae) and Ludia (Family of Salicaceae). Both species were found within plot 4 (Ranomena) of Ranomafana TEAM site. To date, about six (6) genera (g. Peponidium, Macarisia, Ascarina, Campylospermum, Bathiorhamnus, and Hancea) included new identified genera within the plot plant list from the previous TEAM vegetation plots (Table 2). Further collect of voucher specimens will still be needed in the field for the rest of the unidentified plot stems before the end of the flowering and fructifying season of the plant species.

Table 2. Results of the taxonomic identification levels of some previously unknown species from the six plots of TEAM Ranomafana

 

GenusName

SpeciesName

FamilyName

Levels of Identification

Plant n°

Subplot n°

1

Memecylon

sp

Melastomataceae

genus

9

1

2

Brexiella

ilicifolia

Celastraceae

species

443

9

3

Malleastrum

sp nov

Meliaceae

genus

117

4

4

Ludia

sp nov

Salicaceae

genus

347

10

5

Beguea

apelata

Sapindaceae

species

250

7

6

Syzygium

emirnense

Myrtaceae

species

556

16

7

Ixora

cremixora

Rubiaceae

species

418

19

8

Peponidium

micranthum

Rubiaceae

species

223

8

9

Syzygium

bernieri

Myrtaceae

species

436

16

10

Psychotria

ambohimitombensis

Rubiaceae

species

790

14

11

Macaranga

cuspidata

Euphorbiaceae

species

473

12

12

Tina

thouarsiana

Sapindaceae

species

1154

23

13

Dombeya

laurifolia

Malvaceae

species

224

4

14

Psychotria

morley-smithiae

Rubiaceae

species

100

3

15

Noronhia

grandifolia

Oleaceae

species

252

9

16

Dombeya

lucida

Malvaceae

species

147

4

17

Syzygium

bernieri

Myrtaceae

species

408

7

18

Chassalia

ternifolia

Rubiaceae

species

1003

25

19

Ludia

sessilis

Salicaceae

species

581

15

20

Malleastrum

minutifoliolatum

Meliaceae

species

714

18

21

Malleastrum

rakotozafyi

Meliaceae

species

27

2

22

Decarydendron

ranomafanensis

Monimiaceae

species

139

4

23

Psychotria

menalohensis

Rubiaceae

species

616

16

24

Clerodendrum

petunioides

Rubiaceae

Species

1051

17

25

Chrysophyllum

delphinense

Sapotaceae

species

105

3

26

Macarisia

humbertiana

Rhizophoraceae

species

138

21

27

Apodytes

dimidiata

Icacinaceae

species

831

17

28

Syzygium

danguyanum

Myrtaceae

species

46

2

29

Garcinia

orthoclada

Clusiaceae

species

128

4

30

Peponidium

sp

Rubiaceae

genus

84

4

31

Nesogordonia

abrahamii

Malvaceae

species

1035

17

32

Pandanus

sp

Pandanaceae

genus

595

20

33

Beilschmiedia

opposita

Lauaceae

species

842

17

34

Brexiella

ilicifolia

Celastraceae

species

433

9

35

Ascarina

coursii

Chlorantaceae

species

459

13

36

Cyathea

marattioides

Cyatheaceae

species

22

1

37

Symphonia

gymnoclada

Clusiaceae

species

345

7

38

Ravenea

robustior

Arecaceae

species

3

1

39

Schefflera

staufferana

Araliaceae

species

613

13

40

Syzygium

emirnense

Myrtaceae

species

174

5

41

Grewia

apetala

Malvaceae

species

119

18

42

Memecylon

roseum

Melastomataceae

species

820

22

43

Homalium

nudiflorum

Salicaceae

species

127

4

44

Campylospermum

obtusifolium

Ochnaceae

species

838

17

45

Bathiorhamnus

louvelii

Rhamnaceae

species

110

3

46

Hancea

capuronii

Euphorbiaceae

species

957

16

47

Abrahamia

lenticellata

Anacardiaceae

species

179

5

48

Erythroxylum

sphaeranthum

Erythroxylaceae

species

309

11

49

Apodocephala

pauciflora

Asteraceae

species

1021

20

50

Chionanthus

obtusifolius

Oleaceae

species

1286

25

51

Schefflera

staufferana

Araliaceae

species

222

6

Remarks:

Among the identified voucher specimens, some of them will still need further species identification after looking at their fertile specimen parts. For the genus Memecylon sp (Family Melastomataceae), fertile specimen is still needed for the identification at the species level.

Two other individuals within the genera of Malleastrum and Ludia, will also be highly probable representing two new species after analyzing and confirming their fertile voucher specimens which still need to be collected in the field.

Note:

Even though, several of the previously unknown plot plant individuals have just been identified at respectively their family, genus, and/or species level, there will still be needs of field expedition for the confirmation of the remaining similar unknown plot individuals before they could be given their proper names.

Climate

Regular climate station maintenance and climate data collection have been continued. A strong fluctuation was noticed in temperature, in relative humidity, and rainfall from January to March 2013. Even so, there was a decrease in average temperature of 0, 68°C; and average rainfall of 0,045mm, while a slight increase of 1,56% was noted in the relative humidity between the month of January and March. (Table 3)

Table 3. Variation of Average Temperature, Average Relative Humidity, and RainFall (minimum and maximum) from January to March 2013 at Ranomafana TEAM Climate station

 

Temperature

Relative Humidity

RainFall

2013

Avg

Max

Min

Avg

Max

Min

Avg

Max

Min

January

21,04348

31,8

12,19

86,48428

97,7

24,09

0,072661

8,89

0

February

20,49272

30,39

14,66

89,4905

98,2

43,35

0,1207

6,604

0

March

20,36145

26,96

13,05

88,04734

98

53,98

0,028032

8,38

0

Even though, we are still in process of getting the backup temperature sensor checked and calibrated (and probably the other relative humidity sensor too), the Ranomafana TEAM climate station has been working perfectly.

A contact meeting with the National Meteorological central Office in Antananarivo was also made at the end of February, to discuss about future registration of the TEAM Climate station. Before all future collaboration, all the on-set climate equipment has to be checked and calibrated by the central office, in order for them to accept the entire collected and further obtained climate data.

Protocol Problems: 

None

Schedule Problems: 

None

Logistical Problems: 

None

Suggestions: 

For the protocol “Vegetation”, field expedition for collect of voucher specimen will still be important and necessary to conduct during the flowering and fructifying season of trees, for the confirmation and identification of the still unidentified taxonomy of the stems within Ranomafana TEAM plots. To assure the identification at the species level of the still unknown stems, in-site species identification has to be done because each newly identified individual species can represent remarkably a fair number of stems within each plot. For example, there are about 347 tree individuals, which have not been identified at the species level, within the genus of Syzygium (Family Myrtaceae) at the vegetation plot 3 (site Andranofady). Among their possible species names are the S. bernieri, S. danguyanum, S. emirnense, S. aurantiacum, S. baronii, S. condensatum, S. cumini, S. ludovicii, S. lugubre, S. micropodum, S. onivense, S. parkeri, S. phillyreifolium, S. rakotovaoanum, S. sakalavarum, S. sambiranense, and the species of Syzygium. tapiaka. So, to avoid any misidentification and misinterpretation, we still need to conduct an in-site taxonomic confirmation / identification of every similar type plot stem.