Ranomafana (04.01.2012 to 06.30.2012)

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Year: 
2012
Quarter: 
April - June
Communications activities: 
  • Presentation of Ranomafana TEAM project to groups of students from the program Summer Study Abroad at California University of Pennsylvania, Stony Brook University, University of Antananarivo, and University of Fianarantsoa, Centre ValBio Ranomafana.
  • Presentation of TEAM posters during the regional and local celebration of the “International day of Environment” at Kianjavato (7-8 June 2012) and Tsaratanana (15-16 June 2012).
Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

During the field expedition to Mangevo in the southern part of Ranomafana National Park, plot 6, in May 2011 to collect fertile voucher specimens, the small village was completely empty because all of the villagers were gone to stay at the crop/rice field and did not plan to return back until the month of June during which they will stay in the village all month to celebrate the Madagascar Independence Day. However, finding local guides and porters were not an issue because someone was always keeping an eye on the village from far away.

New Species: 

NONE

Protocol Activities: 

Field expedition for collection of fertile voucher specimens had still continued to the southern parts of the TEAM site in Mangevo area and in the middle part at Ranomena area (Table 1), expedition other than the one during the monitoring period, because not all tree species had their flowering and fructifying season coincided with the last monitoring period. A specialist botanist from the Missouri Botanical Garden and one representative of “Conservation International” (CI) Madagascar also came along with several of the Centre ValBio team to speed up the collect in Mangevo on May 2012. Randrianaivo Richard from the Missouri Botanical Garden reinforced capacity building of the crew, especially on voucher specimen field collecting and specimen cataloging to conform to the standardized protocol. Field vegetation crew were also trained on plant voucher field notes, containing information on plant ecology, tree phenology, morphology, geographical position, location and estimated distance from the nearby village (referred to as Supplemental Field Notes). The representative from “Conservation International” (Randrianasolo Harison) also accompanied the crew to the field site to discuss about improvement of the field logistic situation and the future planning of the upcoming field season. Five specimens were always collected for each individual tree species, photographed before they were processed, pressed or preserved within 50% alcohol (Table 2). After field expedition, alcohol preserved specimens were dried (using a drier) and will be cataloged for future reference. A species list of collected voucher specimens during the second field is shown in Table 3.

Table 1. Expedition plan for fertile voucher plant specimen collection

Expedition Period Vegetation Plot Number Site Name
May 05 - 09, 2012 6 Mangevo
May 21 – 25, 2012 4 Ranomena

Table 2. Collected voucher specimen from plot 6 and plot 4 during the second plan for fertile voucher specimen collection.

Plot Sub-plot Number Stem Type With With Mean stem Mean stem Number Number of stems (Tree (T), Liana (L), Palm (P),…) Flower Fruit tree height (m) diameter (cm)
4 7 8 7T, 1P 3 5 10.875 17.25 6 5 6 6T 2 4 17.88 29.4

Table 3. Detailed species list of voucher specimen from the plot 6 and plot 4 during the second field collection

# Family Genus Species Plot # Sub-plot Tree #
20 Arecaceae Ravenea madagascariensis 4 1 3
21 Araliaceae Polyscias sp 4 6 219
22 Rubiaceae Alberta humblotii 4 7 251
23 Rubiaceae Psychotria sp 4 13 442
24 Unknown Unknown Unknown 4 13 459
25 Cunoniaceae Weinmannia bojeriana 4 22 832
26 Lauraceae Cryptocarya spp 4 20 748
27 Myrtaceae Syzygium sp 4 16 556
41 Prumilaceae Oncostemun nervosium 6 2 68
42 Araliaceae Polyscias onifolia 6 15 648
43 Tilbaceae Nuxia sp 6 23 970
44 Monimiaceae Tambourissa sp 6 21 884
45 Malvaceae Dombeya angustipetala 6 1 25
46 Malvaceae Nesogordonia sp 6 21 871

For the terrestrial vertebrate protocol, in addition to the cleaning and verification of the cameras, data analysis was conducted.

For the climate protocol, regular climate station monitoring continues with bi-weekly maintenance and monthly data collection (chronology see below Table 4).

Table 4. Schedule for Maintenance and Data collection at the Ranomafana TEAM climate Station during the month of April and May 2012

Schedule/Month Maintenance Data Collection
April 01/04/2012 and 15/04/2012 15/04/2012
May 01/05/2012 and 15/05/2012 15/05/2012
June 01/06/2012 and 15/06/2012 15/06/2012

Climate data were combined with previous data and then presented. Meetings with the Inter-regional service of meteorology were held at both Centre ValBio and Fianarantsoa to discuss a planning on incorporation and registration of the TEAM climate station with the national meteorology service and the future collaboration between the two institutions. A site-visit was planned for the personnel of National Meteorology Services to come to Centre ValBio for prospecting and possible future climatic related studies.

Protocol Problems: 

NONE

Schedule Problems: 

NONE

Logistical Problems: 

Again the request from the local people on rising up the cost of porting was an issue when going to the field for expedition, and it was delaying the timing for field departure. The local guides also were asking for a salary raise. The actual salary rate was based on the last five years’.

Suggestions: 

For the next monitoring phase, to avoid any delay on field expedition, it would be necessary to increase the cost rate for expedition porters and adjust the salary for local guides, because they always complain about the actual rate for being too low.

From the meeting with the national meteorology service, more collaboration, other than just exchanging climate data would be more fruitful in bringing the TEAM data more useful. Joint-project with the national Meteorology Services, such as, sharing data for an analytic climate projection, defining trends in biodiversity that might be impacted by climatic changes would also be very important.

Planning of field collect of fertile specimens would be helpful if it could be included within the yearly sampling scheduler, and with sufficient time period for its completion. So, no confusion would be incurred with the continuation of the field expedition or with the additional number of participants.