Ranomafana (04.01.2014 to 06.30.2014)

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Year: 
2014
Quarter: 
April - June
Communications activities: 
    • Contributing with the Program “Study Abroad from California University of Pennsylvania”
    • Presenting and Contributing with the celebration of the JME in Ranomafana
    • Presenting TEAM project in Ranomafana to groups of visitors at Centre ValBio Ranomafana
    • Co-authoring with an article about the relationship between carbon density and animal diversity at 14 of the TEAM sites with Lydia Beaudrot
    • Co-advising a student from the private University, “IFT” Antananarivo
    • Participating with the inauguration of a new high school in Kelilalina village near Ranomafana
Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

None

New Species: 

None

Protocol Activities: 

Vegetation

During this trimester (April – June 2014), taxonomic review and confirmation continued with field expeditions and collection of additional plant voucher specimens at four plots: (1) plot 5 (Maharira: March 31st to April 14th), (2) plot 3 (Andranofady: April, 19th to May 04th); and (3 and 4) at plot 1 and plot 2 (Andemaka and Bevoahazo: May 10th to May 31st).  480 voucher specimens were collected from the different plots (Table 1).

Table 1. Number of collected vouchers from the TEAM plots during this trimester April – June 2014

PLOT

1

2

3

5

6

Nb of collected vouchers

75

104

108

118

75

All collected voucher specimens were processed in alcohol during the field expedition, then, dried up in laboratory oven before going through taxonomic species identification and/or confirmation.  Field individual plant information (height, canopy cover characteristics, presence or not of latex, color of different parts, etc…) were also gathered.  Then, all individual collected specimens from the Ranomafana TEAM yearly collection had also been arranged by years and catalogued (Table 2).

Table 2. Number of voucher specimens at TEAM Ranomafana site from 2011 to 2014

Year

2011

2012

2013

2014

Total

Voucher specimen number

197

85

50

480

812

Reviews and identification/confirmation of the plot species taxonomy had been conducted, using specimen references, photographs taken in the field, and web taxonomic references from “Plant Tropicos”.  Species identification and verification were first pre-determined through comparative web and photo consultation and references and information from literature within the web “Tropicos on Madagascar flora”.  A pre-determined family, genus, and species list was established in order to be able to compare vouchers with the national voucher references at the herbarium at PBZT (“Parc Zoologique et Botanique de Tsimbazaza”) Antananarivo.  In collaboration with the botanists at PBZT, we were able to identify and confirm most of the plot species from the Ranomafana TEAM specimens.  The following table (Table 3) summarizes an updates of the taxonomic groups of the individual stems within the six vegetation plots of Ranomafana TEAM sites.

Table 3. Updates on taxonomic numbers of the individual stems within the six vegetation plots

Number

 

 

 

Plots

 

 

Total within all plots

1

2

3

4

5

6

Total plot stem individuals

746

1051

1426

959

1292

1094

6568

Families

38

45

44

38

42

44

57

Genera

62

77

75

64

61

74

120

Species

82

116

94

82

102

100

229

Identification staying at the genus level

6

7

7

9

7

10

28

Unidentified at the species level

19

28

97

174

74

60

410

Among all plant species individuals (with a total of 6568 individual stems) of the six Ranomafana TEAM vegetation plots, 57 families within 120 genera and 229 species have been recognized.  0,42% (28 individuals) cannot yet be identified at the species level until further studies; and about 6,24 % (410 individuals) within 13 Families, 21 Genera remained unidentified at the species level (Table 4).  As an example, within the genus Malleastrum, so far, a new species might arise after further taxonomic studies.

Table 4. Families and genera with the total stem individual number still unidentified at the species level

Family

Genus

Genus

Genus

Genus

Total individuals

1

Anacardiaceae

Protorhus

Abrahamia

 

 

63

2

Araliaceae

Polyscias

 

 

 

27

3

Arecaceae

Dypsis

Ravenea

 

 

17

4

Icacinaceae

Cassinopsis

 

 

 

1

5

Lamiaceae

Clerodendrum

Vitex

 

 

9

6

Lauraceae

Cryptocarya

Potameia

 

 

121

7

Meliaceae

Malleastrum

 

 

 

45

8

Monimiaceae

Tambourissa

 

 

 

22

9

Myrtaceae

Syzygium

 

 

 

23

10

Oleaceae

Noronhia

 

 

 

36

11

Rubiaceae

Ixora

Lemirea

Peponidium

Psychotria

31

12

Salicaceae

Casearia

Ludia

 

 

8

13

Sarcolanaceae

Sarcolaena

 

 

 

7

           

410

After taxonomic review and confirmation, all Ranomafana TEAM vegetation data were uploaded into the TEAM portal.

Terrestrial Vertebrates

After all field monitoring expedition was accomplished, during this trimester all equipments were inventoried, cleaned, checked for their states, and testing the accuracy of the camera traps.  13 cameras were found to need repair, because they could not give clear images.  Communication with CI were made for replacement and/or repair of some malfunctioned camera traps (Table 5).

Table 5. List of camera traps which was sent to be repaired in the States

#

Camera Number

Serial number

Remarks

1

9

RM13AC 03003348

Partially Bad taken Pictures

2

4

RM13AC 03003325

All taken pictures were fuzzy

3

6

RM13AC 03003391

All taken pictures were fuzzy

4

8

RM13AC 03003387

All taken pictures were fuzzy

5

10

RM13AC 03003385

All taken pictures were fuzzy

6

12

RM13AC 03003363

All taken pictures were fuzzy

7

14

RM13AC 05003744

All taken pictures were fuzzy

8

15

RM13AC 03003394

All taken pictures were fuzzy

9

16

RM13AC 03003389

All taken pictures were fuzzy

10

20

RM13AC 03003393

All taken pictures were fuzzy

11

21

RM13AC 02003103

All taken pictures were fuzzy

12

27

RM13AC 07004031

Not working

13

29

RM13AC 03003392

All taken pictures were fuzzy

All Camera trap data were compiled, uploaded to the DeskTEAM.  Backups of all monitoring data, including the tpk files and the camera trap images from the three arrays; were also made and sent to the CI headquarters.

Climate

Monthly climate data collecting (every the 15th of the month) and climate station maintenance (at the end of the month) have been conducted regularly.  Data collecting and uploading to TEAM portal of the month (April 15th to May 15th 2014) have had some issues especially with the uploading of the data into the TEAM portal.  An error message was shown saying “Invalid Datalog Format: missing of the timestamp column”.  We are still seeking for a solution for that data upload.  During this quarter, climate data is shown in the table and figures below (Table 6).

Table 6. Recorded climate data (Temperature, Relative humidity, and Rainfall) at Ranomafana TEAM climate station from April to June 15th 2014.

 

 

April

 

May

 

June 15th

 

Temperature

Relative Humidity

Rainfall

Temperature

Relative Humidity

Rainfall

Temperature

Relative Humidity

Rainfall

Average

18,26

89,77

0,02

16,35

87,59

0,01

14,8541

89,11

0

Maximum

29,08

99,67

5,84

26,14

99,83

2,03

23,49

99,53

0

Minimum

10,74

40,42

0

6,63

26,73

0

7,07

44,63

0

Total Rainfall

175,006

52,07

0


Recorded climate during this trimester showed some fluctuation in the average relative humidity and temperature.  The lowest relative humidity was 26.73; and the hihest 99.83%.  There was also a decrease in temperature and in rainfall during this trimester, with the lowest rainfall in June 2014.  The total rainfall during these three months was 227,07mm, during which no rainfall was recorded during the month of June.

Protocol Problems: 

Climate data uploading to TEAM portal, sometimes has issues with an error message of “Invalid Datalog Format, or missing of timestamp column”

 

Schedule Problems: 

None

Logistical Problems: 

None

Suggestions: 

Despite the difficulties in collecting the plant fertile parts (because not their season yet) during the previous monitoring (either seasons outside the monitoring phase nor during the rainy seasons), it would still be necessary to conduct voucher specimens collection at different season from the TEAM monitoring activities.