Ranomafana (07.01.2014 to 09.30.2014)

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July - September
Communications activities: 

- Presentation of Ranomafana TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment and monitoring) objectives, methodology, activities and rainforest biodiversity to:

o A group of visiting students from the university of Antananarivo: IESGE; ESSA Science Agronomy department

o Lectures and presentation to the “Study Abroad student groups”. Presentation on “The values of Biodiversity”; “TEAM project in Ranomafana”; and “Research on birds in Ranomafana National Park”

o A group of scientific tourists visiting Ranomafana National Park

o A group of high school students “Lycée Maharitra” Fianarantsoa

o Presentation of Centre ValBio and the TEAM program to groups of Malagasy tourists - Advising and supporting student works for academic degree preparation:

o From the University IFT Antananarivo on field research in “Carbon sequestration, ecto-mycorrhizal fungi and climate change within Ranomafana National Park”

o “DTS” and “Licence” students from the ISTE (Higher Institutes for Environment Techniques) University of Fianarantsoa (Elimanantsoa Iharisthine; Ramangason Aimée Razafindravao) and (Rasoarimalala Hantanirina Paulette; Safidimihanta Velontahina Josée Anna) in research projects on “Valorisation and distribution of Pandanus within Talatakely and Ambatolahidimy of Ranomafana forests”; and “Valorisation of the plant species Psidium cattleyanum in Ranomafana National Park”

- Meeting with a group of people from

o The University of Antananarivo (Agronomy and Vegetal Ecology Departments) and the SNGF (Silo National des Graines Forêstières) about a potential collaboration in future socio-economic research on plant species with Ranomafana National Park: “Threatened endemic key species conservation and their socio-economic uses”

o The Ranomafana village committee, on rules and management of Ranomafana hot-spring swimming pool station

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 


New Species: 


Protocol Activities: 

During this quarter (July – September 2014), after all field monitoring activities and reporting were accomplished, plant taxonomic reviews and updates for all the six vegetation plots had been conducted. Reviews and corrections of the TEAM portal uploaded vegetation data had been made through the “data management tools”. The six Ranomafana vegetation plots (plot 1 to plot 6) from the four monitoring years (2010 to 2013) had been the focus of the updates, based on the following remarks from TEAM Headquarters:

1) Morphospecies definition: Correction of the nomination of the existing morphospecies was made, following their taxonomic reviews and potential belongings along with each respective genus within the six Ranomafana vegetation plots (Table 1). (There are five morphospecies definitions for all six vegetation plots: RNFsp nov, RNFsp1, RNFsp2, RNFsp3, and RNFsp4.) 2) Correction of some errors in the recorded DBH had also been made, by verifying DBH data from field taken records; and also in-site checking for stems with confusing DBH recorded data or missing. 3) Verification and confirmation of some errors due to the automatically duplicated records in TEAM portal was also reported (for example: VT-RNF-6-8 is a multistem tree but the extension was not recorded in the portal)

4) Confirmation of some trees which did not show changes in their DBH over the years of monitoring.  Field recorded data over the past four years had been consulted and verified with the entered ones.

5) Multistem individuals:

- All existing multistems within the six vegetation plots had also been verified (Table 2).  Correction was made for other non-multistem individuals.  For example, VT-RNF-3-395 is not a multistem, while VT-RNF-3-396 is.

- Some errors were also found in the recorded data, which had been named automatically wrong in the TEAM portal.  They might have been saved and modified automatically within the TEAM portal data baseFor example, the multistems with two stems and number 920 at plot 3 were saved as “VT-RNF-3-920.101 and  VT-RNF-3-920.202).  However, the correct ones should be “VT-RNF-3-920.01 and VT-RNF-3-920.02”.  Those errors had been reported to the TEAM Headquarters for correction.

- Other case of multistems had also been reported: VT-RNF-3-392 used to be a multistem of two tagged-trees in 2010; but one of the stems: “VT-RNF-3-392.2” had been missing since 2011, so there is only one stem since 2011

6) Some reviews and corrections had also been made for the taxa-typo and taxonomic names of the plant species list.  Corrections were based on taxonomic information from the web site of “Tropicos”.  Example of the typo errors concerned especially at the family and species levels, such as, family of Torricelliaceae for Melanophylla crenata instead of family of family Melanophyllaceae; and the typo error in species name, like, S. betsimisarakaum corrected as Sideroxylon betsimisarakum

- For plot 3, in site taxonomic verification/confirmation and correction had to be made for some individual stems due to the confusion in the recorded data (Table 3)

Thus, all vegetation excels data for the six Ranomafana plots for the four years monitoring (2010 to 2013) have been updated.  About 94% of Ranomafana TEAM site plants have been taxonomically identified at the species level within all the six vegetation plots.  56 families within 120 genera and 205 species and plus 31 morphospecies have been recognized.  Verification of the vegetation coordinates will still need in site confirmation during the next monitoring period.  In order to be ready for the next monitoring season (2013 – 2014), preparation of the, field equipment, inventory, and checking have also been started.  Calibrations of some field equipments have been initiated along with preparation of the field monitoring data sheets.

Terrestrial Vertebrates

Inventory of all camera traps were done after being cleaned and tested for their functioning.  Cameras which produced bad pictures from the field monitoring were re-tested and confirmed for their states.  Some of the cameras were sent back to the US for repair (Table 4).

Thirteen (13) out of the 30 existing cameras (“45 Reconyx Rapid Fire”) were sent back to the U.S. for repair.  From discussion with the TEAM Headquarters, additional camera traps were also purchased.  In a total of seventeen (17) new “Reconix Hyper fire” cameras (with a smaller size) were obtained.  Other field equipment and materials were also inventoried and recalibrated.  Prior to the upcoming field monitoring, update of the field sheets and planning scheduler had been discussed.


Regular Climate data collection and climate station maintenance have been continuing.  Monthly climate data have been collected regularly and climate station maintenance has been done twice a month. Inventory of all climate equipment and materials have also been done.  No major issue was found with the climate equipments.  During this quarter (July – September), there was an obvious increase in average temperature from July to September 2014 (Figure 1), while the relative humidity showed a noticeable decrease (Figure 2).  The month of August demonstrated the least total rainfall after a remarkable drop off from July 2014 (243,59 mm to 114,81 mm) (Figure 3).  Then, a slight increase in total rainfall was noticed in September 2014.  Similarly with the average of monthly rainfall, a decrease of rainfall was recorded from July 2014; then the month of August 2014 represented the least average rainfall, followed by a slight increase in September 2014 (Figure 4).



Protocol Problems: 


Logistical Problems: