Effect of arthropods abundance on the red junglefowl population in oil palm plantation habitat.
This study was undertaken to determine whether arthropods abundance has any effect on the density of redjunglefowls in different aged oil palm plantation.
The study of arthropod abundance was conducted from August 1996 to July 1997 at Sungai Sedu Oil Palm Estate, Banting, Selangor, Malaysia in the 4 year and 8 year old oil palm plantation. Three methods namely litter collection pitfall traps and sweep net were used for the sampling of arthropods (Southwood, 1978).
Arthropods in litter. Litter samples were collected systematically. Five plots, 30x30 m, were selected randomly and marked. In each plot, four samples were collected monthly. Sample was taken at random by placing a 0.25 [m.sup.2] wooden frame on the ground. The litter inside each square was collected up to 1 cm soil depth and samples were collected into plastic bags.
Pitfall traps. Uncapped glass bottles of 8.5 cm mouth diameter and 7.5 cm deep were buried in the ground at random with their open tops flush to the litter surface. Bottles were filled to a depth of 5 cm with water and then covered with a piece of plywood raised from about 15 to 18 cm above the bottle to prevent the entry of rain water. Sorbic acid was used as preservative at the rate of one gram per sample. The bottles were examined after seven days. The sample insect collections were preserved in 70% ethanol.
Sweep net. Twenty strips, 30 m long and 1 m wide were selected randomly in both study areas. Ten sweeps were taken in each strip through the upper layer of vegetation and considered as one sample. Contents of sweep net were placed in ethylacetate kill jar until the arthropods were dead, then the insect material was transferred to labeled plastic bottle and preserved in 70% ethanol. Samples were not taken during drizzling or immediately after rain.
Data analysis. Arthropod abundance was defined as number of arthropods per sample. Data of arthropods abundance obtained by all trapping methods were pooled. Student's t-test analysis (Steel and Torrie, 1980) was used to detect the difference of abundance of arthropods between study sites. The eight orders of arthropods i.e., Hymenoptera (Formicidae), Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Isoptera, Dermaptera, Arachnida and Isopoda that were considered to be important food sources for redjunglefowl (Arshad et al., 2000). Student's t-test was also used to determine the difference of abundance of insects in 4 year and 8 year old oil palm plantations. Published data of earlier similar study on population density of red junglefowl by Zakaria et al. (2003) was reviewed for comparison with arthropods abundance. The results were declared significant at P=0.05. All statistical analyses were performed by using Statistical Analysis System software (SAS, 1990).
The total number of arthropods caught in 4 year old oil palm plantation was 15872, whereas total of arthropods counted in 8 year old oil palm plantation were 14616 (Table 1). The results indicated that there was no significant variation in the abundance of arthropods caught in both study areas (t = 1.41, P > 0.05; Fig. 1). The eight orders that were considered to be main food items for red junglefowl were also found in the same abundance in both study areas (t = 0.12, P > 0.05; Fig. 2). Zakaria et al. (2003) reported that the density of ref junglefowl in the 4 year old oil palm plantation was 84.22 [+ or -] 5.45/[km.sup.2] while in the 8 year old oil palm plantation was 27.80 [+ or -] 3.57/[km.sup.2]. This indicated that the population density of red junglefowl did not depend on arthropods. This is because even though the abundance of arthropods in the two areas was about the same, the density of red junglefowl was higher in the 4 year old oil palm plantation. There may be other factors that affect the density of redjunglefowl. Zakaria et al., 2003 reported that canopy cover significantly affects the density of red junglefowl.
The red junglefowls are opportunist feeders in the oil palm habitat, i.e. plant materials (80.88%) as well as animal materials (19.12%) (Arshad et al., 2000). Although the findings of this study showed that the population of red junglefowl did not depend upon the arthropod abundance but many studies highlighted the importance of arthropods in the diet of galliformes. Arthropods are also important food for ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) chicks. The diet of chicks less than three weeks of age is more than 90% invertbrates, and these are dominant in their diet for about five weeks after hatching (Kimal and Samuel, 1984). Therefore, arthropods might be important food sources for red junglefowl but might not be sufficient to regulate the red junglefowl population size. Other factors such as suitability of habitats and plant food sources might also affect its abundance.
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Muhammad Irshad Arshad (a) * and Mohamed Zakaria (b)
(a) College of Agriculture, Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan
(b) Faculty of Forestry, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
(received May 16, 2011; revised February 30, 2013; accepted March 21, 2013)
* Author for correspondence;
Table 1. Abundance of arthropods by different methods in 4 year and 8 year old oil palm plantation at Sungai Sedu Estate Arthropods 4 Year old oil palm plantation Pitfall Litter Sweep trap analysis net Insecta Coleoptera 552 551 247 Collembola 530 276 16 Dermaptera 114 157 1 Diplura -- -- -- Diptera 181 7 194 Hempitera 15 10 194 Homoptera 5 10 367 Hymenoptera 4581 1791 1062 (Formicidae) Hymenoptera 13 33 51 (Others) Isoptera 38 3 3 Lepidoptera 44 11 64 Neuroptera 8 1 -- Odonata -- -- 9 Orthoptera 1021 325 561 Psocoptera -- 3 -- Thysanoptera 1 -- -- Unidentified 3 48 4 insects Chilopoda 81 32 1 Diplopoda 19 48 -- Crustacea Amphipoda 234 9 -- Isopoda 22 22 -- Arachnida Acarina 116 321 5 Araneida 489 95 1254 Chelonethida -- 2 -- Phalangida 7 9 1 Total 8074 3764 4034 G. Total 15872 Arthropods 8 Year old oil palm plantation Pitfall Litter Sweep trap analysis net Insecta Coleoptera 604 695 259 Collembola 1041 280 1 Dermaptera 75 -- 1 Diplura -- 5 -- Diptera 132 -- 156 Hempitera 17 4 72 Homoptera 6 -- 410 Hymenoptera 4673 979 1168 (Formicidae) Hymenoptera 14 -- 67 (Others) Isoptera 62 -- 1 Lepidoptera 35 5 58 Neuroptera 6 2 -- Odonata -- -- -- Orthoptera 709 179 594 Psocoptera -- 7 1 Thysanoptera 2 -- -- Unidentified 38 21 1 insects Chilopoda 39 9 -- Diplopoda 2 1 -- Crustacea Amphipoda 114 1 -- Isopoda 7 4 -- Arachnida Acarina 21 61 -- Araneida 570 73 1231 Chelonethida -- -- -- Phalangida -- 2 1 Total 8167 2328 4121 G. Total 14616
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|Title Annotation:||Short Communication|
|Author:||Arshad, Muhammad Irshad; Zakaria, Mohamed|
|Publication:||Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research Series B: Biological Sciences|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2013|
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