Training on arthropod collection, preservation and photography for Hainan University students

by
J. Catindig, S. Villareal, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines.
Qinhua Yuan and Ducheng Cai, Hainan University, Hai Kou, China

pic-1-Group-photo

Workshop participants in Hainan University

On April 6, 2013, the new Biodiversity Laboratory was declared opened by vice president of Hainan University, Professor  Hu Xinwen and Kadoorie Charitable Foundation project manager, Mr Ronald Li in Hainan University. Preserved in the Laboratory are more than 20,000 arthropod specimens collected. There are about 2373 species and only 1578 have been identified. About 4,200 specimens in the Laboratory have been named and preserved. There are 32 holotype and 4 paratype specimens of new spider species discovered.

A five-day training workshop on the “Collection, preservation and photography of insects” was organized to acquaint students and staffs of Hainan University with techniques in arthropod preservation and documentations. Two MS students and 14 undergraduate students participated in the training. The training presented with a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises on arthropod preservation such as mounting using board spreader for moths and butterflies, pinning, card pointing, mounting on slides, and labeling, and the basics of photography. Various arthropod sampling methods were also introduced.  This training workshop is the final activity of the Hainan Project on “Conserving Arthropod Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services in Rice Environments in Hainan, China”. The trained students will provide the resource base for the University to serve as laboratory assistants to maintain the Laboratory and its collection of insects and spiders and add to its collection new specimens from Hainan’s rich biodiversity.  The Laboratory equipped with air conditioning, dehumidifier, microscopes, arthropod preservation and audio visual facilities will serve as the center of biodiversity research and education.

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Students attending to details in insect specimen preparation for laboratory preservation

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New spider book published – Pictorial Handbook of Hainan Spiders

by
K.L. Heong, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines

Hainan-spider-Cover

Spiders in rice ecosystems are frequently associated with predation.  They are generalists and feed on most arthropod species in and around the rice ecosystem.  There hundreds of spider species in the rice ecosystem.  In our project we collected a total 400 species and 57 species were new to science.  A paper discussing the spider diversity we collected have been published .  The new species have been described and named  and all the type specimens are now deposited in the “Biodiversity Laboratory” in Hainan University. Some were named in honor of Chinese scientists. Spider species richness is directly related to floral biodiversity especially on how the rice bunds are managed.  High use of pesticides in and around rice production systems has a big impact on spider diversity.

We inventoried 400 species. These species belong to 166 genera comprising 29 spider families, namely, Amaurobiidae (1 species: 1 genus); Araneidae (66 spp. : 18 genera); Clubionidae (11 spp. : 3 genera); Corinnidae (5 spp. : 4 genera); Ctenidae (1 species : 1 genus); Gnaphosidae (2 spp. : 2 genera); Hahniidae (1 species : 1 genus); Hersiliidae (1 species : 1 genus); Linyphiidae (8 spp. : 6 genera); Lycosidae (19 spp.: 9 genera); Mimetidae (1 species : 1 genus); Ochyroceratidae (1 species : 1 genus); Oonopidae (1 species: 1 genus); Oxyopidae (9 spp. : 2 genera); Philodromidae (1 sp. : 1 genus); Pholcidae (18 spp.: 9 genera); Pisauridae (3 spp.: 3 genera); Psechridae (1 sp. : 1 genus); Salticidae (67 spp.: 34 genera) ; Scytodidae (1 sp.: 1 genus); Segestriidae (1 sp. : 1 genus; Sparassidae (8 spp.: 4 genera); Telemidae (4 spp.: 1 genus); Tetragnathidae (33 spp. : 8 genera); Theridiidae (80 spp. : 23 genera); Theridiosomatidae (2 spp.: 1 genus); Thomisidae (35 spp. : 22 genera); Uloboridae (7 spp.: 3 genera); and Zodariidae (7 spp.: 3 genera).

A pictorial guide of the 176 commonest species of spiders from 20 families presented in full color is now published. – Pictorial Handbook of Hainan Spiders by Aimee Lynn A. Barrion-Dupo, Alberto T. Barrion, Sylvia C. Villareal, Josie Lynn A. Catindig, Ducheng Cai, Qianhua Yuan and Kong Luen Heong.  2013 UPLB Museum of Natural History, University of the Philippines Los Baños Laguna, 4031,

SBN– 978-971-95713-0-8.

Biodiversity Laboratory launched and MOU with IRRI signed by Hainan University vice president in Hai Kou, China

by
Yuan Qianhua, Cai Du Cheng, Hainan University, Hai Kou, P.R . China,
J. Catindig and S. Villareal, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines

 

Professor Hu Wenxin, vice president of Hainan University (left) and Mr Ronald Li of Kadoorie Charitable foundation (right) unveiling the plaque of the Biodiversity Laboratory.

Professor Hu Wenxin, vice president of Hainan University (left) and Mr Ronald Li of Kadoorie Charitable foundation (right) unveiling the plaque of the Biodiversity Laboratory.

On April 6, 2013, vice president of Hainan University, Professor  Hu Xinwen and Kadoorie Charitable Foundation project manager, Mr Ronald Li unveiled the plague symbolizing the opening of the new Biodiversity Laboratory in Hainan University. This contribution was part of the Hainan Project  on  “Conserving Arthropod Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Rice Environments of Hainan Island, China”.  Funded by the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation (KCF)  based in Hong Kong, the Hainan Project started in 2010 to establish collaborative research between scientists at IRRI, Hainan University and Zhejiang University to better understand arthropod biodiversity in rice environments. Being an island and less intensively cultivated, Hainan can potentially have a rich floral and faunal biodiversity. In rice environments, arthropod biodiversity plays an important role in providing ecosystem system services, particularly in pest regulation and pollination.

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Professor, scientists and students tour the new Biodiversity Laboratory

After the  expeditions, more than 20,000 arthropod specimens were collected and contained about 2373 species and only 1578 have been identified. About 4,200 specimens have been named and preserved and together with 32 holotype and 4 paratype specimens of new spider species are now returned to Hainan University and placed in the new Biodiversity Laboratory. Equipped with imported storage cabinets the Laboratory can provide the safe environment to store these rare specimens.  About 15% of the spider species and 12% of the hymenoptera species (yet to be identified and described) were found to be new discoveries indicating the huge biodiversity richness in the Island. The new Laboratory is a modest beginning of biodiversity research in Hainan and will serve as the research and learning center to further promote biodiversity research.

The 53 new spider species have been named and some in honor of well known Chinese scientists. Descriptions of the new species are published in a monograph  by Barrion et al 2012. The new hymenoptera species have yet to be described and named.  Spider species richness was found to be linked to insecticide use and bund floral biodiversity .

 

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Signing of the MOU between IRRI and Hainan University. Duncan Macintosh representing the Director General of IRRI and Professor Hu Xinmeng, vice president of Hainan University exchanging documents.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between IRRI and Hainan University was signed to mark the research collaboration. Hainan University vice president, Professor Hu Xinwen signed for the University while Duncan Macintosh, Development Director, represent the IRRI Director General.  The Hainan Project was the first collaboration between IRRI and Hainan University and the new MOU will lead to further collaborations in education and research.

 

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Zeng-Rong Zhu, KL Heong, Duncan Macintosh, Ronald Li, Yuan Qianhua, Monina Escalada and Cai Ducheng in front of the ecological engineering mural prepared for Hainan Biodiversity Laboratory.

Reference

Barrion, A.T., Barrion-Dupo, A.L.A, Catindig, J., Villareal, S., Cai, D., Yuan Q., Heong, K.L. 2013.  New species of spiders (Araneae) from Hainan Island, China.  UPLB Musuem Publications in Natural History No. 3.

 

 

International Symposium on Arthropod Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Rice Environments and Official Opening of the Biodiversity Laboratory in Hainan University, Hai Kou, China

Anthropod-Conference-final-

The Hainan Project which started in 2010 has completed several expeditions and farmer surveys focusing on arthropod biodiversity in rice environments. The rich biodiversity of Hainan is illustrated by the 53 new species of spiders that the research discovered and some of them are named in honor of Chinese scientists.  The new species constituted about 15% of all the spider species found in the expeditions illustrating the biodiversity richness. Spiders perform the important function of predation that provides pest regulation services for pest management.

On 16 April 2013, Hainan University and the International Rice Research Institute will organize an international symposium and to officially open the Biodiversity Laboratory that will house all the holotype and paratype specimens of the new species as well as a reference collection of the 952 arthropod species collected in Hainan.  The Biodiversity Laboratory will serve as an important resource for research and education on arthropod biodiversity.

New spider species discovered in Hainan Island named in honor of Professor Cheng Jiaan, former vice president of Zhejiang University

by
Alberto Barrion, J. Catindig and S. Villareal
International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines

Professor Jiaan Cheng (2nd from left) receiving plaque from Dr Robert Zeigler, DG of IRRI and Professor Zhang Guoping, Dean of Agriculture Faculty, Zhejiang University with Dr K.L. Heong, Principal Scientist, IRRI looking on.

Professor Jiaan Cheng (2nd from left) receiving plaque from Dr Robert Zeigler, DG of IRRI and Professor Zhang Guoping, Dean of Agriculture Faculty, Zhejiang University with Dr K.L. Heong, Principal Scientist, IRRI looking on.

The Hainan arthropod conservation project conducted field expeditions and samplings and discovered 57 new and yet to be described spider species in rice and surrounding habitats. All 57 species are now described and published in a monograph by the University of the Philippines. Earlier the first new species,  Tetragnatha heongi  from the first expedition described and published. A paper on the general spider fauna of the Hainan Island was also published. In describing the new species and had them peer reviewed, species were named after famous Chinese scientists involved in spider research, taxonomy and rice research.  One species was named after Professor Jiaan Cheng and a plague commemorating the naming was presented to Professor Cheng in November 2012 at the International Conference Rice Planthopper Conference held in Hangzhou.

 

Plague with picture and drawings of the new species, Mallinella chengjiaani

Plague with picture and drawings of the new species, Mallinella chengjiaani

Professor Cheng in his nearly 50 years’ career played a significant role to shaping rice pest management He started his career in rice pest management in 1964 and contributed significantly to pest ecology and management in China.  He was appointed the vice president, the president of Zhejiang Agricultural University and later the vice president for research in when the universities merged into Zhejiang University.  Professor Cheng was a mentor to 45 graduate students and still continues to guide the future generation of pest ecologists.  Full descriptions of Professor Cheng’s contribution to rice pest management and the new spider species are available.

Distribution of sites where the 57 new species of spiders were discovered.

Distribution of sites where the 57 new species of spiders were discovered.

The spider species were discovered in 8 sampling sites,  Songtao (17 species), Danzhou (10), Dapo (9), Haoko (7),  Chengmai (5), Jianfengli (Yulingu) (5),  Lingshui (2) and Sanya (2 ). Most of the new species discovered were from sites west of the Wuzhi mountain range in the center, where rice growing is less intense and have high habitat biodiversity.  It has been shown that spider species richness is associated with bund habitat and insecticide use .

 

 

Hainan farmers’ sources of agricultural information

by
Hui Zhang and Qianhua Yuan,  Hainan University, Hai Kou, China
Monina Escalada, Visayas State University, Leyte, Philippines

Hainan University student interviewing a woman farmer in Haikou, Hainan province, December 2010.

In June 2012, a baseline survey of rice farmers in Hainan reported farmer respondents’ knowledge gaps and attitudes toward ecological engineering techniques. Most of the respondents were uncertain about outbreak factors such as high fertilizer rates and insecticides. Also, while respondents’ attitudes toward ecological engineering techniques seemed positive about two-thirds of them indicated that they were not willing to plant wild flowers or beneficial plants on their rice bunds as it would require more work.

To enhance biodiversity conservation in Hainan, ecological engineering principles need to be communicated to farmers using a combination of communication media including posters, radio, television, video, billboards, leaflets, mobile phones, web-internet and interpersonal channels (demonstration farms, training, field visits). In Vietnam, to scale up ecological engineering, the prototype media materials for the “rice fields with flower bunds” campaign consist of TV broadcast videos, short radio drama episodes, billboards, posters and leaflets (see Escalada & Heong (2012).

Vietnam campaign materials on ecological engineering

When well-planned communication strategies are applied to correct misperceptions, farmers’ resource-management decisions and skills can be improved. Analysis of the audience is an essential part of designing and planning a scaling up program as it will be useful in selecting a cost-effective combination of multi-media channels and in planning the most appropriate use of the media mix to support existing extension activities. To design a scaling-up plan on ecological engineering tailor-made for Hainan rice farmers, we conducted an audience analysis survey among 444 farmers in Haikou and Lingshui cities in Hainan province in July 2012.

The farmers interviewed were about 46 years old and nearly half (48.9%) had lower secondary education. More male farmers (55.6%) than female farmers (44.4%) were interviewed by Hainan University students who were trained to conduct the survey.

Hainan University student interviewing a farmer in Timeng town, Hainan province

Media exposure

In both cities, the big majority (97.3%) of farmers interviewed reported watching TV, followed by using the cell phone (75.5%). More than one-third (37.8%) read printed materials such as newspapers, magazines and books. Less than a fourth (24.3%) listened to radio and 1 out of 10 used the internet.

Hainan farmers reading the newspaper at home with the TV on.

Table 1.  Farmers’ media exposure, Hainan, China, 2012.

Haikou

Lingshui

Both

Media exposure*

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Watch TV

256

57.7

176

39.6

432

97.3

Use a cell phone

199

44.8

136

30.6

336

75.5

Read newspapers, magazines

106

23.9

62

14.0

168

37.8

Listen to radio

79

17.8

29

6.5

108

24.3

Use internet

31

7.0

30

6.8

61

13.7

*Multiple response

Agricultural information sources

Other farmers, extension workers and television topped the list of farming information sources mentioned by farmers.  Table 2 shows that less than one-fourth (23%) relied on themselves or their own experience, local authorities (16.2%),  and radio (6.5%). A few mentioned the internet (3.6%). Other sources of farm information consisted of pesticide shops, books and video  CDs on agricultural science and technology,  newspaper, and cell phone.

Table 3 indicates that farmers’ responses were consistent when asked for their preferred sources of agricultural information.  Interpersonal  sources dominated the list of preferred sources with most respondents specifying other farmers (28.6%), extension workers (25.6%), own experience (16.9%) and television (4.4%). Very few named the internet (2.5%) and radio (2.3%).

Table 2.  Farmers’ sources of agricultural information, Hainan, China, 2012.

Haikou

Lingshui

Both

Source*

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Other farmers

111

25.0

86

19.4

197

44.4

Extension worker

108

24.3

48

10.8

156

35.1

Television

81

18.2

56

12.6

137

30.9

Self or one’s experience

47

10.6

55

12.4

102

23.0

Local authorities

50

11.3

22

5.0

72

16.2

Radio

24

5.4

5

1.1

29

6.5

Internet

10

2.3

6

1.4

16

3.6

Other

2

9.5

39

12.4

81

18.2

*Multiple response

Table 3.  Farmers’ preferred sources of agricultural information, Hainan, China, 2012.

Haikou

Lingshui

Both

Source*

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Other farmers

74

28.4

53

29.0

127

28.6

Extension worker

74

28.4

38

20.8

112

25.2

Own experience

37

14.2

38

20.8

75

16.9

Local authorities

16

6.1

11

6.0

27

6.1

Television

36

13.8

28

15.3

64

14.4

Internet

6

2.3

5

2.7

11

2.5

Radio

9

3.4

1

0.5

10

2.3

Other

6

2.3

7

3.8

13

2.9

*Multiple response

Information source characteristics

We probed farmers why they preferred the information sources they mentioned.  A summary of the cross-tabulation of sources and reasons for preference revealed these key characteristics. Farmers expressed relying on themselves because it is more accessible, reliable and no other source is available. In the absence of scientifically-based technical information, delivered in a readily-understandable form through extension workers, farmers often rely largely on their own self-knowledge, beliefs and perceptions.  While there are strengths in indigenous knowledge systems, there are also weaknesses and “what farmers don’t know cannot help them” (Bentley, 1989, p.25; DeWalt, 1994).

Other farmers – Easy to contact
Extension worker – Experienced, reliable, accessible, clear and detailed, professional
Self or one’s experience – Accessible, reliable, no other source
Television – Can be received every day, informative, up-to-date
Local authorities – Full-scale
References

Bentley J.W. (1989). What farmers don’t know can’t help them: the strengths and weaknesses of indigenous technical knowledge in Honduras. Agriculture and Human Values, 6, 25-31.

DeWalt B. R. (1994). Using indigenous knowledge to improve agriculture and natural resource management. Human Organization, 53,123-131.

Escalada, M. & Heong, K.L. (2012).. Using decision theory and sociological tools to facilitate adoption of biodiversity -based pest management strategies. Biodiversity and Insect Pests: Key Issues for Sustainable Management, First Edition. Edited by Geoff M. Gurr, Steve D. Wratten, William E. Snyder, Donna M.Y. Read. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd).

Paper on the spider fauna of Hainan published

Some of the 167 species of spiders collected in Hainan.

Click here to download the paper

In August 2010, a spider biodiversity exploration yielded 10,426 specimens comprising of 167 species under 97 genera and 19 families. Of these, 21 species (or 12.6% of total species collected) were found to be new to science and they were from seven families, namely: Araneidae (2 spp.), Clubionidae (3 spp.), Lycosidae (5 spp.), Salticidae (2 spp.), Theridiidae (7 spp.) and one each in Thomisidae and Zodariidae. Sixty-six species, 40 genera and two families were added to Hainan spider biodiversity checklist. In decreasing order, the 6 main families were Oxyopidae (4,259 specimens), Araneidae (3,380), Tetragnathidae (1113), Thomisidae (548), Lycosidae (518) and Salticidae (383). The Immatures of the lynx spider, Oxyopes spp. (Oxyopidae) and orb-web spider, Araneus inustus (Araneidae) were most dominant species found. Across the 4 sites, total spider collected were highest in Danzhou (4,036 specimens in 17 families), followed by Lingshui (3,904 spiders in 14 families),  Sanya (1,254 spiders in 9 families) and Haikou (1,231 spiders in 11 families). In Danzhou 4 families – Oxyopidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Salticidae were most abundant in while in Lingshui, Araneidae, Oxyopidae, Lycosidae and Thomisidae were most abundant. In sSanya 3 families–Tetragnathidae, Oxyopidae and Araneidae dominated Sanya while I Haikou Oxyopidae and Lycosidae were more abundant. Two claw types – trionychus or 3-clawed (9,454 specimens in 10 families or 0.7% of all spider catch) vs. dionychus or 2-clawed (972 in 9 families or 9.3%) and two feeding structures – hunters (5,833 specimens in 13 families, 55.95%) vs web builders (4,593 specimens in 6 families, 44.05%) characterized the spiders from Hainan.

Spider conservation through insecticide reduction and habitat manipulation around rice fields will likely maintain the rich biodiversity.