J. Catindig, S. Villareal, A.T. Barrion, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños Philippines, Ducheng Cai and Qianhua Yuan, Hainan University, China
Hainan University, in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), hosted a one-day international seminar on “Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in rice production” on April 19, 2012. Speakers from IRRI, Philippines, China, and Vietnam discussed topics on ecology, sociology and communication. After the formal opening by Prof. Zheng Fucong and Prof. Yuan Qianhua, Dr. KL Heong presented ecosystem services concepts, their importance in restoring resilience to pests and methods to assess them. Dr A.T. Barrion described the huge spider biodiversity in Hainan and his discovery of 27 new species. Dr M.M. Escalada discussed the communication concepts and principles used to motivate farmers to conserve the biodiversity and ecosystem services, followed by case studies from Jinhua (Dr Lu Zhongxian), Sanmen (Dr Zengrong Zhu) and Vietnam (Dr Ho Van Chien).
A new laboratory on biodiversity has been assigned to the project. New arthropod collection cabinet, exhibition boxes and posters will be installed and used for biodiversity education.
In Longji village the exploration team led by Dr A.T. Barrion identified the sites for the ecological engineering experiment. This village has a history of planting rice for the emperor dating back several hundred years ago. The residents mostly with the surname “Zheng” had originated from Fujian province. Sampling of arthropods will be carried out in a naturally engineered set of rice fields surroundedby a huge richness of flora and another set of rice fields with only grass habitats on the bunds.
Arthropods were collected using sweep net, pitfall trap, and blow-vac suction machine. Many interesting finds were spiders, specifically two species of new jumping spiders of the Family Salticidae and possibly a new frog species, similar to that recently discovered in Leyte province in the Philippines.