New publication resulting from work that began in Nepal

Some recent work, done almost exclusively through Facebook exchanges on my end, has been published in the the most recent issue of International Journal of Research. This work started in while in Nepal, and largetly consisted of helping my co-authors with analyses and interpretations.While this work is not in my usual focus area, I feel like it’s a good example of how collaborations can stem from the most unlike of circumstances.

S. Nepal, B.R. Ojha, A.J. Sánchez Meador, S.P. Gaire, and C. Shilpakar. 2014. Effect of gamma rays on germination and photosynthetic pigments of maize (Zea mays L.) inbreds. International Journal of Research. 1(5): 511-545. Download

Here’s the abstract:

This investigation was carried out to determine the effects of gamma radiation on germination and photosynthetic pigments of two maize inbred lines (RML-17 and RML-32). The pure dry seeds were irradiated with variable dosages (200, 250, 300 and 350 Gy) at the rate of 65cGy/min from 60Co source. The results showed that there was a significant decreasing effect of the gamma rays on the final germination percentage (FGP) but the rate of germination was not significantly affected by radiation dosages. However, a decreasing trend was observed in general for the germination rate. The higher dose (350Gy) of gamma rays was found to have the maximum inhibitory effect on FGP for both inbreeds (31.2% for line RML-17 and 33.3% for RMl-32)The inhibitory effect of gamma rays was seen for the photosynthetic pigments especially, the chlorophyll-a [minimum at 350 Gy( 6.25mg/gm Fw) for Rml-32]The non-irradiated samples in both inbreed exhibited higher chlorophyll-a content(11.056gmg/gmFW for RMl-17 and 11.74mg/gmFw for RML-32). The effect of gamma rays on chlorophyll-b content was no significant but a decreasing effect was seen in higher radiation dosages. The total chlorophyll content was found significantly affected by dosage for line RMl-32,it was found maximum (21.25gm/mgFw) for non-irradiated sample with the minimum total chlorophyll content occurring at 350Gy(13.47mg/gmFW) furthermore, the concentration of chlorophyll-a was higher than chlorophyll-b in both irradiated and non-irradiated plants except at 350Gy for line RML-32 where chlorophyll-b7(7.21mg/gmFW) was found maximum compared to chlorophyll-a (6.25mg/gmFW). The overall effect of the gamma rays was inhibitory for all the traits under the study.


Congratulations Greg Black!

NCUR-logo-WebWe here at are happy to announce that our own Greg Black will be presenting his work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Kentucky in April. Greg’s submission, titled “Stand structure and composition in treatment areas following the 2012 Grand Fire” was chosen from more than 4,000 submissions and we are proud of Greg’s work and contributions to his field of study. Our lab is sincerely pleased that Greg will have the opportunity to present his work to peers, faculty, and staff from around the world!


Continued Scounting of Mixed-Conifer Forests along the Mogollon Rim, AZ

DSC_0040Friday of this past week we (myself, one of my graduate students, members of the ERI Outreach Staff and a Forest Service representative) spent the day scouting potential research sites along the Mogollon Rim, in the mixed-conifer forest type. These forests generally occur at elevations between 8000 to 10,000 feet and under natural conditions, their higher site productivity and open structure facilitates leads to a more diverse (as compared to pondersa pine) understory.

Depending on location and often aspect, Douglas-fir, white fir, blue spruce, and southwestern white pine will dominate the tree canopy, often with ponderosa pine clearly dominating on warmer slopes. Quaking aspen, bigtooth maple, and Gambel oak are also prominent in these forests. Fire histories in mixed-conifer forests vary with forest composition, landscape characteristics and human intervention, but have been shown to be mainly frequent surface fires to infrequent, patchy (yet small) crown fires with return intervals averaging around 10-15 years.

If all goes as planned (when does it?), this could be the location of a new LEARN site!

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Prezi on overview of LEARN

Yesterday, I presented an invited talk to the Kaibab National Forest of an overview of the ERI’s LEARN (Long-term Ecological Assessment and Restoration Network). LEARN includes ten permanently marked, well-documented research sites where researchers have used standardized methods of data collection to facilitate long-term monitoring. The LEARN allows researchers and land managers to compare the effects of forest restoration treatments (and in one case, fuels reduction) on all aspects of ecosystem dynamics across a variety of forest types from pinyon-juniper to ponderosa pine to dry mixed conifer. Research on LEARN sites has been tremendously productive (over 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts), and has proven influential in informing larger, landscape-scale restoration treatments across the Southwest. Check it out…