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Pynee K.,Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute | Hennequin S.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Echternacht L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Echternacht L.,University of Sao Paulo | Dubuisson J.-Y.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Phytotaxa | Year: 2012

Crepidomanes minutum (Hymenophyllaceae) is here identified and recorded from Mauritius for the first time. The Mauritian specimens, in addition to those of La Réunion observed at low to middle elevations, are easily distinguished from populations observed outside the Mascarene Archipelago by their dwarfed size and rarity of the stipe proliferation that usually characterizes this species. We thus describe a new variety in this species for the Mascarene Islands. © 2012 Magnolia Press.

Van Der Plas G.W.,University of Amsterdam | De Boer E.J.,University of Amsterdam | Hooghiemstra H.,University of Amsterdam | Vincent Florens F.B.,University of Mauritius | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Quaternary Science | Year: 2012

A 10m long peat core from the Kanaka Crater (20° 25′ S, 57° 31′ E), located at 560m elevation in Mauritius, was analyzed for microfossils. Eight radiocarbon ages show the pollen record reflects environmental and climatic change of the last ca. 38calka BP. The record shows that the island was continuously covered by forest with Erica heath (Philippia) in the uplands. Cyperaceous reedswamp with Pandanus trees was abundant in the coastal lowlands as well as locally in the waterlogged crater. The record shows changes in climatic humidity (wet from 38.0 to 22.7calka BP, drier from 22.7 to 10.6calka BP, and wetter again from 10.6calka BP to recent) as the main response to climate change. A high turnover in montane forest species is evidenced at 22.7calka BP and at the start of the Holocene. The limited altitudinal ranges in the mountains of Mauritius (maximum altitude 828m), and changing humidity being more important than changing temperature, suggests that in response to climate change a reassortment in taxonomic composition of montane forests might be equally important as displacement of forest types to new altitudinal intervals. We found weak impact of the latitudinal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and data suggest that the Indian Ocean Dipole is a more important driver for climatic change in the southwest Indian Ocean. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Deepchand K.,Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute
ACS Symposium Series | Year: 2010

Sugarcane was introduced in Mauritius four centuries ago. Through its considerable resistance and resilience to very adverse climatic conditions like drought and, in particular, intense tropical cyclones, it has proved beyond doubt its capacity to be sustainably cultivated on a long-term commercial basis and to play a multifunctional role. The sugar industry in Mauritius has constantly been faced with challenges and it has always stood up to convert these challenges into opportunities to ensure sustainable productions of sugarcane and derived products derived. Actions taken were mainly in the way of reforms to address technical, financial, socio-economic, and environmental viability of the industry. Appropriate legislations (bearing in mind the specificities of Mauritius as a small island developing state) were put in order to facilitate the sustainability. Copyright. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Hoi L.W.S.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Hoi L.W.S.,Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute | Martincigh B.S.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
International Sugar Journal | Year: 2012

The quality of sugar cane received at Mauritian sugar factories has deteriorated significantly because of increased amounts of extraneous matter delivered in the cane supply. This leads to poorer juice quality and sucrose losses. In this work controlled addition of extraneous matter to clean cane was effected under laboratory conditions to determine the relative impact of dry and green cane leaves and cane tops on the quality of cane and the resulting juice, and to predict their impact on cane processing. Dry leaves produced the most adverse effect on sugar recovery, boiling house recovery and overall recovery. One unit of dry leaves increased fibre % cane, mass of bagasse % cane and sucrose loss in bagasse % cane and in molasses % cane by 0.57, 1.17, 0.030 and 0.011 units respectively, and decreased sugar recovery by 0.23 units. Cane tops increased the amount of fructose and glucose in mixed juice which reduced the Clerget purity of molasses. However, this increased the mass of molasses % cane, which resulted in a much higher sucrose loss in molasses than would have been produced by the same amount of dry leaves. The ill-effect of green leaves was found to be intermediate between that of dry leaves and cane tops.

Kitson J.J.N.,University of East Anglia | Warren B.H.,University of Reunion Island | Vincent Florens F.B.,University of Mauritius | Baider C.,Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2013

The phytophagous beetle family Curculionidae is the most species-rich insect family known, with much of this diversity having been attributed to both co-evolution with food plants and host shifts at key points within the early evolutionary history of the group. Less well understood is the extent to which patterns of host use vary within or among related species, largely because of the technical difficulties associated with quantifying this. Here we develop a recently characterized molecular approach to quantify diet within and between two closely related species of weevil occurring primarily within dry forests on the island of Mauritius. Our aim is to quantify dietary variation across populations and assess adaptive and nonadaptive explanations for this and to characterize the nature of a trophic shift within an ecologically distinct population within one of the species. We find that our study species are polyphagous, consuming a much wider range of plants than would be suggested by the literature. Our data suggest that local diet variation is largely explained by food availability, and locally specialist populations consume food plants that are not phylogenetically novel, but do appear to represent a novel preference. Our results demonstrate the power of molecular methods to unambiguously quantify dietary variation across populations of insect herbivores, providing a valuable approach to understanding trophic interactions within and among local plant and insect herbivore communities. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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