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Subedi A.,Research and Development LI BIRD | Subedi A.,Leiden University | Chaudhary R.P.,Tribhuvan University | van Achterberg C.,Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

Premise of the Study: Although many species in the orchid genus Coelogyne are horticulturally popular, hardly anything is known about their pollination. Pollinators of three species were observed in the field in Nepal. This information is urgently needed because many orchid species in Nepal are endangered. Whether the exudates produced by extrafloral nectaries played a role in protection against herbivory was also investigated. Methods: Pollinators of C. flaccida, C. nitida, and Otochilus albus were filmed, captured, and identified. Ant surveys and exclusion experiments were carried out. To investigate whether pollinators are needed for fruit set, plants were wrapped in mesh wire bags. Inflorescence stems were examined with microscopy. Fehling's reagent was used to detect sugars in extrafloral exudates. Key Results: Coelogyne flaccida and C. nitida need pollinators to set fruit and are pollinated by wild bees identified as Apis cerana. Otochilus albus was found to be pollinated by Bombus kashmirensis. Extrafloral nectar was found to be exuded by nectary-modified stomata and contained high amounts of sugars. Different species of ants were observed collecting these exudates. A significant difference was found in damage inflicted by flower and leaf-eating beetles between C. nitida plants living in trees with ant nests and those in ant-free trees. Conclusions: Floral syndromes include scented and colored trap flowers without reward to their pollinators. All orchids investigated exude extrafloral nectar by nectary-modified stomata. This nectar was found to flow from the phloem to the stomata through intercellular spaces in the outer parenchymatous layer of the inflorescence. © 2011 Botanical Society of America.

Bajracharya J.,Nepal Agricultural Research Council NARC | Rana R.B.,Research and Development LI BIRD | Gauchan D.,Nepal Agricultural Research Council NARC | Sthapit B.R.,Office for South Asia National Agriculture Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2010

In Nepal, in traditional rice farming systems many diverse landraces are grown in all of the rice agro-ecosystems from low to high altitude. Three case study sites were selected to represent the major rice agro-ecozones: Bara (100-150 m) for the low-altitude terai (plain); Kaski (700-1,206 m) for the mid-hill zone; and Jumla (2,200-3,000 m) for the high-hill zone. The diversity in rice varieties was compared in these three sites and nine survey villages in a series of surveys conducted in 1998, 1999 and 2006. The level and distribution of diversity on farm varied with the physical and socio-economic settings of the farming communities. The mid-hill site (Kaski) had the highest rice landrace diversity. This was adapted to the diverse agro-ecosystems found there and there was equal diversity in Kule khet (irrigated lands by seasonal canals) and Sim khet (marshy wet land). The next most diverse system was Nicha khet (irrigated lowlands) in Bara, the low-altitude site. The high-hill site (Jumla) had the lowest rice diversity. Across all sites many of the landraces were rarely grown and then only in small areas, reflecting the specialized uses to which they were put. At all sites the most common single landrace occupied less than half of the rice area. Resource-rich farmers were the more important custodians of on-farm rice varietal diversity across the sites. There was more rice diversity in favourable environments than in less favourable ones. This was true whether diversity was measured across sites or across rice domains within sites. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Subedi A.,Leiden University | Chaudhary R.P.,Tribhuvan University | Vermeulen J.J.,Leiden University | Gravendeel B.,Leiden University | Gravendeel B.,Research and Development LI BIRD
Nordic Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

Panisea panchaseensis Subedi sp. nov. (Orchidaceae) is described as a new species from Nepal. The distinguishing characters, a description, detailed illustrations and photographs are provided. The species is genetically compared to P. tricallosa, and a diagnostic key based on the morphology to all species of Panisea is provided. © 2011 The Authors. Nordic Journal of Botany © 2011 Nordic Society Oikos.

Chhetri N.,Arizona State University | Chaudhary P.,University of Massachusetts Boston | Chaudhary P.,Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment | Tiwari P.R.,Research and Development LI BIRD | Yadaw R.B.,National Rice Research Program
Applied Geography | Year: 2012

History shows that farmers and their supporting institutions have been successful in introducing technological innovations to respond and adapt to environmental and socioeconomic challenges. Innovation itself is a mechanism by which society adapt to changing resource endowments, and which is in turn driven by social and cultural values. In the future, as resource conditions changes, the role of institutions in the process of technological innovations would be crucial to avoid deleterious consequences of climate change in agriculture. Using Nepal as a case, this paper illustrates how farmers and their supporting institutions are evolving and co-producing climate sensitive technologies on demand. Drawing upon the hypothesis of induced innovation, we examine the extent to which resource endowments have influenced the evolution of technological and institutional innovations in Nepal's agricultural research and development. This study reveals that Nepal has developed a novel multilevel institutional partnership, including collaboration with farmers and other non-governmental organizations in recent years. More importantly, by combining conventional technological innovation process with the tacit knowledge of farmers, this new alliance has been instrumental in the innovation of location-specific technologies thereby facilitating the adoption of technologies in a more efficient manner. This alliance has improved knowledge network among institutions, scientists and farmers and enabled them to seek technologies that are responsive to likely changes in climate. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Witcombe J.R.,Bangor University | Devkota K.P.,Research and Development LI BIRD | Joshi K.D.,CAZS Natural Resources
Experimental Agriculture | Year: 2010

A review of the outcomes of past attempts at establishing sustainable seed producer groups in Nepal showed that after donor support was withdrawn a lack of marketing skills resulted in the groups no longer producing seed. Learning from this review, when we initiated new attempts at establishing sustainable seed producer groups in Chitwan district, Nepal, we emphasized the strengthening of their marketing and managerial capabilities rather than training in technical issues such as seed quality control. We imparted marketing skills to committee members of farmer groups at an initial training course in Chitwan in 2001. This inspired at least three existing farmer groups in Chitwan, already established for other agricultural activities, to enter into cereal and legume seed production and its marketing. Following their establishment in 2002 we supported them initially by purchasing some of their seed production. This was progressively withdrawn and, after three years, the groups independently marketed all of their substantial seed production. They built up capital reserves mainly from subsidies and by attracting funds from new shareholders with only a small contribution from retained profits that were only about 5% of total turnover. The capital reserves reduced or eliminated the need for loans thus increasing the chances that the enterprises would be sustainable. In contrast, other government-supported groups had practically no cash reserves despite substantial seed sales. By 2010, two of the three groups were still operating and had substantially increased turnover. Shareholders who were also seed producers benefited from being members of the group and from an increased income of 10% by producing seed instead of grain. Our intention in supporting these groups was to promote the scaling out of new rice varieties produced by client-oriented breeding (COB) or identified by participatory varietal selection but most of the seed that was produced was of obsolete varieties. Policies are needed to preferentially promote new varieties by supplying more information about them and increasing the subsidy on their seeds compared with older varieties. Continuing promotion by the organizations that bred them is also desirable but constrained by limited funding for COB. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

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