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Thomas M.,Tropical Institute of Ecological science | Kumaran R.,Karuna Medical College | Samuel K.A.,Cms College | Kurian P.,St. Marys College
Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology | Year: 2012

Wetland ecosystems are unique ecologically and incessant human dependence is noted from time immemorial. Water rats (Rattus norvegicus) play a vital role in disease transmission and a study was conducted to assess the pathogenic diversity among water rats (Rattus norvegicus) inhabiting Vembanadu-Kol wetland agroecosystem. A total of twelve bacterial pathogens were isolated from the trapped six water rats including Salmonella enterica, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus. Fifteen fungal pathogens were isolated including two dermatophytes (Microsporum audouinii and Trichophyton rubrum). Genus Aspergillus was more predominant representing four species. The presence of Trichosoporon biegelii was observed in both blood and lungs. Six parasites were also identified with more prevalence of Ancylostoma duodenalae (100%) followed by Hymenolepis diminuta (66.67%). As human-water-rat contact is inevitable in wetland ecosystem, the presence of pathogens in rats inhabiting in it are a matter of serious concern. Source


Varghese A.,Tropical Institute of Ecological science | John C.M.,Mahatma Gandhi University | Jose S.K.,Mahatma Gandhi University | Kurlan P.,St. Marys College
Ecology, Environment and Conservation | Year: 2012

Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR), the largest protected area in the state of Kerala with an area of 925 sq. km. is under severe anthropogenic pressure due to the annual pilgrimage to the Sastha temple (Lord Ayyappa temple), located at Sabarimala, in the south-western Pamba range of the reserve. The present study was conducted in this background to analyse the land use/ land cover change in Sabarimala and Karimala sections of the Pamba range of PTR. The forest cover was decreased during the period 1967- 2004, whereas other geographical elements such as open forest and grassland showed significant increase in the area. 44.16% of forest area has been reduced during the period, where 30% of the forest area was converted to other land use. Grassland showed sharp increase of 34.17% area between 1967- 2004 and open forest showed 7% increase during the period. 4% of the total forest area was converted to barren area and settlements during the period. The increasing number of pilgrims with improper and unplanned infrastructural facili-ties with less concern of waste management are causing pressure on the biodiversity and thus resulted in drastic change in land cover of this key protected area in the central Kerala. The pilgrimage activities inside the PTR have to be scientifically managed for preventing the further change in land cover pattern of the protected area. Copyright © EM International. Source


Sreekanth P.M.,Bangalore City College New Campus | Balasundaran M.,Tropical Institute of Ecological science | Nazeem P.A.,Kerala Agricultural University
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2014

Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) is a popular hardwood species native to South and South-East Asia. The possible association of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) marker with morphological variables of eleven important characters viz. girth at breast height (GBH), height of tree, bole height, branch knots, presence of fluting, spiral stem, leaf hair, leaf length/breadth ratio, branching pattern, bark colour and petiole shape for nine natural populations comprising 180 genotypes of teak (9 populations × 20 trees). The phenogram constructed using Euclidean distances for the eleven morphological characters showed that the populations were not grouped according to their geographical origin. The Mantel’s test for pairwise correlation between Euclidean distances of different morphological variables and genetic distances from AFLP data revealed that only petiole character (r =0.269; p =0.046) and height of tree (r =0.200; p =0.001) were significantly correlated with that of AFLP data matrix. The nine populations in this study covered a geographic area of about 1000 km stretch along the Western Ghat of South India. A test of correlation between genetic and geographic distance matrices revealed a significant positive correlation (r =0.475; p =0.009). The lack of perfect congruence between morphological and molecular data except for geographic distance, tree height and petiole character suggested that the morphological system might be useful for the morphotypes management but not appropriate to study the genetic structure of the teak populations. © 2014, Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Thomas M.,Tropical Institute of Ecological science | Samuel K.A.,Cms College | Kurian P.,St. Marys College
Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences | Year: 2011

Here, we report skin and hair infection due to S. dimidiatum in R. norvegicus inhabiting Vembanad- Kol wetland agroecosystem. Though several human infections due to this fungus were noticed, to the best of our knowledge this is the first report of animal infection due to S. dimidiatum. © Global Science Publications. Source


Varghese A.,Tropical Institute of Ecological science | Kurian P.,St. Marys College
Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences | Year: 2011

Pamba, the third largest river in Kerala is starting from the foothills of Western Ghats and is exposed to millions of Sabarimala devotees, every year. Pamba river water and its adjoining drinking water resources (< 100 mt.) in upper and lower catchments of the river were evaluated for both bacteriological and physico-chemical parameters. A total of 21 pathogenic bacteria were obtained during peak pilgrimage season and 23 were isolated in post season, from river water, while from drinking water 19 pathogens were obtained during peak pilgrimage season and 18 species in post season. There is no significant change in pathogenic density and diversity in water resources even after pilgrimage season. A steady increase in bacterial density was observed from upper to lower catchments of the river. All the tested drinking water samples showed significantly high level of MPN, during peak pilgrimage season but comparatively less in post season. The changes in physicochemical parameters have significant influence upon pathogenic population and poses serious public health threat both to the interacting community as well as downstream riverbank community. © Global Science Publications. Source

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