Although most work at NCF is carried out within one or more specific programmes, there are a few projects that are carried out separately. This section lists these projects.
The Independent Fellows initiative in NCF is an opportunity for young researchers (usually immediately post-PhD) to work with us on their own projects. The Independent Fellows initiative is currently open only to those who bring their own salary and research funds from an external agency.
These are projects that are carried out by staff outside their 'home' programmes.
NCF's Adjunct Faculty include scientists from other institutions who contribute to our past and ongoing work . Many of them also actively contribute to our PhD Programme through their teaching and supervisory inputs.
NCF's Honorary Associates are professionals, mostly from other fields, who have ploughed in their skills and goodwill to support NCF's efforts to further the understanding, appreciation and conservation of nature while being mindful of the social complexities of the real world.
- Journal Article2018Context-dependent interactive effects of non-lethal predation on larvae impact adult longevity and body compositionPLoS ONE. 13(2): e0192104
Full text available here:
Predation impacts development, behavior and morphology of prey species thereby shaping their abundances, distribution and community structure. Non-lethal threat of predation, specifically, can have a strong influence on prey lifehistory characteristics. While investigations often focus on the impact of predation threat on prey in isolation, tests of its interactive effects with food availability and resource competition on prey survival and fitness can improve understanding of costs, benefits and trade-offs of anti-predator strategies. This study, involving Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as a model organism, investigates both simple and interactive effects of predation threat during the larval stage on survival, size at and time to maturity, stored teneral reserves of glycogen, protein and lipid in adults, and adult longevity. Our results show that development times of mosquito larvae were increased (by 14.84% in males and by 97.63% in females), and size of eclosing adults decreased (by 62.30% in males and by 58.33% in females) when exposed to lowered nutrition and elevated intraspecific competition, but that predation had no detectable effect on these simple traits. Teneral reserves of glycogen, protein and lipid and adult longevity were positively correlated with adult body size. Non-lethal predation threat had significant interactive effects with nutrition and larval competition on teneral reserves in males and adult longevity in males and females. The sexes responded differently to conditions encountered as larvae, with the larval environment affecting development and adult characteristics more acutely for females than for males. The outcome of this study shows how threat of predation on juveniles can have long-lasting effects on adults that are likely to impact mosquito population dynamics and that may impact disease transmission.
- Journal Article2017Plant-disperser mutualisms in a semi-arid habitat invaded by Lantana camara L.Plant Ecology 218 (8): 935-946Download
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Dispersal is an important ecological process that affects plant population structure and community composition. Invasive plants with fleshy fruits rapidly form associations with native and invasive dispersers, and may affect existing native plant-disperser associations. We asked whether frugivore visitation rate and fruit removal was associated with plant characteristics in a community of fleshy-fruited plants and whether an invasive plant receives more visitation and greater fruit removal than native plants in a semi-arid habitat of Andhra Pradesh, India. Tree-watches were undertaken at individuals of nine native and one invasive shrub species to assess the identity, number and fruit removal by avian frugivores. Network analyses and generalised linear mixed-effects models were used to understand species and community-level patterns. All plants received most number of visits from abundant, generalist avian frugivores. Number of frugivore visits and time spent by frugivores at individual plants was positively associated with fruit crop size, while fruit removal was positively associated with number of frugivore visits and their mean foraging time at individual plants. The invasive shrub, Lantana camara L. (Lantana), had lower average frugivore visit rate than the community of fleshy-fruited plants and received similar average frugivore visits but greater average per-hour fruit removal than two other concurrently fruiting native species. Based on the results of our study, we infer that there is little evidence of competition between native plants and Lantana for the dispersal services of native frugivores and that more data are required to assess the nature of these interactions over the long term. We speculate that plant associations with generalist frugivores may increase the functional redundancy of this frugivory network, buffering it against loss of participating species.
- Dataset2017Data from: Plant-disperser mutualisms in a semi-arid habitat invaded by Lantana camara L. Plant EcologyData Dryad. http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gc6dm
- Popular Article2016The march of the triffids.The BOU Blog, 8 August 2016
Shifting agriculture supports more rainforest birds than oil palm or teak monocultures
- Popular Article2016Shekru sees a blazing issueThe Hindu in School, 13 July
- Report2016NCF Annual Report 2016
- Dataset2016Data from: Shifting agriculture supports more tropical forest birds than oil palm or teak plantations in Mizoram, northeast India.Dryad Digital Repository. http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pk78j.2
This contains the dataset corresponding to this publication:
Mandal J, Raman TRS (2016) Shifting agriculture supports more tropical forest birds than oil palm or teak plantations in Mizoram, northeast India. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 118(2): 345-359. http://dx.doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-15-163.1
- Popular Article2016Why Mizoram must revive, not eradicate, jhumThe Frontier Despatch, March 4 – 10, 2016, page 6.
- Popular Article2016Is oil palm expansion good for Mizoram?The Frontier Despatch, March 18 – 24, 2016, pages 6-7.