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Cycle 6 (2017 Deadline)

Ecosystem services in a changing climate: assessing critical services in Bangladesh rice production landscapes

PI: Md Panna Ali,, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI)
U.S. Partner: Douglas A. Landis, Michigan State University
Project dates: December 2017 - November 2020

Project Overview:

Rice contributes more than 80% of the total food supply in Bangladesh, including 76% of daily caloric intake and 66% of total protein requirements (Brolley 2015; Bhuiyan et al. 2002). The coastal region of Bangladesh, which covers 20% of the country and more than 30% of the cultivable land and contributes 16% of the total rice production, is the most vulnerable region to climate change (Minar et al. 2013). Moreover, due to increasingly variable rainfall leading to a reduction in freshwater flows, about 53% of the coastal areas are experiencing salinity intrusions that restrict crop production (Rahman 2012). As a consequence, rice productivity in this area is 70% lower than the national average. In this project, Dr. Ali and his colleagues will quantify the potential impacts of changing conditions on ecosystem services by quantitatively determining the impact of climate variability on the provision of four key ecosystem services: carbon sequestration, pest suppression, water supply, and rice production. They will use spatially explicit models to project future patterns of terrestrial ecosystems and the production and values of ecosystem services. The scientific understanding of the links between climate, ecosystems, and economic value is still unknown or poorly developed for Bangladesh. Therefore, this collaborative research effort involving U.S. experts focused on developing models and estimating the impacts of changing conditions on ecosystem services in Bangladesh will be an important tool for reversing current and future losses in the economic value of Bangladesh’s natural ecosystems.

The area where the project will be conducted is characterized by lower rice productivity due to limited ecosystem services. Therefore, identification of the ecosystem services that induce lower rice production and those that are predicted to be most vulnerable to environmental change in the future is a critical component of enhancing productivity in the region. In this project, the research team will analyze environmental impacts on crop production systems and suggest appropriate coping strategies and adaptation options for improving coastal agriculture, both for increased agricultural production and for better livelihoods for the vulnerable farming community. As a whole, this project will not only provide the scientific community with evidence to overcome anecdotal information, a hindrance to effective ecosystem service monitoring and management, but also aid sustainable ecosystem management implementation and policy interventions.

Project updates:

During October - December 2018, the following activities were conducted:

(1) Impact of salinity on the yield of rice at field condition. The experiment was conducted in three regions of Bangladesh where salinity has been increasing for the past 20 years during Transplanted Aman (T. Aman) season 2018. Six farmer plots were selected from each
region and three plots were in saline and other three were in non-saline area of each region. The seed of rice variety (BRRI dhan49) was collected and used for this study. The rice was grown according to standard BRRI protocol. The intercultural operations, irrigation, weeding and other agronomic practices were conducted by farmers. At maturity stage, crop cut was taken to calculate the yield per unit area. The yield was collected from 2m X 5m area from each plot. The yield was recorded 5.36 t/ha at salinity enhanced area and 5.80 t/ha in non-saline area at Chattagram region in Bangladesh. Lower yield was observed in salinity enhanced area. The finding of this study indicates enhanced salinity reduce 7.6% rice yield than that non-saline area. In Barishal region, rice variety, Guti Swarna yielded 5.6 t/ha in salinity enhanced area and 5.82 t/ha in non-saline area. Similar results were observed in Stakhira region. BRRI dhan52 yield 6.2 t/ha in salinity enhanced area and 6.75 t/ha in non-saline area. More than 8% lower yield was observed in salinity enhanced area than that of non-saline area. This result indicates that salinity reduces rice yield per unit area. Lower yield was observed in each location irrespective of variety at salinity enhanced area in Bangladesh.

(2)  Abundance of biocontrol agents in different rice production landscapes in Bangladesh. Biocontrol agents including lady bird beetle (LBB), green mirid bug, dragon fly, damsel fly, carabid beetle, staphylinid beetle, spiders and parasitoid wasps are commonly found in rice production landscapes. We recorded these biocontrol agents from three distinct landscapes in Bangladesh including Chattagram, Satkhira and Barishal. Data were collected at four stages of rice, early tillering, mid tillering and heading. Insect pests play role as harmful and natural enemies play role as useful for our rice ecosystem. Thirty locations were selected in each landscape rice ecosystem. Sweep net was used to record insect pest and biocontrol agents present in rice ecosystem. Twenty complete sweeps were conducted for each sampling time. The highest number of LBB was found in Chattagram than other two locations. Lady bird beetle is the generalized predators commonly found in all landscapes. Landscape characteristics of Chattagram might provide great resources for LBB that timely prevails in rice landscape. Spiders are the very much common and effective biocontrol agents in rice field. Highest number of spiders (552) and carabid beetle (213) was found in Chattagram. Highest number of green mirid bug, parasitoid wasps, damsel fly and dragon fly were found in Satkhira than that of other two locations.

(3) Study on the ecosystem preference test of brown planthopper in net house condition. The team created four rice ecosystems with rice variety BRRI dhan47 in net house condition. Five 15 days old seedlings of BRRI dhan47 were transplanted into earthen plastic pot filled with fertilized soils. Three rice plastic pots were placed into one plastic bowl filled with different saline water (0 dS/m, 2 dS/m, 4 dS/m and 5 dS/m) and were kept them for normal growth in green house condition. The salinity level in each bowl was tested and maintained regularly. Four bowls were placed in a manner that center of these bowls allow to place for one pot with rice plant. The BPH population approximate 400 at nymphal stage allowed to seetle down in one pot rice seedling at stock culture room. This pot was placed in the center of four bowls, so that insects can move easily to every four bowls and kept it for seven days. After seven days, the population of BPH was recorded from each rice pot in plastic bowl which contained different level of salinity water. The highest population of BPH (114) observed in 2.0 dS/m salinity level and followed by 4.0 dS/m, 8.0 dS/m, 0.0 dS/m. This result indicates that principal insect pest, brown planthopper (BPH) will move from higher salinity zone to other areas.

Plans for the upcoming year:

1. Validate the climate projection models according to the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) high (A2) versus low (B1) greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (IPCC 2007).
2. Ecosystem service modeling and valuation (Projecting Ecosystem Service and Value Change)
3. Management of landscape practices for enhancing multiple ecosystem services; Application eco-engineering technique for enhancing multiple ecosystem services in rice landscape at project sites.
4. Dissemination of climate smart rice varieties in climate susceptible area (project sites) by field demonstration with farmers.
5. Establishment of equipments for research including ArcGIS and Video Microscope
6. Two MSc students will be engaged to work on PEER project
7. Farmers' training
8. Attending international seminar/Annual meeting of Entomological Society of America 2019
9. Publication of a scientific paper from PEER project findings
Collaboration with the US partner is ongoing. After visiting US Partner's lab in the US in October 2018 and learning climate model, data collection, and experimental design and  gaining ArcGIS knowledge, Md. Ali Panna intends to arrange a workshop at BRRI.

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