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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:

 6-10 Panna research area
 Study research area
6-010 Jan-Mar 2020 pic1
Field view of experimental set up for testing predation efficacy of green mirid against planthopper. BRRI, Gazipur.
6-10 Panna field work
PEER staff taking data from the rice field.
 6-10_Panna Ali farmers training
 Farmers training conducted in Barishal. Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, Chief Scientific officer and Head, BRRI Barishal were also  invited to teach farmers
6-10 Jan-Mar 2019 qtly Ali
Md Panna Ali (left) in the field with his colleague
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.

2020 Project updates:

Natural pest control service modeling in rice fields has been ongoing. The team established 12 experimental fields in three project sites including Potuakhali, Jashore and Satkhira. Five gravid brown planthoppers were introduced in cage placed in rice field. Each rice field has four cages where planthoppers were released. Both eggs and adult planthoppers were released into cage. Similarly, eggs and adult brown planthoppers were also released into rice plants at open field. Rice plants both in cages and open place were examined at 15 days interval. Population developed both in cage and open area are being monitored. All the experimental plots are at mid stage.

Adding floral strips for increased ecosystem service delivery in agriculture continues. In this season (Boro 2019-20), the team added floral strips in the earthen bank of rice field. Marigold and sunflower were used to make floral strips in earthen bank closed to rice field in Satkhira and Gazipur. These flowering strips supported the natural enemies shelters and food. Within this strips, parasitoids, parasites, predators and insect pathogens (fungi, bacteria, nematodes) can reproduce and multiply. We have taken data from rice fields as well flowering strips. This flowering strip also increases diversity in rice landscape. Foraging insect like honeybees, bumble bees and other wild bees visited the flowers in rice landscape. More experimental data will be taken in the upcoming months.

Dissemination of climate smart rice variety in climate susceptible area is also ongoing. In Boro season 2019-20, the team transplanted BRRI dhan47 and BRRI dhan67 in nine farmers' fields at salinity elevated area including Satkhira, Borguna, Potuakhali and Chattogram. Irrigations and other cultural practices were performed according to standard rice production technology. The PI Md Panna Ali visited all fields on 18 February 2020 right before  COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were put in place.In the meantime, field staff are continuing  taking care of these fields. 

During the quarter, the team also studied field performance of green mirid bug, a potential predator of planthopper. The project team established a field experiment in BRRI Gazipur  to investigate the field performance of green mirid bug against a major rice pest, brown planthopper.  Sweep nets were made  encircling  9 hills. After encircling  the rice hills in field, the team released 5 brown planthoppers and three green mirid bugs in each cage. Experimental plots are being monitored at 15 day intervals. This experiment is at mid stage now.

Impact of salinity on rice growth and yield is also being observed. To understand the impact of elevated salinity on rice production in field, an experiment was conducted in a greenhouse of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Gazipur. Three levels of salinity including 0.0 dS/m (control), 4.0 dS/m, and 8.0 dS/m were used. Pre-germinated seeds of BRRI dhan47 and BRRI dhan67 were sown in each pot. Each pot was filled with 3.0 kg soil mixed with nutrient. Soil was fertilized according to standard fertilizer doses (BRRI 2016). Galvanized iron tray was filled with saline water. Twelve plots were placed in each tray. Growth of rice cultivars in each treatment were monitored daily. Rice plant is now at mid stage.

In terms of  training, thirty (30) rice farmers were trained in Barishal focusing the training on rice production in climate susceptible area, and the impact of climate change on ecosystem services in Bangladesh. 

6-10 Panna Ali publication

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