Publications (2)1.71 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: The wetlands of North Africa are an endangered and invaluable ecological heritage. Some of these wetlands are now protected by various conservation statutes; which actual impact has not yet been reliably evaluated. This article aims to assess the conservation management (Nature Reserve and Ramsar site) of a protected Tunisian lake, Majen Chitane, by using palaeoecological, historical and modern data, and by comparing it with the unprotected lake Majen Choucha. While located in similar environments, these lakes are today home to very different flora. Baseline conditions reconstructed from literature indicate that both lakes were very similar until the 1950s, and comparable to the current state of Majen Choucha, housing rich oligotrophic plant communities. In the 1960s, at the time that cultivation of the adjacent peatland began, Majen Chitane underwent strong ecological changes as the initial oligotrophic plant, diatom and zooplankton communities were replaced by eutrophication-tolerant ones. Eutrophication led to the local extinction of 40-55% of the hydrophytic and temporary-pool plant species, including those characteristic of the Isoetion. Given the damages and despite the recent conservation status of the site, it's unlikely that Majen Chitane will undergo any natural regeneration. Restoring it would start with completely protecting the complex lake-peatland and re-introducing the locally extinct species from Majen Choucha. This work exemplifies the usefulness of connecting palaeoecological, historical and modern data for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands.Comptes rendus biologies 10/2011; 334(10):742-56. · 1.71 Impact Factor
Article: Screening of essential oils from wild-growing plants in Tunisia for their yield and toxicity to the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A laboratory experiment was conducted with the poultry red mite Dermanysuss gallinae (De Geer) to assess the toxicity of a range of essential oils obtained from wild-growing plants in Tunisia to this pest. Details of the percentage essential oil yield from these plants were also recorded. For comparison, commercially sourced essential oil from Thymus vulgaris (L.) was also tested against D. gallinae after work elsewhere found this product to be acaricidal. Recently fed adult female D. gallinae were exposed to the essential oils at 0.1 mg oil/cm2 in Petri-dishes at 22 °C over a period of 24 h.Results showed that the yield of essential oil varied considerably depending upon the source plant. Whilst maximum yields of 0.5% were achieved, three of the seven wild plants selected provided yields of less than 0.1%. Similar variability was recorded with respect to the toxicity of the essential oils to D. gallinae. Three of the essential oils tested did not cause significant D. gallinae mortality (in comparison to the control). However, all other selected oils provided mortality levels statistically similar to the 90% mortality achieved with commercial T. vulgaris essential oil, with the oil from Pelargonium graveolens (L’Hér.) killing 100% of D. gallinae exposed to it. Essential oil from P. graveolens in particular may be suitable for further development as a D. gallinae acaricide alongside or in place of commercial thyme essential oil.Industrial Crops and Products.