|Project Update: November 2014
In November 2014, second fieldwork has been done in Baluran savanna. In this trip we collect sample herbarium of Acacia nilotica such as fruits, seeds, leaves and branches. These materials then processed dried, and mounted and then sketches were drawn. Acacia nilotica as described in the previous report, is the main obnoxious invasive exotic plant that threaten the existsence of savanna ecosystem in Baluran National Park.
Next, we want to know what are the factors that encourage the spread and the domination of Acacia nilotica in the savanna. We collected faecal remains of grazing animal (water buffalo) from several plots of savanna and adjacent Acacia nilotica stand. These faecals then were crushed and seeds of Acacia nilotica extracted from it. Some faecal were left as it is. Seeds from extracted faecals and seeds collected directly from pods on Acacia nilotica trees then planted together under shade of paranet with soils and humus as planting medium. This is to test whether grazing by Buffalo contribute to the speed of germination of Acacia nilotica seedling and its spreading.
Beside by grazing, we also consider fire as one of the main factors in speeding up Acacia nilotica seed germination, therefore, we visited several plots in the savanna which have experience burning to look for seedling of Acacia nilotica. Some seeds that we collected from pods on the Acacia nilotica trees then we treated with hot boiling water before planted under paranet shade to simulate heat from fire/burning.
This month we also went to Jogjakarta to meet with book designer and publisher for the upcoming books on Acacia nilotica invasion in Baluran savanna