Source: SEAMEO BIOTROP's Research Grant | 2021
Baluran National Park (BNP) savanna is the largest savanna in Java, a biodiversity conservation areas characterized by a domination of savannas housing indigenous herbivores mainly banteng (Bos javanicus d’Alton), the flagship of BNP. Unfortunately the population of banteng, the very endogenous flagship has been decreasing and is classified as” endangered”. The savannas are invaded by invasive alien plant species mainly a small tree species, Vachellia nilotica (L P.J. Hurter & Mabb.), originated from India, altering those savannas into shrubs dominated by V. nilotica the invading tree species. The tree invasion shaded out grasses, which was dominant in the park such as Dichantium caricosum (L.) A. Camus a type of grasses preferred by the dwelling herbivores. The solution to these problems are not enough only to kill to reduce the population of V.nilotica but also to control those broadleaved weeds and the more importance of all is growing selected productive, nutritive, local grasses to ensure an adequate supply banteng and other herbivores. This research activities aims measuring the competitive ability of grasses and studying their competition against other vegetation in the greenhouse following the approach of replacement series. Selections of C4 productive competitive grasses for establishing to develop productive pasture to support the livelihood of “banteng” and other fauna in the park. The prospective grasses and some weeds are collected from Savanna Bekol, BNP and grown in the green house and field site of SEAMEO BIOTROP, Bogor. The measurement of photosynthesis were carried out at different light intensity , 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 µmol/m2/s using the Photosynthetic Gas Exchange Analyser LICOR LI-6400 at IPB University. A greenhouse experiment was also organized to study the competition ability between grasses of Dichantium caricosum and Vernonia cymosa by replacement series method. There are 9 grasses and 1 species of broad leaves weeds collected at Baluran National Park. Dichantium caricosum is a grass recommended to be cultivated at Baluran National Park due to the high survival rate during the dry season which has C4 photosynthetic type. V. cymosa has a high competition rate than D. caricosum. V. cymosa has to be control to save the growth of D. caricosum. Good pasture of Baluran National Park dominated by D. caricosum will save the herbivores especially banteng and deers in grazing their feeds.
Keywords: Dichantium caricosum, Vernonia cymosa, Baluran National Park, Invasive Alien Plant Species
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