The study of river water quality plays an important role in assessing the pollution status and health of the water bodies. Human-induced activities such as domestic activities, aquaculture, agriculture and industries have detrimentally affected the river water quality. Pinang River is one of the important rivers in Balik Pulau District that supplies freshwater for human consumption. A total of 442 physical and chemical parameters data of the Pinang River, Balik Pulau catchment were analysed to determine the sources of pollutants entering the river. Non-supervised artificial neural network (ANN) was employed to classify and cluster the river into upstream, middle-stream and downstream zones. The monitored data and non-supervised ANN analysis demonstrated that the source of nitrate was derived from the upper part of the Pinang River, Balik Pulau while the sources of nitrite, ammonia and ortho-phosphate are predominant at the middle-stream of the river system. Meanwhile, the sources of high total suspended solid and biological oxygen demand were concentrated at the downstream of the river.
The distribution of benthic Foraminifera throughout the coastal waters of Taman Negara Pulau Pinang (Penang National Park), Malaysia was studied to assess the impact of various anthropogenic activities, such as fishing, ecotourism and floating cage culture. Samples were obtained at 200 m intervals within the subtidal zone, extending up to 1200 m offshore at Teluk Bahang, Teluk Aling, Teluk Ketapang and Pantai Acheh. The depth within coastal waters ranged between 1.5 m and 10.0 m, with predominantly muddy substrate at most stations. Water quality analysis showed little variation in micronutrient (nitrite, NO2; nitrate, NO3; ammonia, NH4 and orthophosphate, PO4) concentrations between sampling stations. Temperature (29.6±0.48°C), salinity (29.4±0.28 ppt), dissolved oxygen content (5.4±0.95 mg/l) and pH (8.5± 0.13) also showed little fluctuation between stations. A total of nine genera of foraminifera were identified in the study (i.e., Ammonia, Elphidium, Ammobaculites, Bigenerina, Quinqueloculina, Reopax, Globigerina, Textularia and Nonion). The distribution of benthic foraminifera was dominated by opportunistic groups that have a high tolerance to anthropogenic stressors. Ammonia had the highest frequency of occurrence (84.7%), followed by Bigenerina (50%), Ammobaculites (44.2%) and Elphidium (38.9%). The Ammonia-Elphidium Index (AEI) was used to describe the hypoxic condition of benthic communities at all sites. Teluk Bahang had the highest AEI value. The foraminiferal assemblages and distribution in Teluk Bahang, Teluk Aling, Teluk Ketapang and Pantai Acheh showed no correlation with physical or chemical environmental parameters.
A primary factor in population management and wildlife conservation is the delineation of population units derived from descriptions of population genetic structure. Yet, predicting factors that influence the patterns of gene flow in a population particularly at landscape scales remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Here we report a population genetic study of the mud crab Scylla olivacea examined based on a 542 bp segment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase I gene among 91 individuals from six localities in the west and east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. In total 55 unique haplotypes were distinguished with 45 private haplotypes and a single common haplotype shared among all populations studied. The other ten haplotypes were shared among various populations. The sharing of this haplotype reflects the connection of the mangrove areas between east and west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. High haplotype diversity (h = 0.968 ± 0.021; mean ± SD) and low nucleotide diversity (π = 0.120 ± 0.015; mean ± SD) were displayed, which may be indicative of genetic bottleneck events. No significant phylogenetic lineages were recognized using neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony methods. Hierarchical AMOVA analysis indicated that 99.33 % of the genetic variation was contained within populations and 0.67 % occurred among populations, suggesting no geographical patterning among populations studied, supported by F st test. Mismatch distribution analysis showed that the observed distribution of the pairwise mutation differences among haplotypes was multimodal, which is not concordant with a sudden range expansion scenario. However, neutrality tests showed non-significant negative values suggesting that the populations studied may have experienced past population growth, but the expansion may have been restricted to separate local areas that resulted in the non-significant negative Fu's Fs and Tajima's D value. Overall, this present preliminary study was able to be a reference on the phylogenetic relationships and assessment of genetic structure of Scylla sp. in Malaysia.
Strategic noise mapping provides important information for noise impact assessment and noise abatement. However, producing reliable strategic noise mapping in a dynamic, complex working environment is difficult. This study proposes the implementation of the random walk approach as a new stochastic technique to simulate noise mapping and to predict the noise exposure level in a workplace. A stochastic simulation framework and software, namely RW-eNMS, were developed to facilitate the random walk approach in noise mapping prediction. This framework considers the randomness and complexity of machinery operation and noise emission levels. Also, it assesses the impact of noise on the workers and the surrounding environment. For data validation, three case studies were conducted to check the accuracy of the prediction data and to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach. The results showed high accuracy of prediction results together with a majority of absolute differences of less than 2 dBA; also, the predicted noise doses were mostly in the range of measurement. Therefore, the random walk approach was effective in dealing with environmental noises. It could predict strategic noise mapping to facilitate noise monitoring and noise control in the workplaces.
Due to conservation and rehabilitation efforts, mangrove forests represent some of the largest environmental niches in Malaysia. However, there is little information on the potential risks posed by mosquitoes that are directly and indirectly associated with mangrove forests. To study the potential health risk to humans active within and in close vicinity of mangrove forests, this research focused on the day biting habits of mosquitoes in mangrove forests of Kedah, Malaysia. The bare leg catch (BLC) method was used to collect adult mosquitoes during a 12-h period from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in both disturbed and less disturbed areas of mangroves. In total, 795 adult mosquitoes from 5 genera and 8 species were collected, and over 65% of the total mosquitoes were collected from the less disturbed area. The predominant species from the less disturbed area was Verrallina butleri; in the disturbed area the dominant species was Culex sitiens. The peak biting hour differed for each species, with Aedes albopictus and Cx. sitiens recorded as having a bimodal biting activity peak during dawn and dusk. For Ve. butleri an erratic pattern of biting activity was recorded in the less disturbed area but it peaked during the early daytime for both collection points. Overall, the distinct pattern of day biting habits of mosquitoes within mangroves peaked during dawn and dusk for the less disturbed area but was irregular for the disturbed area throughout the day. The presence of vectors of pathogens such as Ae. albopictus for both areas raises the need for authorities to consider management of mosquitoes in mangrove forests.