The skeletal remains of Late Pleistocene-early Holocene humans are exceptionally rare in island Southeast Asia. As a result, the identity and physical adaptations of the early inhabitants of the region are poorly known. One archaeological locality that has historically been important for understanding the peopling of island Southeast Asia is the Niah Caves in the northeast of Borneo. Here we present the results of direct Uranium-series dating and the first published descriptions of three partial human mandibles from the West Mouth of the Niah Caves recovered during excavations by the Harrissons in 1957. One of them (mandible E/B1 100") is somewhat younger than the 'Deep Skull' with a best dating estimate of c30-28 ka (at 2σ), while the other two mandibles (D/N5 42-48" and E/W 33 24-36") are dated to a minimum of c11.0-10.5 ka (at 2σ) and c10.0-9.0 ka (at 2σ). Jaw E/B1 100" is unusually small and robust compared with other Late Pleistocene mandibles suggesting that it may have been ontogenetically altered through masticatory strain under a model of phenotypic plasticity. Possible dietary causes could include the consumption of tough or dried meats or palm plants, behaviours which have been documented previously in the archaeological record of the Niah Caves. Our work suggests a long history back to before the LGM of economic strategies involving the exploitation of raw plant foods or perhaps dried and stored meat resources. This offers new insights into the economic strategies of Late Pleistocene-early Holocene hunter-gatherers living in, or adjacent to, tropical rainforests.
A nearly complete human skeleton dating to the Early Holocene (epi-Paleolithic culture) excavated from Gua Gunung Runtuh, Malaysia, is described. Cranial, dental, and limb bone measurements are recorded on the skeleton, and compared with early and modern skeletal samples from Southeast Asia and Australia. The comparisons demonstrate that the Gua Gunung specimen is most similar to Australian Aborigines in dental and limb measurements, while the cranial measurements indicate a close affinity to Mesolithic samples from Malaysia and Flores. These findings further suggest that the Gua Gunung skeleton, as well as other fossils from Tabon and Niah, are representative of an early group of people who occupied Sundaland during the late Pleistocene, and may be the ancestors of Australian Aborigines. Some of the dental and limb bone measurements exhibited by the ancestors persist in Southeast Asian populations until the early Holocene. Differences in cranial traits have, however, accumulated since the late Pleistocene in Australian Aborigines and early Southeast Asian peoples.
The skeletal remains of Pleistocene anatomically modern humans are rare in island Southeast Asia. Moreover, continuing doubts over the dating of most of these finds has left the arrival time for the region's earliest inhabitants an open question. The unique biogeography of island Southeast Asia also raises questions about the physical and cultural adaptations of early anatomically modern humans, especially within the setting of rainforest inhabitation. Within this context the Deep Skull from the West Mouth of the Niah Caves continues to figure prominently owing to its relative completeness and the greater certainty surrounding its geological age. Recovered along with this partial cranium in 1958 were several postcranial bones including a partial femur which until now has received little attention. Here we provide a description and undertake a comparison of the Deep Skull femur finding it to be very small in all of its cross-sectional dimensions. We note a number of size and shape similarities to the femora of Indigenous Southeast Asians, especially Aeta people from the Philippines. We estimate its stature to have been roughly 145-146 cm and body mass around 35 kg, confirming similarities to Aeta females. Its extreme gracility indicated by low values for a range of biomechanical parameters taken midshaft meets expectations for a very small (female) Paleolithic East Asian. Interestingly, the second moment of area about the mediolateral axis is enlarged relative to the second moment of area about the anteroposterior axis, which could potentially signal a difference in activity levels or lifestyle compared with other Paleolithic femora. However, it might also be the result of sexual dimorphism in these parameters as well as possibly reflecting changes associated with aging.
Posidonomya is common in the Kubang Pasu and Singa Formations in northwest Peninsular Malaysia. It was discovered from the red mudstone layers (redbeds) in many localities in Langkawi Islands, Perlis and Kedah. Previous studies suggested that the age of Posidonomya ranged from Middle Devonian to Carboniferous. Posidonomya beds in Kedah and Perlis are located above the Tournaisian radiolarian chert layers. The age of Posidonomya from Peninsular Malaysia is comparable to those of Europe, Morocco, Turkey and South China which range from Tournaisian to Serpukhovian, Early Carboniferous. The fossil specimens exhibit morphological features closely related to Posidonomya becheri Bronn. Two taxa were identified namely Posidonomya becheri Bronn and Posidonomya cf. kochi (von Koenen). The occurrence of Posidonomya indicates that the age of the lower part of the Kubang Pasu and Singa Formations is Early Carboniferous. Its geographic distribution formed a wide paleobiogeographic province in the Paleo-Tethys. The province was located in the warm tropical-subtropical climatic zone. Therefore, Posidonomya can be a good indicator for warm climate. Its wide distribution and short stratigraphic range make it a good index fossil for the Early Carboniferous.
Dispersal of soil-dwelling organisms via the repeatedly exposed Sunda shelf through much of the Pleistocene in Southeast Asia has not been studied extensively, especially for invertebrates. Here we investigated the phylogeography of an endemic termite species, Macrotermes gilvus (Hagen), to elucidate the spatiotemporal dynamics of dispersal routes of terrestrial fauna in Pleistocene Southeast Asia. We sampled 213 termite colonies from 66 localities throughout the region. Independently inherited microsatellites and mtDNA markers were used to infer the phylogeographic framework of M. gilvus. Discrete phylogeographic analysis and molecular dating based on fossil calibration were used to infer the dynamics of M. gilvus dispersal in time and space across Southeast Asia. We found that the termite dispersal events were consistently dated within the Pleistocene time frame. The dispersal pattern was multidirectional, radiating eastwards and southwards out of Indochina, which was identified as the origin for dispersal events. We found no direct dispersal events between Sumatra and Borneo despite the presence of a terrestrial connection between them during the Pleistocene. Instead, central Java served as an important link allowing termite colonies to be established in Borneo and Sumatra. Our findings support the hypothesis of a north-south dispersal corridor in Southeast Asia and suggest the presence of alternative dispersal routes across Sundaland during the Pleistocene. For the first time, we also propose that a west-east dispersal through over-water rafting likely occurred across the Pleistocene South China Sea. We found at least two independent entry routes for terrestrial species to infiltrate Sumatra and Borneo at different times.
Cambay amber originates from the warmest period of the Eocene, which is also well known for the appearance of early angiosperm-dominated megathermal forests. The humid climate of these forests may have triggered the evolution of epiphytic lineages of bryophytes; however, early Eocene fossils of bryophytes are rare. Here, we present evidence for lejeuneoid liverworts and pleurocarpous mosses in Cambay amber. The preserved morphology of the moss fossil is inconclusive for a detailed taxonomic treatment. The liverwort fossil is, however, distinctive; its zig-zagged stems, suberect complicate-bilobed leaves, large leaf lobules, and small, deeply bifid underleaves suggest a member of Lejeuneaceae subtribe Lejeuneinae (Harpalejeunea, Lejeunea, Microlejeunea). We tested alternative classification possibilities by conducting divergence time estimates based on DNA sequence variation of Lejeuneinae using the age of the fossil for corresponding age constraints. Consideration of the fossil as a stem group member of Microlejeunea or Lejeunea resulted in an Eocene to Late Cretaceous age of the Lejeuneinae crown group. This reconstruction is in good accordance with published divergence time estimates generated without the newly presented fossil evidence. Balancing available evidence, we describe the liverwort fossil as the extinct species Microlejeunea nyiahae, representing the oldest crown group fossil of Lejeuneaceae.
Anthropogenic airborne depositions of 210Po,
210Pb and 210Po/210Pb in the mosses and surface soils
collected at the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant were studied. The purpose of the study was to
determine activity concentrations of 210Po,
210Pb and 210Po/210Pb for assessing their variation
accumulation in the mosses and surface soils collected at the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant.
Other purposes were to determine their concentration factor (CF) in relation to track the potential
source of those radionuclides and to identify most suitable moss species as a biological indicator
for atmospheric deposition contaminants. In this study, different species of moss Leucobryum
aduncum, Campylopus serratus, Syrrhopodon ciliates and Vesicularia montagnei were collected in
May 2011 at the area around 15 km radius from Tanjung Bin coal-fired power plant located in
Pontian, Johor. The activity concentrations of 210Po,
210Pb and 210Po/210Pb in mosses were in the
range of 76.81 ± 4.94 – 251.33 ± 16.33 Bq/kg dry wt., 54.37 ± 3.38 – 164.63 ± 11.64 Bq/kg dry wt.
and 1.10 – 2.00, respectively. Meanwhile the ranges for those radionuclides in the surface soil
were 33.53 ± 2.10 – 179.67 ± 12.15 Bq/kg dry wt., 20.55 ± 1.33 – 106.62 ± 6.64 Bq/kg dry wt. and
1.61 – 2.44, respectively. Corresponding high ability of Leucobryum aduncum to accumulate more
210Po and 210Pb, wide geographical distribution, most abundant and high CF, therefore, the
findings can be concluded this species was the most suitable as a biological indicator for
atmospheric deposition contaminants such as 210Po and 210Pb. Furthermore, it is clear the
accumulation of 210Po and 210Pb in mosses might be supplied from various sources of atmospheric
deposition such as coal-fired power plant operation, industrial, agriculture and fertilizer activities,
burned fuel fossil and forest; and other potential sources. Meanwhile, the
This study was performed to observe the variation in the distribution of 210Po,210Pb and 210Po/210Pb activity ratio throughtheir vertical profile of the sediment cores takenat surrounding Sungai Linggi estuary. Five sediment cores were takenin February 2011 and were cutto an intervalof 2 cm layer. Activity concentrations of 210Po and 210Pb were determined using alpha radiochemical analysis and gamma direct measurement, respectively. Generally, the measured activity of 210Po, 210Pb and 210Po/210Pbwere in the ranges of 22.73 –139.06 Bqkg-1dw., 37.88 –176.24 Bqkg-1dw.and 0.23 –1.34, respectively. The variation in the distribution profile for the radionuclides are believed to be influencedby human activities such as agriculture, fertilizer, vehicles, burned fuel fossil and forest, industrialand others via river input from land-base.Other factor is due to organic mattercontent played importantrole as the geochemical carrier to transportthose radionuclides at study area. It was provedthat hasa strong correlation between the radionuclide distribution and the sedimentcomposition of organic matter.Furthermore, in those rangesreflectedthat 210Pb activities were higher than210Po with an activity ratio average of 0.79. This is probably due to dramatic increase of excess 210Pb supplied from atmospheric deposition, in situ decay of 226Ra and as a result of diagenetic remolibilazationof 210Pbin deeper layesof the sediment column. Thus, thosefactors are majorcontributions on thevariation of 210Po and 210Pb in the sediment core at surrounding Sungai Linggi estuary.
Tropidolaemus wagleri is a species of Asian pitviper with a geographic range including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Bruniei, parts of Indonesia, and the Philippines. Tropidolaemus is a member of the Crotalinae subfamily, within Viperidae. The genus Tropidolaemus includes five species, and was once included within the genus Trimeresurus. While some osteologic characteristics have been noted a comprehensive description of cranial elements has not been produced for T. wagleri. An in-depth description of the cranial skeleton of Tropidolaemus wagleri lays the foundation for future projects to compare and contrast other taxa within Crotalinae and Viperidae. The chosen reference specimen was compared to the presumed younger specimens to note any variation in ontogeny. The study here provides a comprehensive description of isolated cranial elements as well as a description of ontogenetic change within the specimens observed. This study contributes to the knowledge of osteological characters in T. wagleri and provides a foundation for a long term project to identify isolated elements in the fossil record.
Conservation benefits from understanding how adaptability and threat interact to determine a taxon's vulnerability. Recognizing how interactions with humans have shaped taxa such as the critically endangered orangutan (Pongo spp.) offers insights into this relationship. Orangutans are viewed as icons of wild nature, and most efforts to prevent their extinction have focused on protecting minimally disturbed habitat, with limited success. We synthesize fossil, archeological, genetic, and behavioral evidence to demonstrate that at least 70,000 years of human influence have shaped orangutan distribution, abundance, and ecology and will likely continue to do so in the future. Our findings indicate that orangutans are vulnerable to hunting but appear flexible in response to some other human activities. This highlights the need for a multifaceted, landscape-level approach to orangutan conservation that leverages sound policy and cooperation among government, private sector, and community stakeholders to prevent hunting, mitigate human-orangutan conflict, and preserve and reconnect remaining natural forests. Broad cooperation can be encouraged through incentives and strategies that focus on the common interests and concerns of different stakeholders. Orangutans provide an illustrative example of how acknowledging the long and pervasive influence of humans can improve strategies to preserve biodiversity in the Anthropocene.
As fossil energy resources are depleting quick and energy security is playing a vital role in the world economy. Quest for alternative energy sources have turned researches investigation in waste foods for next generation fuel. Biodiesel is usually considered to be environmentally friendly as it reduces greenhouse gas emission. Fish wastes rich in fatty acids and can be used as the raw material to produce biodiesel through transesterification reaction. The results showed that the seven peaks are fatty acid methyl esters, indicating all the triglycerides were successfully methylated to methyl esters. Fish based biodiesel provided a significant reduction in carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions under engine loads of 15 (Nm) and required no engine modification. The viscosity of the produced biodiesel was within the range of international standards (ASTM). The biodiesel was found to contain a low base number and exhibited a lower specific fuel consumption compared to the conventional diesel. It can be concluded that biodiesel derived from waste fish oil can be considered as a potential source of commercial biodiesel.
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the 'human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the 'Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an 'intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest.
This article uses metric and nonmetric dental data to test the "two-layer" or immigration hypothesis whereby Southeast Asia was initially occupied by an "Australo-Melanesian" population that later underwent substantial genetic admixture with East Asian immigrants associated with the spread of agriculture from the Neolithic period onwards. We examined teeth from 4,002 individuals comprising 42 prehistoric and historic samples from East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Melanesia. For the odontometric analysis, dental size proportions were compared using factor analysis and Q-mode correlation coefficients, and overall tooth size was also compared between population samples. Nonmetric population affinities were estimated by Smith's distances, using the frequencies of 16 tooth traits. The results of both the metric and nonmetric analyses demonstrate close affinities between recent Australo-Melanesian samples and samples representing early Southeast Asia, such as the Early to Middle Holocene series from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Flores. In contrast, the dental characteristics of most modern Southeast Asians exhibit a mixture of traits associated with East Asians and Australo-Melanesians, suggesting that these populations were genetically influenced by immigrants from East Asia. East Asian metric and/or nonmetric traits are also found in some prehistoric samples from Southeast Asia such as Ban Kao (Thailand), implying that immigration probably began in the early Neolithic. Much clearer influence of East Asian immigration was found in Early Metal Age Vietnamese and Sulawesi samples. Although the results of this study are consistent with the immigration hypothesis, analysis of additional Neolithic samples is needed to determine the exact timing of population dispersals into Southeast Asia.
Inferring interfamilial relationships within the eudicot order Ericales has remained one of the more recalcitrant problems in angiosperm phylogenetics, likely due to a rapid, ancient radiation. As a result, no comprehensive time-calibrated tree or biogeographical analysis of the order has been published. Here, we elucidate phylogenetic relationships within the order and then conduct time-dependent biogeographical and diversification analyses by using a taxon and locus-rich supermatrix approach on one-third of the extant species diversity calibrated with 23 macrofossils and two secondary calibration points. Our results corroborate previous studies and also suggest several new but poorly supported relationships. Newly suggested relationships are: (1) holoparasitic Mitrastemonaceae is sister to Lecythidaceae, (2) the clade formed by Mitrastemonaceae + Lecythidaceae is sister to Ericales excluding balsaminoids, (3) Theaceae is sister to the styracoids + sarracenioids + ericoids, and (4) subfamilial relationships with Ericaceae suggest that Arbutoideae is sister to Monotropoideae and Pyroloideae is sister to all subfamilies excluding Arbutoideae, Enkianthoideae, and Monotropoideae. Our results indicate Ericales began to diversify 110 Mya, within Indo-Malaysia and the Neotropics, with exchange between the two areas and expansion out of Indo-Malaysia becoming an important area in shaping the extant diversity of many families. Rapid cladogenesis occurred along the backbone of the order between 104 and 106 Mya. Jump dispersal is important within the order in the last 30 My, but vicariance is the most important cladogenetic driver of disjunctions at deeper levels of the phylogeny. We detect between 69 and 81 shifts in speciation rate throughout the order, the vast majority of which occurred within the last 30 My. We propose that range shifting may be responsible for older shifts in speciation rate, but more recent shifts may be better explained by morphological innovation.
Nine isolated fossil Pongo teeth from two cave sites in Peninsular Malaysia are reported. These are the first fossil Pongo specimens recorded in Peninsular Malaysia and represent significant southward extensions of the ancient Southeast Asian continental range of fossil Pongo during two key periods of the Quaternary. These new records from Peninsular Malaysia show that ancestral Pongo successfully passed the major biogeographical divide between mainland continental Southeast Asia and the Sunda subregion before 500 ka (thousand years ago). If the presence of Pongo remains in fossil assemblages indicates prevailing forest habitat, then the persistence of Pongo at Batu Caves until 60 ka implies that during the Last Glacial Phase sufficient forest cover persisted in the west coast plain of what is now Peninsular Malaysia at least ten millennia after a presumed corridor of desiccation had extended to central and east Java. Ultimately, environmental conditions of the peninsula during the Last Glacial Maximum evidently became inhospitable for Pongo, causing local extinction. Following post-glacial climatic amelioration and reforestation, a renewed sea barrier prevented re-colonization from the rainforest refugium in Sumatra, accounting for the present day absence of Pongo in apparently hospitable lowland evergreen rainforest of Peninsular Malaysia. The new teeth provide further evidence that Pongo did not undergo a consistent trend toward dental size reduction over time.
The concept of long-lived (ancient) lakes has had a great influence on the development of evolutionary biogeography. According to this insight, a number of lakes on Earth have existed for several million years (e.g., Baikal and Tanganyika) and represent unique evolutionary hotspots with multiple intra-basin radiations. In contrast, rivers are usually considered to be variable systems, and the possibility of their long-term existence during geological epochs has never been tested. In this study, we reconstruct the history of freshwater basin interactions across continents based on the multi-locus fossil-calibrated phylogeny of freshwater mussels (Unionidae). These mussels most likely originated in Southeast and East Asia in the Jurassic, with the earliest expansions into North America and Africa (since the mid-Cretaceous) following the colonization of Europe and India (since the Paleocene). We discovered two ancient monophyletic mussel radiations (mean age ~51-55 Ma) within the paleo-Mekong catchment (i.e., the Mekong, Siam, and Malacca Straits paleo-river drainage basins). Our findings reveal that the Mekong may be considered a long-lived river that has existed throughout the entire Cenozoic epoch.
Two Unionida (freshwater mussel) families are present in the Northern Hemisphere; the Margaritiferidae, representing the most threatened of unionid families, and the Unionidae, which include several genera of unresolved taxonomic placement. The recent reassignment of the poorly studied Lamprotula rochechouartii from the Unionidae to the Margaritiferidae motivated a new search for other potential species of margaritiferids from members of Gibbosula and Lamprotula. Based on molecular and morphological analyses conducted on newly collected specimens from Vietnam, we here assign Gibbosula crassa to the Margaritiferidae. Additionally, we reanalyzed all diagnostic characteristics of the Margaritiferidae and examined museum specimens of Lamprotula and Gibbosula. As a result, two additional species are also moved to the Margaritiferidae, i.e. Gibbosula confragosa and Gibbosula polysticta. We performed a robust five marker phylogeny with all available margaritiferid species and discuss the taxonomy within the family. The present phylogeny reveals the division of Margaritiferidae into four ancient clades with distinct morphological, biogeographical and ecological characteristics that justify the division of the Margaritiferidae into two subfamilies (Gibbosulinae and Margaritiferinae) and four genera (Gibbosula, Cumberlandia, Margaritifera, and Pseudunio). The systematics of the Margaritiferidae family is re-defined as well as their distribution, potential origin and main biogeographic patterns.
Yunnan in southwestern China is renowned for its high plant diversity. To understand how this modern botanical richness formed, it is critical to investigate the past biodiversity throughout the geological time. In this review, we present a summary on plant diversity, floristics and climates in the Cenozoic of Yunnan and document their changes, by compiling published palaeobotanical sources. Our review demonstrates that thus far a total of 386 fossil species of ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms belonging to 170 genera within 66 families have been reported from the Cenozoic, particularly the Neogene, of Yunnan. Angiosperms display the highest richness represented by 353 species grouped into 155 genera within 60 families, with Fagaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae and Juglandaceae being the most diversified. Most of the families and genera recorded as fossils still occur in Yunnan, but seven genera have disappeared, including Berryophyllum, Cedrelospermum, Cedrus, Palaeocarya, Podocarpium, Sequoia and Wataria. The regional extinction of these genera is commonly referred to an aridification of the dry season associated with Asian monsoon development. Floristic analyses indicate that in the late Miocene, Yunnan had three floristic regions: a northern subtropical floristic region in the northeast, a subtropical floristic region in the east, and a tropical floristic region in the southwest. In the late Pliocene, Yunnan saw two kinds of floristic regions: a subalpine floristic region in the northwest, and two subtropical floristic regions separately in the southwest and the eastern center. These floristic concepts are verified by results from our areal type analyses which suggest that in the Miocene southwestern Yunnan supported the most Pantropic elements, while in the Pliocene southwestern Yunnan had abundant Tropical Asia (Indo-Malaysia) type and East Asia and North America disjunct type that were absent from northwestern Yunnan. From the late Miocene to late Pliocene through to the present, floristic composition and vegetation types changed markedly, presumably in response to altitude changes and coeval global cooling. An integration of palaeoclimate data suggests that during the Neogene Yunnan was warmer and wetter than today. Moreover, northern Yunnan witnessed a pronounced temperature decline, while southern Yunnan experienced only moderate temperature changes. Summer precipitation was consistently higher than winter precipitation, suggesting a rainfall seasonality. This summary on palaeoclimates helps us to understand under what conditions plant diversity occurred and evolved in Yunnan throughout the Cenozoic.
During the last quarter of the twentieth century there have been intensive research activities looking for green sources of energy. The main aim of the green generators or converters of energy is to replace the conventional (fossil) energy sources, hence reducing further accumulation of the green house gasses GHGs. Conventional silicon and III-V semiconductor solar cell based on crystalline bulk, quantum well and quantum dots structure or amorphous and thin film structures provided a feasible solution. However, natural dye sensitized solar cells NDSSC are a promising class of photovoltaic cells with the capability of generating green energy at low production cost since no vacuum systems or expensive equipment are required in their fabrication. Also, natural dyes are abundant, easily extracted and safe materials. In NDSSC, once dye molecules exposed to light they become oxidized and transfer electrons to a nanostructured layer of wide bandgap semiconductors such as TiO2. The generated electrons are drawn outside the cell through ohmic contact to a load. In this paper we review the structure and operation principles of the dye sensitized solar cell DSSC. We discuss preparation procedures, optical and electrical characterization of the NDSSC using local dyes extracted from Henna (lawsonia inermis L.), pomegranate, cherries and Bahraini raspberries (rubus spp.). These natural organic dyes are potential candidates to replace some of the man-made dyes used as sensitizer in many commercialized photoelectrochemical cells. Factors limiting the operation of the DSSC are discussed. NDSSCs are expected to be a favored choice in the building-integrated
photovoltaics (BIPV) due to their robustness, therefore, requiring no special shielding from natural events such as tree strikes or hails.
Nipa (Nypa fruticans) is one of the most widely distributed and useful palm in the mangrove forests in the South, Southeast Asia and Oceania. Its distribution area is known to be larger in ancient time than at present, as evidenced by its fossils found in North America, South America, Egypt and Europe. Nipa has a wide diversity of use. Traditionally it is used as roof materials, cigarette wrapper, medicine and its sap is fermented to alcohol. Recently, research on nipa has focused on its potential use as a biofuel crop because it has several advantages compared with other biofuel-alcohol crops. For example it has high alcohol content, no competition with other crop for agricultural land and no bagasse disposal problem. In spite of such usefulness, scientific reports on biology of nipa are limited. Information on genetic diversity, cytogenetics and chemical composition are lacking for nipa plant. On the other hand, morphological characters of nipa have been described in many reports. This paper attempted to provide a general review of the nipa plant based on available literatures.