Navigation Links
A new pipewort species from a unique, but fragile habitat in India

The foot hills of the Western Ghats are a remarkable habitat. Formed of Laterite (a hard rock) outcrops, they are a barren land during summer. Yet, as soon as the monsoon rains start, they sprout vibrant plant carpets in blue, pink and white. This seasonal vegetation is formed mainly by pipeworts and insectivorous plants, such as bladderworts or sundews. The species combinations differ greatly along the Western Ghats and the rich plant growth attracts many birds, butterflies and other insects.

A team of botanists discovered another new species of pipewort from this unique but highly threatened habitat, indicating the importance of such areas. "It is a treasure trove of unique plants to the botanists, but considered just a wasteland, or a dump by the authorities." said Dr K.P. Rajesh of the Zamorin's Guruvayurappan College (ZGC). "Many more unique and unknown plants still await discovery in such areas. " Added Dr Rajesh. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

The shallow wet areas formed in the rocks, for a short period from June to November, are the home of some of the rarest plants on the planet. These aquatic or semi-aquatic plants soon set seeds, and dry up before the summer season. The seeds remain in the soil, waiting for the next rains to wake them up. The flat-topped hills are one of the most threatened habitats on Earth, under severe pressure from population growth. The Laterite areas are being destroyed or converted into infrastructure sites for mining, waste dumping and similar. Uncontrolled tourism is also causing heavy damage beyond repair to this fragile system.

The new discovery increases the conservation potential of the area. "It is high time to take urgent steps to conserve this fragile habitat." said Dr. C.N. Manju. Efforts to conserve the unique plants from Western Ghats in experimental gardens are ongoing in the Malabar Botanical Garden (MBG), an organisation specialised in the study and conservation of aquatic plants. It proved very difficult to replicate the exact conditions of the Laterite pools in the gardens. 'Conserving the natural habitat is the best solution. If proper measures are not being taken, this unique habitat may degrade beyond repair' adds Dr. Prakshkumar. The study, conducted in collaboration with the (MBG), was supported by the Kerala State Council for Science Technology & Environment (KSCSTE), of the Government of Kerala.


Contact: Dr. K.P. Rajesh
Pensoft Publishers

Related biology news :

1. European grasslands challenge rainforests as the most species-rich spaces on Earth
2. Hiding in plain sight, new frog species found in New York City
3. Hiding in plain sight, a new frog species with a weird croak is identified in New York City
4. Global warming threat to coral reefs: Can some species adapt?
5. New species of deep-sea catshark described from the Galapagos
6. Carp dominate crayfish in invasive species battleground
7. Leatherback turtle migration study identifies Pacific danger zones for endangered species
8. Polysternon isonae, a new species of turtle that lived with dinosaurs in Isona
9. A new species of bamboo-feeding plant lice found in Costa Rica
10. Prolific plant hunters provide insight in strategy for collecting undiscovered plant species
11. New biodiversity map of the Andes shows species in dire need of protection
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
A new pipewort species from a unique, but fragile habitat in India
(Date:9/28/2015)... , Sept. 28, 2015 ... today that its expedited traveler service is ... platform transforms travel, bringing a frictionless experience, ... members. "CLEAR offers our travelers ... customer service," said Jim Smith , ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 2015 The global image ... 12.03 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of ... Backside Illumination (BSI) technique to improve picture quality are ...      (Logo: , The ... reduce loss and, thus, reduce the noise interference and ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... Calif. , Sept. 28, 2015 Synaptics ... human interface solutions, today announced that Lenovo has selected ... fingerprint sensor, FS4202, for its latest smartphone, the Vibe ... password-free access to unlock the device and provide swift ... The feature-rich Natural ID FS4202 sensor solution ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  Patara Pharma, ... allergic and inflammatory diseases and conditions, today announced ... preferred stock financing. Concurrent with the close of ... into a Loan and Security Agreement with Silicon ... to $7 million. Patara will use the funds ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... offers user-friendly, ... online experience --> ... for enriched online experience --> ... to print version for enriched online experience ... and medical information products and services, announced today that ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... Dr. ... Srinivasan, has joined the firm as a Premier Expert consultant. NDA Partners ... to bring extraordinary value to the company's clients. Premier Experts collaborate to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... LifeTrak , a ... of LifeTrak Zoom, the world’s first amphibious fitness tracker that seeks to meet the ... technology and accurate heart rate monitoring both in water and on land, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: