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Research Paper | Botany | India | Volume 9 Issue 12, December 2020
Impacts of Fragmentation on Vegetation and Conservation of Myristica Swamps of Western Ghats, India: Special Emphasis to Flagship Species Myristica magnifica Bedd.
Rajendraprasad M. | Gokul C. S. | Vilas T. S. | Thulasidas G.
Abstract: The Western Ghats, one of the biodiversity hotspots in India is endowed with a variety of ecosystems. The edaphically formed freshwater swamps in the low laying valleys are one amongst them. The vegetation of swamp is dominated by the members of the family Myristicaceae and is termed the Myristica swamp, unique with Myristica magnifica, an evergreen dioecious swampy Indian endemic and endangered tree. The specialist species, M. magnifica, is structurally and functionally adapted to grow in inundated condition with stilt roots, pneumatophores, recalcitrant seeds, etiolate initial growth of seedlings etc. and are restricted in distribution. It is proved that no other ecosystems of Western Ghats supporting the germination, recruitment and establishment of this tree; hence M. magnifica can be considered as flagship species of Myristica swamp. This unique and vital forests and flag ship species are in the verge of extinction due to natural and manmade reasons, especially due to isolation and fragmentation. The anthropogenic pressure has lead to disruption and discontinuation of flora and fauna with selective recruitment, which in turn interrupts the structural and functional dynamism of the swamp, followed by the vegetational succession. This can be typified into three zones viz. core, transition and edge based on the degree of succession and community status of the flagship species. The present study focuses on the percentage of seeding and germination, viability pattern, seedling vigour, survival rate, and subsequent selective recruitment of flagship species in natural and nursery conditions to assess the effect of fragmentation on acclimatization of flagship species to the swamp. This information is most crucial in elucidating the lifecycle of this tree, an Indian endemic and endangered species which is struggle for existence due to habitat loss. The information about vegetational dynamics of swamp and ecological functioning of flagship species are helpful in manageme
Keywords: Fragmentation, Myristica magnifica, Myristica Swamps, Flagship species, Western Ghats
Edition: Volume 9 Issue 12, December 2020,
Pages: 1002 - 1009
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