Category archives for Articles

Notes on three Asplenium species recently collected from Maharashtra, India


Three species of Asplenium namely, A. inaequilaterale Willd., A. yoshinagae subsp. indicum (Sledge) Fraser-Jenk. and A. obscurum Blume belonging to family Aspleniaceae are are recently collected from Maharashtra. Brief taxonomic descriptions and field photographs are provided.

Keywords Pteridophytes, new record, Asplenium, Maharashtra.

Notes on occurrence and distribution of some filmy ferns in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India


Trichomanes bipunctatum Poir. and T. minutum Blume are reported here as new record for Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Occurrence of T. motleyi (Bosch) Bosch is confirmed in Andaman, initially reported by Beddome in 1883 but without citing any collection. Present collection of T. motleyi from Andaman after more than 130 years is significant.

Keywords Trichomanes, Andaman Islands, New record.

Calligonum comosum L’Her. – a new record for India from Indian Desert


Calligonum comosum L’Her. – a member of family Polygonaceae, is reported here for the first time from India on the basis of a recent collection from Indian desert (Rajasthan). A brief taxonomic description along with photo illustration is given for its easier identification.

Keywords Calligonum comosum, Polygonaceae, new record, India.

Ponerorchis puberula- A little known rare Orchid from Sikkim- Himalaya


Ponerorchis puberula (King & Pantl.) Verm., a little known rare orchid species has been recently collected from Sikkim, India. A detailed taxonomic description along with photographic illustration and distribution maps is provided to facilitate its easy identification.

Keywords Ponerorchis puberula, Rare orchid, Sikkim.

Seed viability and seedling survival of Melodinus monogynus Roxb., a wild edible fruit of Meghalaya


The members of the genus Melodinus (Apocynaceae) have long been used in folk medicine for the treatment of various ailments. It has been reported that Medigenin, Medinin, medigenin acetate were extracted from Melodinus monogynus for medicinal purposes (Yao et al., 2014). Unfortunately, deforestation and destruction of habitat in Meghalaya has led to decrease in population of Melodinus monogynus, a wild edible fruit with medicinal importance. Hence, in view of the present status of the population of this species, it is felt that there is requirement for the knowledge of its propagation. Thus, the present study deals with seed viability and seedling survival, the two critical phases for plant regeneration by means of seeds. Fruits of Melodinus monogynus were collected during the month of December after which experiments were carried out under laboratory as well field conditions. The result of the study indicates that the species is shade-intolerant and produces orthodox seeds.

Keywords Melodinus monogynus, orthodox seeds, shade-intolerant species.

Notes on two less known Molineria recently collected from Northeast India


Molineria prainiana Deb var. prainiana and Molineria prainiana var. josephii D.K. Roy, D. Verma & A.D. Talukdar (Hypoxidaceae), two endemic and poorly known taxa, recently collected from Assam and Nagaland respectively. The former one was reported earlier from Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan, while the latter one from Arunachal Pradesh alone. A brief taxonomic description of each taxon supported with photographic illustration has been provided for their easier identification.

Keywords Molineria, extension range, endemic, Assam, Nagaland.

Three new and noteworthy records of Gingers from India


Three species of Zingiberaceae, namely Boesenbergia parvula (Wall. ex Baker) Kuntze, Curcuma elata Roxb. and Zingiber stipitatum S.Q. Tong, are reported for the first time in Indian flora.

Keywords Boesenbergia, Curcuma, Zingiber, New Record, India.

A disjunct bird’s nest fungus Cyathus gayanus newly recorded from Asia


Cyathus gayanus Tul. & C. Tul. – a rare disjunct bird’s nest fungus is recorded for the first time in Asia from India (Khasi hills, Meghalaya), previously reported only from South America. A brief taxonomic description and a colour photo-plate are provided for its easier identification.

Keywords Bird’s nest fungus, new record, Asia, Khasi hills.

Impact of fire and grazing on plant diversity of grassland ecosystem of Cherrapunjee


Fire and grazing are the two most common disturbances found in the grassland ecosystems of Cherrapunjee. There are many species that have attributes which enable them to tolerate disturbances. The present study was conducted to examine separately as well as in combination the effects of fire and grazing on grassland ecosystem of Cherrapunjee. The results of the study reveal that the impact of fire and grazing on vegetation structure of grassland ecosystem at Cherrapunjee are highly variable. While grazing tends to favour the diversity of perennial grasses, fire influences the richness of annual grasses and other monocots. However, the combined effect of grazing and fire tend to increase the diversity of forbs.

Keywords Fire, grazing, species diversity, grassland

An unusual beekeeping tradition in West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya


Apiculture of the common Indian honey bee (Apis cerana indica Fab.) is an age-old supplementary activity in the traditional agrarian life of Khasi people of Meghalaya. These bees are reared by the local people in various forms of traditional hives. Swarms of bees regularly arrive in Mawnai village area of West Khasi Hills district in July and colonize natural or human-created hollow cavities in soil in forested areas. These bee colonies are collected by the local people and transferred to wooden boxes where they remain till November. Most bees depart in late November or early December to return back the next year and the cycle repeats.

Keywords Apis cerana indica, Beekeeping, West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.

An overview of shifting agriculture (Jhum) in Eastern Himalayan Region as a component of village landscape


Shifting agriculture, locally known as ‘Jhum’ in north eastern part of India is one of the main components of village agroecosystem. It is subjected to various kinds of criticism such as the main cause of forest degradation and subsequent ecological imbalances in the region, apart from low productivity and economic returns to the farmers. But even all forms of agriculture taken as a whole in this region, it is a still a minor land use in terms of spatial extent (net sown area being < 20% of total geographical area). In term of dependencies by the traditional communities in Northeast India on shifting agroecosystem, it is the backbone of local livelihoods and ecosystem services. It is rather one of the complementary land uses in a larger frame of integrated ecosystem consisting of wet paddy cultivation, plantations and forests. Shifting agriculture practice involving controlled logging and limited extraction of biomass is sustainable in term of species regeneration and rejuvenation of forest.

Keywords Shifting agriculture, Forest, Northeast, Landscape, Local communities, Arunachal Pradesh

Another proof of Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem


Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem for infinite sets states that every infinite bounded subset of R^n has a limit point. In this article a proof of this theorem is given which is similar but different from that given in ‘Mathematical analysis’ by Tom Apostol.

Keywords Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem, Proof.

Notes on blooming of a rare orchid Flickingeria macraei


Flowering were observed in the plants of Flickingeria macraei (Lindl.) Seidenf. growing in experimental Garden of Botanical Survey of India, Shillong. The description and photographs of live plants are provided to facilitate its easier identification.

Keywords Flickingeria, Orchidaceae, Meghalaya, India.

Pendulorchis (Orchidaceae) – A new generic record for Nagaland, India


A spectacular orchid, Pendulorchis himalaica is reported here for the first time from Nagaland – a state of Northeastern India. This constitutes the first generic report to Nagaland. The same has been described and photographic illustration provided to facilitate its easier identification.

Keywords Pendulorchis, Orchidaceae, Nagaland, India

Pteridophytes of Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, Mizoram, India


A preliminary survey on pteridophytic flora of Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, Mizoram has been carried out and a total of 37 taxa are enumerated. This includes 11 taxa viz., Microlepia firma Mett. ex Kuhn, Lindsaea odorata Roxb., Aleuritopteris subdimorpha (C.B. Clarke & Baker) Fraser-Jenk., Coniogramme serrulata Fee, Pteris arisanensis Tagawa, P. subindivisa C.B. Clarke, Asplenium yoshinagae Makino subsp. yoshinagaeA. yoshinagae subsp. indicum (Sledge) Fras.-Jenk., Thelypteris esquirolii (Christ) Ching, T. hispidula (Decne.) C.F. Reed, Athyrium setiferum C.Chr., and A. woodsioides Christ, new record for the state of Mizoram. An identification key of the species found there, the correct name, habitat, distribution with in the North-eastern states have been provided in this communication.

Keywords Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary (TWLS), Pteridophytes, Mizoram.

Additions to the fern flora of Nagaland, North East India


Two ferns viz Belvisia henryi (Hieron ex C. Chr.) Raym. and Asplenium prolongatum Hooker are first recorded from the Nagaland, North East Irndia. Taxonomic description, synonyms, distribution information, specimen examined, distribution map and photographs are provided for each species.

Keywords Belvisia henryi, Asplenium prolongatum, Nagaland, North East India

Detection of adulteration, physico – chemical properties, chemical composition and hygienic status of milk in Shillong, India.


Milk suppliers normally dilute, extract valuable components and add cheap and sometimes potentially harmful bulking additives for financial gains. Survey of literature reveals that no initiative has been taken to study the extent of adulteration, composition and hygienic status of milk from Shillong study. The present study was taken to address this problem. Milk samples from the unorganized (open) and organized (packaged) sectors were analyzed using standard milk adulteration kit and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) approved methods. The results indicated that milk samples were adulterated, fat was skimmed and nutritional values were lower than the National standard . The extent of adulteration was highest for sucrose and maltose/maltodextrin (100%) lowest for sodium chloride (12.5%) The extraneous water added to boost production is prevalent as indicated by the low specific gravity of samples. A high percentage of packaged milk was found to be inadequately sterilized. With regard to the hygienic status, packed samples were found to be relatively better than open samples.

Keywords Milk, adulterants, Physico-chemical properties, Hygienic status, Shillong city

A preliminary assessment of bat diversity and people’s attitude towards their conservation in Baksa District, western Assam


Field studies were conducted in Baksa district of western Assam to assess the bat diversity and their conservation opportunities especially in the anthropogenic landscape. We report the presence of 14 bat species in 10 genera and 4 families from the study area which is likely to go up with intensive surveys. The bat genus Tylonycteris is being reported for the first time from Assam. Since many of the bat species encountered are found in anthropogenic environment, they remain vulnerable to persecution and protecting bat populations in human landscape remains a big challenge. However, it also throws us an opportunity for conservation as educating the villagers about the importance of bat and persuading them to live in harmony can go a long way in conservation of this little known but ecologically important group of animals.

Keywords Bat diversity, threats, conservation, Baksa district, Assam

Appraisal of the attributes of potato production technology


The study was conducted in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya to study the farmer’s perceptions of the attributes of the potato technology namely improved agro techniques, potato protection and on farm storage technique. It was found that potato technologies had a high degree of simplicity, compatibility, observability, trialability, divisibility, and predictability; medium levels of relative advantage, complexity, cost requirements, and profitability.

Keywords Potato, agricultural technology, farmer’s perceptions