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