Anthropogenic threats and plant diversity conservation in Cherrapunji- one of the wettest places on Earth

· Articles
Authors

K. Upadhaya1, G. Choudhury2 & K. Sarma3

1Department of Basic Sciences and Social Sciences, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793022, India.
2Department of Envionmental Studies, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793022, India.
3University School of Environment Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi 110078, India
*Corresponding author: K. Upadhaya email: upkri@yahoo.com

Abstract

The present study was conducted in Cherrapunji plateau covering an area of 792 sq km to assess the conservation significance of the area. It is one of the wettest places on earth with an average rainfall of 11,309 mm. The vegetation of the area may be classified as subtropical broad leaved forest. However, the dominant land use of the area is non forest or degraded grassland (64.2%) followed by open forest (19.4%) and dense forest (16.4%). The area has been degraded to a large extent due to a number of human activities and many previously forested slopes are now grasslands. Most of the forests are in inaccessible areas or in the form of patches preserved by the local people due to socio-religious practices. These remnant patches are rich in plant diversity. A preliminary investigation of rare and threatened plant species reveals the presence of 137 species belonging to 95 genera and 47 families. Human activities coupled by high rainfall have been attributed as the main factors responsible for the loss of biodiversity. An attempt has also been made to evolve effective strategies for conservation and management of plant diversity of the area.

Keywords Plant diversity, rare, endemic, threatened, conservation, Cherrapunji.

Introduction

The state of Meghalaya in Northeast India is a part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. An estimate of the total plant diversity in this hotspot reveals about 13,500 vascular plant species, of which about 7,000 (52%) are endemic (van Dijk et al., 2004). In India, out of the estimated 17,000 plant species, 3128 (18%) flowering plants including endemic, rare and primitive taxa have been reported from the state of Meghalaya (Khan et al., 1997). A number of factors have contributed to the rich diversity of the state such as its topography, variation in altitude and climatic conditions. The topography of the state is variable and ranges from plains to hills with deep gorges. Its sub-Himalayan existence and the abrupt raising of hills over the vast plains that surround the State have resulted in rich endemism (Haridasan, 1999). The altitude ranges from 50 m asl to 1990 m asl. The forests varies from tropical distributed at low elevation (<900 m), subtropical broadleaved forests at mid elevation (900-1800), and temperate forests at high elevation (>1800m). Besides these, Pine forests and Grasslands are also common at high altitude areas of the state. The climate of the area is tropical monsoonal. Low elevation areas in the state (Garo hills) experience high temperature throughout the year with an average rainfall of 2500-4000 mm (Haridasan and Rao, 1985). Central and eastern Meghalaya (Khasi and Jaintia hills) experiences low temperature but, at the foothills the climate is warm and humid. The most striking feature of the southern parts of Khasi hills, which distinguishes the area climatically from other parts of Meghalaya, is high (7196 mm) average rainfall. Cherrapunji and Mawsynram records the highest rainfall (12,000-13,000 mm) in the World (Haridasan and Rao, 1985). The abrupt raising of hills over the vast plains of Bangladesh obstructs the monsoon winds of Bay of Bengal resulting in high rainfall in these areas.

The area around Cherrapunji has been degraded to a large extent due to forest clearing for shifting cultivation, grazing, coal mining, extraction of sand and lime stones and forest fire (Tripathi et al., 2010) (Figure 1). Many previously forested slopes are now grasslands. The forests are restricted mainly to the steep slopes or gorges and cliffs and some of them are in the form of patches preserved by the local people due to socio-religious practices. Human activities and the high rates of sheet flow due to heavy rainfall have accelerated soil erosion. This has caused a substantial degradation of the landscape. Therefore, the objectives of the present study was (i) to evaluate the conservation significance of Cherrapunji area with special reference to rare, endemic and threatened plants (ii) to assess the anthropogenic disturbances operating in the area and (iii) to evolve strategies for effective biodiversity conservation and management.

Materials and methods

Study area: The study was carried out in Cherrapunji plateau covering an area of 792 sq km (Figure 2). The climate of the area is tropical monsoonal with a distinct wet and dry period. The wet period extends from April to October during which more than 80% of the total rainfall occurs. The dry period extends from November to March with rainfall <22 mm. The mean annual rainfall for the period 2008-2010 in the area was 11,309mm. The average maximum and minimum temperature is 22 °C and 14 °C (Table 1).

Table 1. Mean rainfall (mm), maximum and minimum temperature (°C) at Cherrapunji (2008-2010)

Months

Rainfall(mm)

Temperature (°C)

Maximum

Minimum

January

16

17.7

7.9

February

51.8

18.9

9.1

March

488.0

22.2

13.3

April

1293.4

23.1

15.6

May

913.9

23.7

17.0

June

2244.2

23.1

18.3

July

2751.6

23.1

18.9

August

2306.8

23.4

18.8

September

772.8

24.6

18.4

October

448.2

24.3

16.1

November

10.9

21.8

11.8

December

10.9

18.5

8.4

Methodology

For assessing the land use of the study area satellite imagery of Landsat ETM+ of December 2013 was used. The satellite imagery with bands (7) were stacked to prepare an FCC of bands 4(Red), 3(Green) and 2(Blue). The relevant topographic maps and imagery were geometrically rectified in 1:50,000 scale using geographic projection system UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator); spheroid and datum used were WGS 84 with UTM zone 46N. Based on the reference data acquired in the field, a supervised classification was conducted on the satellite imagery to prepare the land use/ cover map (Camara et al., 1996). The classes of dense forests, open forests and degraded grassland/non forest were delineated based on the pixel variability. The GIS and image processing software used for the study include ArcGIS 10.1, Erdas Imagine 2014 and Quantum GIS 1.6.

The details of these plants were collected based on (1) repeated field survey conducted during the period 2011-2013 at different localities of Cherrapunji- Mamloorim (25°2448N and 91°6936E), Mawsawa (25°2538N and 91°7018E), Mawsmai (25°2436N, 91°7220E), Khliehshnong (25°2659N 91°7036E), Pdengshnong (25°2883N and 91°7145E), Laitryngew (25°3265N and 91°7242E) and their adjoining areas (2) herbarium records from the Botanical Survey of India, North-Eastern circle, Shillong (3) Red Data Books of Indian Plants (Jain and Sastry, 1984; Nayar and Sastry, 1987, 1988, 1990) (4) floras (Hooker, 1872-1897; Kanjilal et al., 1934-1940; Haridasan and Rao 1985-1987) (4) theses on floristic work and plant diversity inventory studies (Myrthong, 1980; Khiewtam, 1986; Lakadong, 2009) and (5) published books, book chapters and scientific literature dealing with endemic and threatened categories of plants (Deb, 1958; Rao and Haridasan, 1982; 1983; Jain and Rao, 1983; Kataki 1983, 1986; Rao and Hajra, 1986; Shukla, 1996; Khan et al., 1997; Haridasan, 1999; Tiwari et al., 1999; Pandey et al., 2005; Pandey and Barik, 2006; Lakadong and Barik, 2006; Upadhaya et al., 2013). The nomenclature of the plants follows that of Haridasan and Rao (1985-1987) and Balakrishnan (1981-1983).

Results and discussions

Land use and vegetation:The dominant land use of the area is degraded grassland/non forest (64.2%), followed by subtropical broad leaved open forest (19.4%) and dense forest (16.4%) (Table 2, Figure 2). Grass cover makes up the major part of the land use around Cherrapunjee (Starkel and Singh, 2004). Ramakrishnan and Ram (1988) opined that varied levels of degradation of the climax mixed evergreen forest are represented by these grasslands. The dominant grass belongs to the genera Arundinella, Carex, Fimbristilis etc. These grasses grow under low soil depth, highly leached condition and poor soil nutrient caused by impermeable substratum, heavy precipitation, combined with seasonal burning and extensive grazing (Pandey et al., 1993).

The vegetation of the area can be classified as subtropical broad leaved forest (Champion and Seth, 1968) and represents the remnants of the climax forest of the area. They are dense evergreen forest with short stature and the tree height rarely exceeds 15 m. The dominant tree species in these forests are Castanopsis spp., Elaeocarpus spp., Engelhardtia spicata, Ilex spp., Ligustrum robustum, Myrica esculenta, Quercus spp., Schima wallichii, Syzygium tetragonum etc. The common shrub includes Baliospermum micrantha, Camellia caudata, C. caduca, Daphnae spp., Maesa indica, Morinda spp., Psychotria spp. etc. The herb layer consists mostly of Asteraceae, Balsaminaceae, Commelianaceae and Rubiaceae members. These forests are also rich in epiphytic flora.

Table 2. Land-use in the Cherrapunji plateau

Land use classes

Area (sq km)

% area

Non forest/degraded grassland

508.17

64.2

Open forest

154.01

19.4

Dense forest

129.82

16.4

Species diversity

A total of 137 species belonging to 95 genera and 47 families that are rare, endemic or threatened were generated from the database for Cherrapunji area. Of this, 20 species belonging to 20 genera and 18 families fall under various threatened categories of IUCN (Table 3). It includes critically endangered (1 species), endangered (7), vulnerable (10), least concern (1) and data deficient (1) (Appendix 1). Out of the 137 species, 115 species in 76 genera and 37 families are endemic to the region, of which 34 species are considered to be exclusively endemic to the State. Of the 20 threatened species, 4 are endemic to the state and 7 are near endemic. There were 65 species belonging to 57 genera and 37 families that are considered as rare to the state of Meghalaya. Of these 65 species, 12 are endemic to the state and 35 are near endemic (Appendix 1). Some of the rare, endemic and threatened species are shown in Figure 3.

Over-all in terms of family richness, Orchidaceae was the dominant family with 31 genera and 61 species, followed by Poaceae, Rubiaceae, Lauraceae and Apocynaceae. Family-wise distribution of threatened, endemic and rare species is shown in Table 4. There were 9 families with two species each and 30 families with one species each. Coelogyne was the dominant genera with 10 species, followed by Dendrobium and Bulbophyllum with 6 species each (Appendix 1).

The habit-wise distribution of rare, endemic and threatened plant species in Cherrapunji reveals that the dominant life form is epiphytes (46 species), followed by trees (38), herbs (32), shrubs (12), and climbers (8). There were only two parasite species (Balanophora dioca and Mitrastemon yamamotoi) and one saprophyte (Monotropa uniflora) (Table 3, Appendix 1). In the endemic category epiphytes dominated (40 species), whereas, in case of rare (29) and threatened category (9) the tree component dominated. The dominance of tree under rare and threatened category clearly reveals that over-exploitation of tree species for timber (Acer laevigatum, Daphniphyllum himalayense, Elaeocarpus acuminatus, E. prunifolius, Beilschmedia assamica, Litsea laeta, Michelia punduana, Podocarpus neriifolia, Sarcosperma griffithii and Schima wallichii) and poles (Ilex embeloides, I. fragile and I. venulosa) have depleted their population in the area.

Table 3. Species diversity and life form distribution of rare, endemic and threatened plant species at Cherrapunji
in Meghalaya, northeast India

Parameters

Number of species

Rare

Endemic

Threatened

Overall

Number of species

65

113

20

137

Number of genera

57

76

20

95

Number of families

37

37

18

47

Life form

Trees

29

32

9

38

Shrubs

6

10

2

12

Herbs

11

26

5

32

Climbers

5

5

2

8

Epiphytes

11

41

1

46

Parasites

2

1

1

2

Saprophytes

1

-

-

1

Table 4. Dominant families of rare, endemic and threatened plant species at Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya, northeast India

Family

Rare

Endemic

Threatened

Total

Genera

Species

Genera

Species

Genera

Species

Genera

Species

Orchidaceae

14

16

28

55

3

3

31

61

Poaceae

-

-

5

7

-

-

5

7

Lauraceae

3

4

3

5

1

1

3

5

Rubiaceae

1

3

3

3

-

-

4

4

Apocynaceae

3

3

1

1

-

-

3

3

Oleaceae

2

3

2

3

-

-

2

3

Aquifoliaceae

1

2

1

3

1

1

1

3

Rosaceae

1

2

1

3

-

-

1

3

Araliaceae

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

Asclepiadaceae

1

1

2

2

1

1

2

2

Euphorbiaceae

1

1

1

1

-

-

2

2

Melastomaceae

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

Rutaceae

1

1

2

2

-

-

2

2

Theaceae

1

1

2

2

-

-

2

2

Celestraceae

1

1

1

2

-

-

1

2

Elaeocarpaceae

1

2

1

2

1

1

1

2

Moraceae

1

2

1

1

-

-

1

2

Others

21

21

20

20

11

11

30

30

Threat to biodiversity

Most of the area in and around Cherrapunji has been deforested due to a number of human activities such as shifting cultivation, overexploitation of forest resources, forest fire and mining of mineral resources. About 95% of the Cherrapunji plateau is deforested (Soja and Starkel, 2007). The forests are now mostly confined to deep gorges and inaccessible area and also in the form of Community managed forests (sacred groves, village reserve forest and restricted forests). Moreover, mining activities have endangered the biodiversity of the area and made the adjacent land unproductive. This has also led to the removal of the primary soil cover and the development of a new resistant system, facilitating accelerated runoff without distinct erosional changes (Starkel and Singh, 2004; Soja and Starkel, 2007).

In addition to timber extraction, fuel wood collection is also posing a serious threat to the biodiversity of the area. Since fuel wood is the main source of energy for the local people, extraction of species for fuel wood and timber have resulted in thinning of forests and fragmentation of the patches into grasslands (Kumar et al., 2008). Many of the epiphytes have become rare in the area due to removal of tree species. Due to over-exploitation, many orchids and Rhododendron formosum (collected for commercial purposes), Panax wanganias (used as medicine), Livistona jenkinsiana (used for roofing materials) have become rare in the area. Extraction of tree species has altered the habitat of epiphytes, climbers and herbaceous species and also of some rare species such as Monotropa uniflora, Balanophora balanaphora, Hedera helix etc.

The climate of Cherrapunjee is very extreme with distinct wet (May to October) and dry (November to March) periods. The recorded annual rainfall in Cherrapunji fluctuates between 6283 and 23,663 mm (Starkel and Singh, 2004; Prokop and Walanus, 2003). Soja and Starkel (2007) observed annually that during the period 1993–2001, in the months of June to September there were 28 days with rainfall above 100 mm and five days with rainfall above 300 mm. Such heavy rainfall coupled with human activities has been the main reason for soil erosion in the area. The heavy rainfall followed by dry period also intervenes with mortality of many of the tree seedlings. This effect seems to be more pronounced in the disturbed habitats where the removal of canopy cover exposes the soil to leaching of nutrients. During the wet period the seedlings of many species gets infected with fungi (Nongbri, 2007). Biotic damages caused by herbivores and pathogens have been shown to be an important factors for mortality of seedlings in tropical dry forests during the rainy season (Maza-Villalobos et al., 2013). This could also be due to depletion of carbohydrate reserves during prolonged droughts (November-March) that may have reduced the ability of plants to defend themselves, or recover from herbivores and pathogens which show high densities during rainy seasons (Maza-Villalobos et al., 2013). Similar observation has been reported by Go´mez et al. (2001) in Mediterranean woody species.

Suggestions for conservation of biodiversity

High concentration of rare, endemic and threatened category of species in the community managed forests in Cherrapunji underlines its significance for plant diversity conservation. The importance of such forests in the state has been highlighted by a number of previous workers (Khan et al., 1997; Pandey et al., 2005, Upadhaya et al., 2013). The subtropical broad-leaved forests of Cherrapunji have also been identified as one of the priority sites for conservation in Meghalaya (Upadhaya et al., 2013). However, conservation of biological diversity in this heaviest rainfall area is a distant dream due to several constraints, viz. inadequate data on biodiversity potential, site inaccessibility due to steep hills, fast disappearance of forest due to a number of human activities and climatic and edaphic factors. The age-old practice of shifting agriculture has been one of the factors affecting the virgin forest cover in the region. Moreover, people are forest dependent for fuel wood and non timber forest products such as medicinal plants, edible fruits etc. However, for conservation purpose, the Cherrapunji area needs to be extensively explored and the biodiversity potential of the area to be quantified. More emphasis should be given on rare, endemic and threatened species of the region
so that effective conservation efforts can be adopted for their rehabilitation.

Degraded land should be restored and brought under forest cover. However, such effort should be initiated at an experimental basis as the overall climatic conditions, soil and fire during winter season could pose a serious threat to any restoration work.Indiscriminate mining of coal and limestone should be checked. In order to effectively manage biodiversity, the local communities should be consulted and involved in any conservation initiatives. People should be given incentives for conservation efforts or sustainable use of bio-resources. Overall, the land-use development schemes in and around the area should be oriented towards (i) environmental education and awareness of the local people, (ii) managing abandoned lands through community consultation and participation (iii) strengthening linkage between traditional institution and other government agencies for sustainable development (iv) infrastructure development and promotion of local handicrafts and food-products can encourage eco-tourism as this is one of the tourists attracting places in Meghalaya.

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Syiem of Cherrapunjee and Sordar of Mawsmai and Mamloo for giving us necessary permission to carry out the work in the area. The help received from Trune Pao, Viano Iralu and Mir Abid Hussian during the field work is also acknowledged. We are also thankful to the Head, Department of Basic Sciences and Social Sciences, NEHU for facilities.

          

          

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Appendix 1 

List of rare, endemic and threatened category of species present in Cherrapunji, their habit, conservation status and distribution

Sl.

no.

Name of species

Family

Habit

Conservation Status

Nativeness

World-distribution

Meghalaya IUCN

1.

Acer laevigatum Wall. Aceraceae Tree Rare - Indo-Malaya, Australia & throughout India

2.

Drimycarpus racemosus Hook. Anacardiaceae Tree Near endemic Eastern Himalayas & Bangladesh

3.

Ichnocarpus frutescens (Linn.) R.Br. Apocynaceae Climber Rare - Indo-Malaya, Himalayas, Northeast India

4.

Melodinus monogynus Roxb. Apocynaceae Climber Rare Indo-Malaya & Northeast India

5.

Trachelospermum gracilipes Hk.f. Apocynaceae Climber Rare Near endemic Northeast India

6.

Ilex embeloides Hk.f. Aquifoliaceae Tree Rare Endemic Meghalaya

7.

Ilex venulosa Hk.f. Aquifoliaceae Tree

EN

- Northeast India, Burma & Malacca

8.

Ilex fragilis Hk.f. Aquifoliaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Eastern Himalayas & Northeast India

9.

Hedera helix Cl. Araliaceae Climber Rare Near endemic Himalayas

10.

Panax wangianus Sun. Araliaceae Herb

EN

- Eastern Himalayas, Tibet, Burma & China

11.

Livistona jenkinsiana Griff. Araliaceae Tree

EN

Near endemic Northeast India

12.

Aristolochia saccata Wall. Aristolochiaceae Climber Rare Near endemic Central & Eastern himalayas

13.

Ceropegia angustifolia Wit. Aristolochiaceae Climber -

VU

Near endemic Northeast India, Nepal & Bangladesh

14.

Hoya acuminata Benth. Aristolochiaceae Epiphyte Rare Endemic Meghalaya

15.

Balanophora dioca Royle Balanophoraceae Parasite Rare Near endemic Sub-Himalayas, Northeast India & Burma

16.

Mahonia pycnophylla (Fedde) Takeda Berberidaceae Shrub

VU

- Indo-Burma, Eastern Himalayas & Nilgiris

17.

Viburnum simonsii Hk.f. & Th. Caprifoliaceae Tree Endemic Meghalaya

18.

Euonymus bullatus Wall ex Laws. Celestraceae Small tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India & Bangladesh

19.

Euonymus lawsonii Cl. & Pr. Celestraceae Small tree Endemic Meghalaya

20.

Erycibe peguensis Prain Convolvulaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India

21.

Carpinus viminea Wall. ex Lindl. Corylaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Temperate Himalaya & Burma

22.

Cyathea gigantea (Wall ex Hk.)Holttm Cyatheaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India

23.

Daphniphyllum himalayense (Benth.)Muell.-Arg. Daphniphyllaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India

24.

Drosera peltata Smith Droseraceae Herb Rare

VU

Himalayas, Indo-Malaya, Nilgiris &Australia

25.

Elaeocarpus acuminatus Wall exMast Elaeocarpaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Meghalaya & Bangladesh

26.

Elaeocarpus prunifolius (C.Muell.)Mast Elaeocarpaceae Tree Rare

VU

Near endemic Manipur and Khasi Hills

27.

Rhododendron formosum Wall. Ericaceae Small tree Rare

VU

Near endemic Eastern Himalayas to Burma

28.

Erythroxylon kunthianum Wall. exKurz. Erythroxylaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India, Burma

29.

Baliospermum micranthum Muell.-Arg. Euphorbiaceae Shrub - Endemic Meghalaya

30.

Croton oblongus Burm.f. Euphorbiaceae Tree Rare - Indo-Malaya & Meghalaya

31.

Sophora wightii Baker Fabaceae Shrub Rare

EN

Near endemic Bangladesh, Burma & Eastern Himalayas

32.

Quercus glauca Thunb. Fabaceae Tree Rare

-

- Subtropical Himalayas to Japan

33.

Aeschynanthes sikkimensis (Cl.)Stapf. Gesneriaceae Epiphyte Rare Near endemic North East India

34.

Illichium griffithii Hk.f. &Th. Illiaceae Tree Rare

CR

- Eastern Himalayas, Northeast India, Hongkong& Vietnam

35.

Engelhardtia spicata Laschn. ex Bl. Juglandaceae Tree Rare

LC

Indo-Malaya, china, Bhutan upto Vietnam

36.

Beilshmedia assamica Meissn. Lauraceae Tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India & Burma

37.

Cinnamomum pauciflorum Nees Lauraceae Small Tree Rare Near endemic Northeast India

38.

Cinnamomum tamala Fr. Nees Lauraceae Tree Rare

VU

Near endemic Tropical and subtropical Himalayas

39.

Litsea elongata (Nees) Hk.f. Lauraceae Tree Rare Near endemic Temperate & subtropical Himalayas

40.

Litsea laeta Wall. ex Nees Lauraceae Tree Rare Near endemic Bangladesh & Eastern Himalayas

41.

Paris polyphylla Smith. Liliaceae Herb Rare Near endemic Northeast India & Bhutan

42.

Michelia punduana Hk.f. &Th. Magnoliaceae Tree Rare

VU

Endemic Meghalaya

43.

Medinella rubicunda Cl. Melastomaceae Epiphyte Rare - Indo-Malaya & East Himalayas

44.

Osbekia capitata Benth. Melastomaceae Herb

VU

Near endemic East Bhutan & Meghalaya

45.

Mitrastemon yamamatoi Makino Mitrastemenaceae Parasite Rare

EN

- Meghalaya, Thailand

46.

Monotropa uniflora L. Monotropaceae Saprophyte Rare - World -wide at high altitudes

47.

Cudrania cochinchinensis (Lour.)Kudo-Mas. Moraceae Shrub Rare - Africa to Australia throughout India

48.

Cudrania fruticosa Wt. ex Kurz. Moraceae Shrub Rare Near endemic Northeast India & Burma

49.

Embelia ribes Burm. f. Myrsinaceae Climber -

DD

- Indo-Malaya throughout India

50.

Fraxinus floribunda Wall. Oleaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Temperate Himalayas and Sub Himalayas

51.

Ligustrum compactum Hk.f.&Th. Oleaceae Small Tree Rare Near endemic Temperate & subtropical Himalayas

52.

Ligustrum confusum Decne. Oleaceae Tree Rare Near endemic Temperate & subtropical Himalayas

53.

Acanthephippium sylhetense Lindl. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Northeast India

54.

Agrostophyllum callosum Rchb.f. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Indo- Burma

55.

Anoectochilus roxburghii (Wall.)Lindl. Orchidaceae Herb Rare Near endemic Indo-Burma, Bhutan, & Thailand

56.

Arundina graminifolia (D.Don)Hochr. Orchidaceae Herb Rare - Indo-Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand

57.

Brachycorythis galeandra (Reichb.f.)Sumerh. Orchidaceae Herb Endemic Meghalaya

58.

Bulbophyllum blepharites Reichb.f. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Meghalaya & Burma

59.

Bulbophyllum caudatum Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim &Bhutan

60.

Bulbophyllum cauliflorum Hk.f. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Sikkim

61.

Bulbophyllum gymnopus Hk.f. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim &Bhutan

62.

Bulbophyllum scabratum Reichb.f. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim &Nepal

63.

Calanthe alismaefolia Lindl. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Sikkim

64.

Calanthe angusta Lindl. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Northeast India

65.

Coelogyne barbata Griff. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Meghalaya, Sikkim & Bhutan

66.

Coelogyne cristata Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare Near endemic Northeast India & Bhutan

67.

Coelogyne flavida Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India

68.

Coelogyne fuliginosa W.J. Hooker Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Burma

69.

Coelogyne fuscescens Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Indo-Burma, Bhutan & Nepal

70.

Coelogyne longipes Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India

71.

Coelogyne micrantha Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Meghalaya, Burma

72.

Coelogyne nitida (Wall. ex Don)Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim,Bhutan, Nepal

73.

Coelogyne prolifera Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Indo-Burma & Nepal

74.

Coelogyne punctulata Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India, Bhutan & Nepal

75.

Cryptochilus sanguinea Wall. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India, Bhutan & Nepal

76.

Cymbidium devonianum Paxt. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India, Bhutan

77.

Dendrobium densiflorum Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare - Indo-Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, & Thailand

78.

Dendrobium devonianum Paxt. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare - Indo-Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, China

79.

Dendrobium gibsonii Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim,Burma

80.

Dendrobium hookerianum Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Endemic Northeast India

81.

Dendrobium longicornu Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Bhutan &Nepal

82.

Dendrobium ramosum Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Meghalaya, Sikkim & Bhutan

83.

Diplomeris pulchella D. Don. Orchidaceae Herb Rare

VU

Endemic Meghalaya

84.

Eria bipunctata Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Endemic Meghalaya

85.

Eria coronaria (Lindl.) Reichb.f Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Sikkim

86.

Eria ferruginea Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya

87.

Eria pannea Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Indo-Burma

88.

Eria pusilla (Griff.) Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya

89.

Eulophia bicallosa (D.Don) Hund &Summerh. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Indo-Burma & Bhutan

90.

Eulophia sanguine Hk.f. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland,Sikkim & Bhutan

91.

Gastrochilus acutifolius (Lindl.) Kze Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Meghalaya & Sikkim

92.

Habenaria khasiana Hook.f. Orchidaceae Herb Rare - Northeast India & Thailand

93.

Liparis pulchella Hk.f. Orchidaceae Herb - Meghalaya, Nagaland, Burma & Thailand

94.

Malaxis josephiana Reichb.f. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Northeast India

95.

Micropera mannii (Hk.f.) Tang &Wang Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Sikkim

96.

Nephelaphyllum cordifolium Lindl. Orchidaceae Herb Rare Near endemic Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya &Sikkim

97.

Oberonia myriantha Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India

98.

Oberonia orbicularis Hk.f. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Endemic Northeast India

99.

Otochilus porrecta Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Indo-Burma

100.

Paphiopedilum insigne (Wall.) Pfitz. Orchidaceae Herb Rare

VU

Endemic Meghalaya

101.

Papilionanthe vandarum (Reichb.f.)Garay Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur,Sikkim & Nepal

102.

Peristylis mannii (Reichb.f.) Mukherjee. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Meghalaya & Manipur

103.

Phaius longipes Hk.f.) Holtt. Orchidaceae Herb Endemic Northeast India

104.

Phaius mishmensis Lindl.) Reichb.f. Orchidaceae Herb Near endemic Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya &Sikkim

105.

Phaius tankervilliae (Ait.) Bl. Orchidaceae Herb Rare - Northeast India, Ceylon & Thailand

106.

Pholidota imbricata (Roxb.) Lindl.var. sessilis Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India, Bhutan & Nepal

107.

Pholidota rubra Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Indo-Burma & Bhutan

108.

Pleione maculata (Lindl.) Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare

EN

- Northeast India, Bhutan, Nepal & Thailand

109.

Tainia minor Hook.f. Orchidaceae Herb Rare Near endemic Meghalaya & Sikkim

110.

Thelasis bifolia Hook.f. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Rare Near endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Sikkim

111.

Thrixspermum muscaeflorum Rao &Balak. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Endemic Meghalaya

112.

Thrixspermum pygmaeum (K. & P.)Holtt. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Meghalaya & Sikkim

113.

Uncifera accuminata Lindl. Orchidaceae Epiphyte Near endemic Northeast India, Bhutan & Nepal

114.

Agrostis filipes Hook.f. Poaceae Herb - Endemic Meghalaya

115.

Agrostis griffithiana Hook.f.Bor. Poaceae Herb - Endemic Meghalaya

116.

Cephalostachyum pallidum Munro Poaceae Shrub - Near Endemic Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Manipur

117.

Eragrostiella leioptera (Stapf) Bor. Poaceae Herb Endemic Meghalaya

118.

Eulalia speciosa var. velutina (Deb.)Ktze. Poaceae Herb Endemic Meghalaya

119.

Ischaemum hirtum Hack. Poaceae Herb Endemic Meghalaya

120.

Ischaemum hubbardii Bor. Poaceae Herb Endemic Meghalaya

121.

Podocarpus neriifolia D.Don Podocarpaceae Tree Rare - Northeast India, Burma, Malaya & Japan

122.

Photinia arguta Lindl. Rosaceae Tree Rare Near Endemic Indo-Burma

123.

Photinia cuspidata (Bertol.) Balak. Rosaceae Tree Endemic Meghalaya

124.

Photinia integerrima (D.Don) Balak. Rosaceae Tree Rare Endemic Meghalaya

125.

Coffea jenkinsii Hk.f. Rubiaceae Shrub - Endemic Meghalaya

126.

Lasianthus biermanii King ex Hk.f. Rubiaceae Shrub Rare Near Endemic Himalayas

127.

Neanotis oxyphylla (G.Don) Hk.f. Rubiaceae Shrub Rare Endemic Meghalaya

128.

Psychotria symplocifolia Kurz. Rubiaceae Shrub Rare Endemic Northeast India & Burma

129.

Luvunga scandens Ham. Rutaceae Shrub Rare Endemic Meghalaya

130.

Paramignya micrantha Kurz. Rutaceae Shrub Endemic Meghalaya

131.

Sarcosperma griffithii Cl. Sapotaceae Tree Rare Endemic Northeast India

132.

Adinandra griffithii Dyer Ternstroemiaceae Small Tree Rare

EN

Endemic Endemic to Meghalaya

133.

Camellia caduca Cl. ex Brandis Theaceae Small Tree - Endemic Meghalaya

134.

Schima khasiana Dyer. Theaceae Tree Rare Endemic Meghalaya

135.

Elatostemma sikkimensis Clarke. Urticaceae Herb Rare Near Endemic Northeast India

136.

Agapetes obovata (Wt.) Hk.f. Vacciniaceae Epiphyte - Endemic Meghalaya

137.

Tetrastigma obovatum (Laws.)Gagnep. Vitaceae Climber Endemic Meghalaya
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