Updated January 4th, 2024 at 18:29 IST
New plant species discovered in Maharashtra's Pench Tiger Reserve: Forest official
Out of the various species reported during the survey, 294 are herbs, 157 natural trees, 131 climbers, 131 grasses, 52 shrubs and the remaining are avenue trees
A new plant species of Polygonum genus has been discovered at Gol Pahadi Island of the Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra during a survey, a forest official claimed.
A floral survey was carried out over one year in Pench during which 863 plant species belonging to 554 genera and 117 families were reported, PTR's deputy director Dr Prabhu Nath Shukla said.
"A new plant species named Polygonum Chaturbhujanum has been discovered at Gol Pahadi island of PTR. It is a herb," said Dr K Chandramohan, one of the surveyors.
Six plant species endemic to India have also been found in Pench. They are Aegineta indica, Boerhavia crispa, Habenaria gibsonii var foetida, Iphigenia pallida, Petalidium barlerioides and Barleria gibsoniii, Shukla said in a release.
Out of the various species reported during the survey, 294 are herbs, 157 natural trees, 131 climbers, 131 grasses, 52 shrubs and the remaining are avenue trees and epiphytic plants, the release said.
"The higher rate of biodiversity found in grass species is very interesting as Pench does not have extensive grasslands and most of the grasses are under canopy," it said.
Among the reported species, 46 species are indigenous to India while 32 plant species are of rare distribution and six plant species are strictly endemic to the Indian subcontinent, the release said.
The information received from such surveys can help monitor populations and track how species respond to disturbances in their environments, the official said.
Ultimately, these surveys can help maintain ecosystem equilibrium, he added.
According to a flora study of Nagpur district in 1986, there are 1,136 plant species which fall under 669 genera and 142 families.
Pench represents around 5.8 per cent of floral diversity of the entire country, which consist of 45,000 plant species, representing about 7 per cent of the world's flora and including more than 15,000 flowering plants, the release said.
The survey was carried out with technical support of the Forest Survey of India.
With PTI inputs
Published January 4th, 2024 at 18:28 IST