Plant Diversity ›› 2017, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (05): 263-272.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2017.08.002

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Assigning conservation value and identifying hotspots of endemic rattan diversity in the Western Ghats, India

Mukta Joshia,b, Bipin Charlesa, G. Ravikantha, N. A. Aravinda   

  1. a Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment(ATREE), Royal Enclave, Srirampura, Jakkur PO, Bangalore 560064, India;
    b Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune, 411008, India
  • Received:2016-12-05 Revised:2017-08-16 Published:2021-11-05
  • Contact: G. Ravikanth, N. A. Aravind

Abstract: Rattans, or canes, are one of the most important non-timber forest products supporting the livelihood of many forest-dwelling communities in South and North-eastern India. Due to increased demand for rattan products, rattans have been extracted indiscriminately from the Western Ghats, a 1600-km mountain chain running parallel to the west coast of India. Extensive harvesting, loss of habitat and poor regeneration has resulted in dwindling rattan populations, necessitating an urgent attempt to conserve existing rattan resources. In this study, using niche-modelling tools, an attempt has been made to identify areas of high species richness of rattans in the Western Ghats, one of the mega-diversity regions of the world. We have also developed conservation values for 21 economically important and endemic rattans of the Western Ghats. We identified at least two to three sites of extremely high species richness outside the existing protected area network that should be prioritized for in situ conservation. This study emphasizes the need to develop strategies for the long-term conservation of rattans in the Western Ghats, India.

Key words: Calamus, NTFP, Distribution, Protected areas, Gap analysis, Species distribution models