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25 June 2019, Volume 41 Issue 03
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  • Editorial
    Articles
    New contributions to the flora of Myanmar I
    Hong-Bo Ding, Bin Yang, Shi-Shun Zhou, Mya Bhone Maw, Kyaw Win Maung, Yun-Hong Tan
    2019, 41(03):  135-152.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.05.002
    Abstract ( 235 )   HTML ( )   PDF (168516KB) ( 53 )   Save
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    In this study, we describe several new taxa belonging to the flora of Myanmar. One new family, Polyosmaceae (Polyosma wallichii Benn.) is recorded. Over ten new genera are recorded for the first time, including Amentotaxus Pilger (Taxaceae), Hydrobryopsis Engler (Podostemaceae), Cyrtosia Blume and Biermannia King & Pantling (Orchidaceae), Eleutharrhena Forman and Haematocarpus Miers (Menispermaceae), Craigia W.W. Smith & W.E. Evans (Malvaceae), Amblyanthopsis Mez (Primulaceae), Huodendron Rehder and Rehderodendron Hu (Styracaceae), Platea Blume (Metteniusaceae), Achyrospermum Blume (Lamiaceae), Christisonia Gardner (Orobanchaceae). In addition, five new species are described and illustrated:Tupistra natmataungensis Y.H. Tan & H.B. Ding, Biermannia burmanica Y.H. Tan & Bin Yang, Impatiens megacalyx Y.H. Tan & H.B. Ding, Amblyanthopsis burmanica Y.H. Tan & H.B. Ding, Platea kachinensis Y.H. Tan & H.B. Ding. The distribution, ecology, phenology, and conservation status of these new species are also described.
    Plant diversity of the Kangchenjunga Landscape, Eastern Himalayas
    Pratikshya Kandel, Nakul Chettri, Ram P. Chaudhary, Hemant Kumar Badola, Kailash S. Gaira, Sonam Wangchuk, Namgay Bidha, Yadav Uprety, Eklabya Sharma
    2019, 41(03):  153-165.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.04.006
    Abstract ( 188 )   HTML ( )   PDF (646KB) ( 68 )   Save
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    The Kangchenjunga Landscape (KL) in the Eastern Himalayas is a transboundary complex shared by Bhutan, India, and Nepal. It forms a part of the ‘Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot’ and is one of the biologically richest landscapes in the Eastern Himalayas. In this paper, we use secondary information to review and consolidate the knowledge on the flora of the KL. We reviewed 215 journal articles, analysed the history of publications on the flora of the KL, their publication pattern in terms of temporal and spatial distribution and key research areas. Our review shows that the landscape has a long history of botanical research that dates back to the 1840s and progressed remarkably after the 1980s. Most of the studies have been carried out in India, followed by Nepal and Bhutan. The majority of these have been vegetation surveys, followed by research on ethnobotanical aspects and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). This paper describes the forest types and characteristic species of the KL and details the species richness, diversity and dominant families of seed plants. A total of 5198 species of seed plants belonging to 1548 genera and 216 families have been recorded from the landscape, including 3860 dicots, 1315 monocots and 23 gymnosperms. Among families, Orchidaceae is the most diversely represented family in terms of species richness. This paper also draws attention to the threatened and endemic flora of the KL, including 44 species that are threatened at national and global level and 182 species that are endemic. Finally, the paper reviews the major challenges facing the KL, the conservation efforts and practices that are currently in place and recommends systematic and comprehensive floral surveys, particularly long-term data collection and monitoring and transboundary collaboration, to address the existing knowledge gaps on floral diversity of the KL.
    Checklist of Wadi Hassan flora, Northeastern Badia, Jordan
    Feryal Kherissat, Dawud Al-Esawi
    2019, 41(03):  166-173.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.05.001
    Abstract ( 161 )   HTML ( )   PDF (4953KB) ( 49 )   Save
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    In this study, we survey the plant diversity of Wadi Hassan, which is located in the Northeastern Badia of Jordan, about 120 km east of Amman. All plant species were collected and herbarium specimens have been prepared, identified and deposited at the University of Jordan herbarium (Department of Biology, Faculty of Science). The final plant checklist includes 206 species belonging to 138 genera and 35 families. The most diverse families are Compositae (20.5%), Cruciferae (10.2%), Leguminosae (8.3%) and Boraginaceae (6.8%), followed by Caryophyllaceae and Gramineae (5.4%). These six families represent 60% of the total families recognized in the study area, while nine families each are represented by only one species. Most plants recorded are annual plants (61%), some plants are hemicryptophtes (18%) and camaephytes (15%), while the least frequent life form class was the phanerophyte shrub and perennial (0.5%). Chorological characteristics of the recorded flora show that Saharo-Arabian Region elements, IranoTuranian elements and Mediterranean elements constitute (58%) of the total flora. This research shows that even small portion of the Jordan Badia such as the Wadi Hassan plant community has high species diversity. Thus, we recommended further of the unexplored Wadi plants communities of the Jordan Badia.
    Plant endemism in the Nepal Himalayas and phytogeographical implications
    Achyut Tiwari, Yadav Uprety, Santosh Kumar Rana
    2019, 41(03):  174-182.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.04.004
    Abstract ( 152 )   HTML ( )   PDF (6025KB) ( 45 )   Save
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    Nepal is located in the central part of the greater Himalayan range with a unique series of mountain chains formed by recent mountain building geological events. As one of the youngest mountains in the world it contributes to diversity of plants and also provided barriers to and corridors through which plants migrated during the ice ages. The higher altitudinal variation with the high mountains, deep river valleys and lowland plains combine with the effects of the summer monsoon and dry winter result with an extraordinary diversity of ecosystems including flora and fauna in a relatively small land area. The existing checklists for Nepal record some 6000 species of flowering plants and about 530 ferns. However, the botanical experts estimate that numbers may go up to 7000 when the poorly known remote regions are fully explored. The information on plant endemism in Nepal Himalaya is not adequately known as Nepal is still struggling to complete long awaited Flora of Nepal project. Endemic species are confined to specific areas and are the first to be affected by land use and other global changes. We sought to explore the spatial distribution of endemic plant species in Nepal in relation to the consequences associated with climatic and geologic changes over time in the region with the help of published literature. It was found that the endemism showed marked spatial variation between open moist habitat and dry inner valleys, the former with higher endemism. The updated records showed 312 flowering plant species to be endemic to Nepal with higher endemism around the elevation of 3800e4200 m at sea level. The recent human population explosion, intensified deforestation, habitat fragmentation and modern day environmental changes are posing greater threats to endemic plant in Nepal. The conservation status and threats to these peculiar species are unknown. Nevertheless, environmental degradation and high poverty rates create a potent mix of threats to biodiversity in this landscape.
    Early Miocene flora of central Kazakhstan (Turgai Plateau) and its paleoenvironmental implications
    Popova Svetlana, Utescher Torsten, Averyanova Anna, Tarasevich Valentina, Tropina Polina, Xing Yaowu
    2019, 41(03):  183-197.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.04.002
    Abstract ( 205 )   HTML ( )   PDF (32662KB) ( 26 )   Save
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    The investigation of the fossil floras from the Turgai plateau (central Kazakhstan) contributes to a better understanding of the origin of the temperate Turgai type flora which spread to Kazakhstan and adjacent areas during the OligoceneeMiocene transition. In this paper, we present the results of a carpological and palynological study of the Kumyrtas flora collected from a flora-bearing horizon of the regional coalbearing Zhilanchik suite, dated to the Aquitanian period. Pollen analysis identified 33 taxa, with are dominated by angiosperms (about 73%) and reflect zonal vegetation. The high percentages of Betula (27%) and Pterocarya (7.5%) that were found in this flora allows comparisons with other Aquitanian floras of Kazakhstan. Based on descriptions of fossil fruits and seeds, we determined that 19 taxa were dominant; these taxa had meosphytic herbaceous components, suggesting mostly edaphic local conditions. The incongruence between the carpological and the pollen records suggests a significant taphonomical effect. Quantitative reconstruction of the palaeoclimate based on pollen records supports-and slightly extends-previous findings based on fossil leaf data, but contradicts findings deduced from the carpological record. Plant Functional Type (PFT) classification was used to characterize the vegetation patterns. Pollen records show that about 45% of diversity relates to the arboreal broadleaved deciduous components and ca. 35% to conifers. Fossil fruit and seed data indicate riverine vegetation with a high diversity of aquatic components and shrub stratum.
    Interactive influence of rainfall manipulation and livestock grazing on species diversity of the herbaceous layer community in a humid savannah in Kenya
    Joseph O. Ondier, Daniel O. Okach, John C. Onyango, Dennis O. Otieno
    2019, 41(03):  198-205.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.04.005
    Abstract ( 157 )   HTML ( )   PDF (7645KB) ( 23 )   Save
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    Changes in rainfall regime and grazing pressure affect vegetation composition and diversity with ecological implications for savannahs. The savannah in East Africa has experienced increased livestock grazing and rainfall variability but the impacts associated with those changes on the herbaceous layer have rarely been documented. We investigated the effect of livestock grazing, rainfall manipulation and their interaction on the composition and diversity of the herbaceous community in the savannah for two years in Lambwe, Kenya. Rainfall manipulation plots were set up for vegetation sampling; these plots received either 50% more or 50% less rainfall than control plots. Simpson's diversity and Bergere-Parker indices were used to determine diversity changes and dominance respectively. The frequency of species was used to compute their abundance and their life forms as determined from the literature. Grazing significantly increased species diversity through suppression of dominant species. Rainfall manipulation had no significant impact on plant diversity in fenced plots, but rainfall reduction significantly reduced diversity in grazed plots. In contrast, rainfall manipulation had no impact on dominance in either fenced or grazed plots. The interaction of grazing and rainfall manipulation is complex and will require additional survey campaigns to create a complete picture of the implications for savannah structure and composition.
    Evaluation of rapid molecular diagnostics for differentiating medicinal Kaempferia species from its adulterants
    Supriyo Basak, Ramesh Aadi Moolam, Ajay Parida, Sudip Mitra, Latha Rangan
    2019, 41(03):  206-211.  doi:10.1016/j.pld.2019.04.003
    Abstract ( 196 )   HTML ( )   PDF (3084KB) ( 29 )   Save
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    Accurate detection of unique herbs is crucial for herbal medicine preparation. Zingiberaceae species, which are important in Ayurvedic medicine of India, are often misidentified in Northeast (NE) Indian herbal markets. Kaempferia galanga (Zingiberaceae) is one of the major components of popular Ayurvedic drugs used for rheumatic diseases (i.e., "Gandha Thailam" and "Rasnairandadi Kashayam"), contusions, fractures, and sprains. In NE India, herbal healers often misidentify plants from the Marantaceae family (e.g., Calathea bachemiana and Maranta leuconeura) as Kaempferia, which leads to adulteration of the medicinal herb. This misidentification of herbs occurs in NE India because Zingiberaceae plant barcoding information is inadequate. As a consequence, herbal medicine is not only therapeutically less effective but may also cause adverse reactions that range from mild to life-threatening. In this study, we used eight barcoding loci to develop "fingerprints" for four Kaempferia species and two species frequently mistaken for Kaempferia. The PCR and sequencing success of the loci matK, rbcL and trnH-psbA were found to be 100%; the combination of matK, rbcL, and trnH-psbA proved to be the ideal locus for discriminating the Kaempferia species from their adulterants because the combined loci showed greater variability than individual loci. This reliable tool was therefore developed in the current study for accurate identification of Kaempferia plants which can effectively resolve identification issues for herbal healers.