Two new plants discovered from two biogeographical hotspots in India

Two new plants discovered from two biogeographical hotspots in India


A team led by scientist Lal Ji Singh discovered the aerial stem-parasitic flowering plant species Dendrophthoe longensis from the Long Islands of Middle Andaman.

A team led by scientist Lal Ji Singh discovered a species of Hawaiian stem-parasitic flowering plants Dendrophthoe longensis From Long Island, Middle Andaman. | Photo Courtesy: Special Arrangement

Indian botanists and researchers have discovered two new species of plants from two biogeographical hotspots of the country – Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.

A team led by scientist Lal Ji Singh discovered a species of Hawaiian stem-parasitic flowering plants Dendrophthoe longensis The second discovery made by a team led by scientist Krishna Chaulu from Long Islands in Middle Andaman is a new herbaceous plant species in Arunachal Pradesh.

The species Dendrophthoe longensis belongs to the mistletoe family.

Caste Dendrophthoe longensis It belongs to the mistletoe family. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Aerial stem-parasitic flowering plant species Dendrophthoe longensis Typical host plant – Mango, Mangifera indica In the lowland regions of tropical forests, at the edge of evergreen forests. This species belongs to the mistletoe family – a group of semi-parasitic flowering plants that exhibit a set of remarkable adaptations associated with the semi-parasitic habitat.

“This species is sparsely scattered and restricted to a few localities in Long Island. Its distribution was recorded only near Sigmandera, Lalaji Bay and Forest Guest House on Long Island. The larvae bore into entire plant parts (young shoots, leaves, inflorescences, flowers, young fruits) causing severe damage and death of this semi-parasitic mistletoe species,” said Dr Singh, who heads the Andaman and Nicobar regional centre of the Botanical Survey of India.

The conservation status of the new species has been assessed as “Endangered” based on the IUCN categories and criteria (IUCN, 2020). The Indian Dendrophthoe is represented by nine species, four of which are from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, of which two species are endemic to the region.

“Aerial stem-parasitic flowering mistletoe plants are under tremendous pressure due to habitat destruction and other anthropogenic activities, especially logging of host tree species, development works, etc., which is leading to decline in their populations worldwide,” Dr Singh said. Details of the discovery have been published in the International Journal of Botanical Taxonomy and Geobotany.

Second discovery Petrocosmea arunachalense It is also from a remote but biogeographical hotspot of the Mandla region of West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. “It is a very small herb and the researchers found it inside a cave which indicates that this species requires less sunlight. This newly discovered species Petrocosmea arunachalense “It is an important member of the Gesneriaceae plant family,” Dr. Chaulu said.

A team led by scientist Krishna Choulu discovered a new herbaceous plant species in Arunachal Pradesh.

A team led by scientist Krishna Chaulu discovered a new herbaceous plant species in Arunachal Pradesh. | Photo courtesy: Special arrangement

He said that this species is completely white with purple spots and the texture of the plant is hairy. Other researchers involved in this discovery are Akshat Shenoy and Ajit Ray of the Arunachal Pradesh Regional Center of Botanical Survey of India, Itanagar. The detailed findings of this research have been recorded in a research article published in the latest issue of the Nordic Journal of Botany.

The species Petrocosmia arunachalense is completely white with purple spots and the plant has a hairy texture.

Petrocosmea arunachalense The species plant is completely white with purple spots and has a hairy texture. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Highlighting the uniqueness and importance of this discovery, the researchers said that Petrocosmea arunachalense This is the second known species of the genus Petrocosmia from India. The discovery underlines the rich biodiversity present in the Arunachal Pradesh region, which is known for its diverse and often unknown flora.


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