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Kotagiri, India

Rasingam L.,Keystone Foundation | Rasingam L.,Deccan regional Center | Lakshminarasimhan P.,Central National Herbarium

Anredera cordifolia (Ten.) Steenis belonging to the family Basellaceae is reported here as an addition to the non-indigenous flora of India from the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu. A detailed description and photographs are provided. Source

Rasingam L.,Keystone Foundation | Rasingam L.,Deccan regional Center
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine

Objective: To conduct an ethnobotanical studies and collect information about the wild edible plants collected and utilized by the Irula tribes of Pillur valley, Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu, India. Methods: The study was conducted among the Irula peoples of Pillur valley through survey, interview and field work along with the knowledgeable individuals during January 2009 - September 2010. All the traditional and other knowledge related to the collection and consumption of wild edible plants on which the communities depend was documented. Results: A total of 74 plant species have been recorded as wild edible in the study areas, of which, fruits yielding plants ranked first with 42 species, green leaves, tubers, young shoots and flowers ranked next with 26, 7, 4 and 2 species respectively. Conclusions: Our study revealed that the adivasi community in the Pillur Valley continues to have and use the knowledge about the wild edible plants, including their habitat, collection period, sustainable collection, mode of preparation and consumption. To date, this knowledge appear to be fairly well conserved and used as a result of continued reliance of local community on the wild uncultivated foods. © 2012 Asian Pacific Tropical Biomedical Magazine. Source

Rasingam L.,Keystone Foundation | Rasingam L.,Deccan regional Center | Jeeva S.,Scott Christian College
Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) part of the Western Ghats was surveyed to list out the natural brooms made with plant species used by the indigenous communities. A total of 18 plant species were recorded as a source of brooms in the NBR from seven communities. Of which the family Arecaceae was dominant with 3 species. The most common wild plants that are used for broom making in NBR include: Phoenix loureiroi Kunth var. humilis S.C. Barrow, Sida acuta Burm.f., Parthenium hysterophorus L. and Dodonoea angustifolia L.f. Four species, viz. Cupressus lusitanica Mill., Brassica juncea (L.) Czernj., Cocos nucifera L. and Areca catechu L. are cultivated along the roadsides, farm fields and village surroundings. P. loureiroi var. humilis is commercially exploited in the entire biosphere reserve for broom making. The use of P. hysterophorus, noxious weed, as a broom, is interesting to note in the day to day life of indigenous communities. Source

Sharma M.V.,Keystone Foundation | Armstrong J.E.,Illinois State University
Tropical Conservation Science

Field studies of several species of Myristica (Myristicaceae) have produced a more detailed understanding of the pollination and reproduction of nutmeg, which had long been wanting. Nutmegs are dioecious tropical forest trees within the order Magnoliales. Nutmegs conform to the general pattern of dioecious tropical trees; they have small, inconspicuous flowers with a pollen reward system, and interact with a guild of small, generalist insects, predominately beetles, thrips and flies. Pollen is the only obvious reward, so pollination operates by deception and foraging errors. Fluctuations in floral displays may encourage foraging errors, and beetles have been found to be sensitive and responsive to such changes in floral displays. Natural populations of nutmegs are generally male-biased, although irregular flowering can shift sex ratios from season to season. Intersexual differences in microhabitat preference were found in some, but not all nutmeg species studied. Compared to their importance and prevalence in tropical forests, the nutmeg family remains both under-studied and difficult to study. Future work should focus on aspects of nutmeg reproduction such as pollen flow and fruiting success (or seed set) that may offer conservation insights. © Manju V. Sharma and Joseph E. Armstrong. Source

Roy P.,Keystone Foundation | Leo R.,Keystone Foundation | Thomas S.G.,Keystone Foundation | Varghese A.,Keystone Foundation | And 6 more authors.
Tropical Ecology

We estimated the nest densities of rock bee (Apis dorsata) within Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR), Western Ghats, India, during January to June 2007. Randomly chosen five km long transects covering various habitat types spread across 5 protected areas, were walked by at least 3 persons including professional honey hunters. Variable width line transect method was used and all nests located on either side of the transect line were recorded and their approximate distance to the transect line assessed. The program 'DISTANCE' was used to estimate nest densities. The number of cliff faces along the transect line; a measure of honey hunter pressure and harvest intensity per km2 were also recorded. There was significant variation in nest densities between sites. Sathyamangalam area had the highest nest densities due to the presence of cliffs. This area also had the highest harvest intensity and honey hunter pressure. Conservation of nesting habitats such as cliffs and tall trees are important for maintaining viable populations of this important species. © International Society for Tropical Ecology. Source

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