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Pradhan P.,University of Calcutta | Dutta A.K.,University of Calcutta | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Basu S.K.,University of Lethbridge | Acharya K.,University of Calcutta
Biodiversity | Year: 2013

The diversity of macrofungi in the lateritic region of West Bengal was explored and 120 species, one subgenus and a variety, having eight ecological functions, were found to grow among three types of habitats, i.e. natural forests, plantation forests and villages. Yate's corrected chi-square (χ2) test statistic was performed upon the 2 × 2 table (contingency table) and testing the null hypotheses of independence of observed cell frequencies of the presence/absence of a species in a given habitat type. Various degrees of specificities of macrofungi to their habitats were observed, i.e. Amanita vaginata, Astraeus hygrometricus, Laccaria laccata, Lactarius zonarius, Porphyrellus malaccensis, Russula brevipes, Russula delica, Russula emetica and Russula laurocerasi were absolutely specific for natural forests; Pisolithus arhizus and Ramaria fumigata were absolutely specific for plantation forests; Auricularia auricula, Schizophyllum commune and Termitomyces clypeatus (only association coefficient 100%) were found to absolutely specific for village habitat. MS Excel-based formulas for calculation of association/specificity of species to habitat and species to species as well as other diversity indices are provided. Local and tribal populations used 19 species of macrofungi during their fruiting period, of which 17 had culinary values and four were locally considered medicinal. This study is a first of its kind, and has various applications to allied disciplines in understanding diversity, ecology and biological prospects of the macrofungal realm. © 2013 Copyright Biodiversity Conservancy International.


Pradhan P.,University of Calcutta | Dutta A.K.,University of Calcutta | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Basu S.K.,University of Lethbridge | Acharya K.,University of Calcutta
Biodiversity | Year: 2012

Macrofungi are broad in diversity and play an important role in sustaining ecosystems. However, the quantity and quality of their habitat is decreasing and the threat of extinction looms over the remaining 95% of the world's undiscovered fungal species. There is an urgent need for inventorisation, monitoring and conservation of macrofungi and the habitats supporting their growth. This paper focuses on the species richness, assemblage and spatial ecology of the macrofungi whose lifecycles are intricately woven with natural Shorea robusta forests in the lateritic region of West Bengal, India. Decreasing soil productivity, poor regeneration of Shorea seedlings and subsequent habitat degradation for macrofungi are a prime cause of concern. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Pradhan P.,University of Calcutta | Dutta A.K.,University of Calcutta | Paloi S.,University of Calcutta | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Acharya K.,University of Calcutta
EurAsian Journal of BioSciences | Year: 2016

Background: Eastern Himalayas have rich biodiversity but are threatened by anthropogenic activities and periodic natural calamities. The present investigation focused on the cryptogamic group of macrofungi in the Darjeeling Himalayas which are extremely diverse and ecologically significant, but have received very little attention from a conservation perspective. Material and Methods: Investigations were conducted during June-September of 2013-2014 in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, wherein, local macrofungi were sampled in mixed to monoculture forests using 50 random transects 100×2 m. Fruit bodies were studied, collected, identified in the laboratory and deposited at Calcutta University Herbarium. Sampling units were georeferenced and physico-climatic factors were derived from the WORLDCLIM database. Results: The macrofungi belonged to 98 species representing 72 genera and 47 families; 58.16% were saprotrophs, 17.34% were ectomycorrhizal and 10.2% were parasitic. The most species-rich families were Russulaceae with 9 Russula species followed by Marasmiaceae with 4 Marasmius species and Coprinaceae with 3 Coprinus species. Most of the ectomycorrhizal macrofungi were hosted by natural stands of Quercus, Lithocarpus and Betula. The only species with zooparasitic capability were Cordyceps nutans and C. militaris. The relative abundance of only 6 saprotrophs communicatively accounted for 52.84% of the total abundance. Conclusions: The findings showed that this region is rich in macrofungal diversity intricately linked to the functioning of the local ecosystem. However, a high proportion of saprotrophs compared to ectomycorrhizal species suggests disturbance and degradation of regional forests. Mycofloristically important localities like Lolaygaon, Sonada, and Lameydhura in the Darjeeling district should be prioritized for further studies and future conservation action. © 2016 Pradhan et al.


Dasgupta A.,University of Calcutta | Ray D.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Chatterjee A.,University of Calcutta | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Acharya K.,University of Calcutta
Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences | Year: 2014

Polyphenol-rich fraction from edible mushroom, Russula albonigra, was tested for total phenol, flavonoid, β-carotene, lycopene and ascorbic acid and in vitro antioxidant activity in terms of DPPH radical scavenging and chelating effect of ferrous ion, reducing power and total antioxidant capacity assay. Findings showed that EC50 values were below 1 mg/ml except reducing power test. The extract exhibited 50% reducing power at only 1.2 mg/ml concentration. Estimated putative antioxidant components are in order of phenol > flavonoids > β-carotene > ascorbic acid > lycopene. Results imply that R. albonigra can be a potential source of natural antioxidant which may be used as food supplement to treat various oxidative stress related diseases.


Dasgupta A.,University of Calcutta | Ray D.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Chatterjee A.,University of Calcutta | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Acharya K.,University of Calcutta
Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research | Year: 2014

Ethanolic fraction from edible mushroom, Russula albonigra, was tested for in vitro antioxidant activity, namely, DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging activity, chelating effect on ferrous ions, reducing power and total antioxidant capacity assay and a quantitative estimation of putative antioxidant components like total phenol, flavonoid, β-carotene, lycopene and ascorbic acid was carried out. Findings showed that EC50 values were below 1 mg /ml except DPPH radical scavenging test. The extract exhibited 50% DPPH radical scavenging activity at only 1.8 mg /ml concentration. Estimated putative antioxidant components was in order of phenol > flavonoids > ascorbic acid > β-carotene> lycopene. Result implies that Russula albonigra can be a potential source of natural antioxidant which may be used as food suplement to treat various oxidative stress related diseases.


Ghosh H.S.,University of Calcutta | Roy S.,University of Calcutta | Sanyal A.K.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Misra K.K.,University of Calcutta
International Journal of Acarology | Year: 2016

Microscopic anatomy of Haller’s organ of snake inhabiting tick, Amblyomma gervaisi and Amblyomma helvolum is described. The Haller’s organ consists of two parts, the anterior pit and the proximal capsule. The surface ultrastructural studies by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) on this olfactory organ of both the species revealed some species specific features like slit pattern. Anterior pit consists of six sensilla in A. gervaisi and four in A. helvolum. These sensilla at their base region are connected to each other by a channel. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation of this organ of A. gervaisi shows that the lumen of each sensilla and the channel are associated with muscles and bunches of nerve fibres, respectively. Proximal capsule consists of few pyramid shaped elevated regions, each of which at their ventral surface bears cluster of one bipolar sensory cell guarded by two lateral supportive cells. Cytomorphology of the sensory cell exhibit distinct nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, membrane bound vesicles, microvilli and intercellular junction. Associated neurons and nerve extensions are clearly visible under TEM. Details of the SEM and TEM observations are described. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


Dutta A.K.,University of Calcutta | Pradhan P.,University of Calcutta | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Acharya K.,University of Calcutta
Check List | Year: 2015

The present study reports Crinipellis cupreostipes (first described from Thailand) as a new record for Indian mycobiota. A phylogenetic analysis based on nrDNA ITS shows that C. cupreostipes can be readily distinguished from other morphologically similar species such as Crinipellis nigricaulis var. macrospora. A detailed taxonomic description with illustrations and an artificial key to Crinipellis species previously reported from India and its neighboring countries are provided. © 2015 Check List and Authors.


Manna S.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Ray D.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board
Ethnobotany Research and Applications | Year: 2014

Mushrooms are one of the most significant biodiversity components from both an ecological and economic point of view. They are not only a good source of nutrients and medicine but also function in nutrient recycling and act as a niche for several animal resources. The eastern lateritic part of India with its distinct seasonality and undulated topography, harbors mosaic macrofungal resources on the forest floors with distinct spatio-temporal variation. Among 18 species related to tribal use, the most usable species were Astraeus hygrometricus (Pers.) Morgan, Amanita vaginata var. alba (De Seynes) Gillet, Amanita banningiana Tulloss, Russula nigricans Fr., Termitomyces eurrhizus (Berk.) R. Heim, and Termitomyces microcarpus (Berk. & Broome) R. Heim. Monsoon and post-monsoon periods which fall during the second half of August are found to be the optimum time for the production of 11 wild edible mushrooms. Out of the total calculated production, 47.2% of the same was noted during this time. These regions with tribal populations, especially the Santals in the forest fringes, have traditional knowledge related to mushrooms. This paper discusses the patterns of utilization in relation to spatio-temporal distribution of macrofungal diversity, fungal habitat, and traditional tribal knowledge of ecology, use, and other fungal characteristics.


Manna S.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board | Roy A.,West Bengal Biodiversity Board
Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2014

Dry deciduous forests of the eastern lateritic part of India are a typical case where forest valuation is yet to be integrated with the non-timber forest products like wild edible mushrooms (WEMs), which have a wide use in subsistence and cash income. A detailed accounting of the production and utilization of WEMs harvested from that region was made to highlight the economic worth of WEMs to the Santal community of this region. The WEMs production in the forest was in a polynomial pattern during the monsoon period. The net present value of revenues from WEMs was estimated to be contributing 9.83 and 10.29 % of total annual income of a Santal family of the Choupahari and Gonpur forests, respectively. The ecological footprint of the Santal communities on WEMs was higher in the forest area which was closer to the local markets than did the distant ones. Forest areas of the eastern lateritic part of India have a strong potentiality to produce WEMs that may be helpful for socio-economic upliftment of local tribal communities through the development of entrepreneurship and policy making. © 2013 The Japanese Forest Society and Springer Japan.


Monotropoideae is a mycoheterotrophic subfamily of Ericaceae. Its members are highly specific to a particular fungal family, which has attributed to the rarity and limited distribution of Monotropoideae. In the past two decades, there are considerable developments in understanding their biology and biogeography, among which, the distribution of Monotropa uniflora L. and M. hypopitys L. has been extensively studied. In this contribution, Ecological Niche Modeling of M. uniflora has been conducted to test its earlier proposed distribution in South Asia, to test the spatial scale of the said proposal, to test its potential distribution as a surrogate for range of Monotropoideae in South Asia and to prioritize conservation areas for M. uniflora in the region. The model was built with five occurrence details of the rare plant M. uniflora in Western and Eastern Himalaya, in relation to 19 bioclimatic explanatory variables, performed in MaxEnt. The results show the good performance of the model with the training AUC of 0.994. 1,50,316 square Km. of suitable areas have been predicted for the growth of M. uniflora (IHS ≥0.5) in South Asia, many areas of which is in line with earlier distributional reports. The bioclimatic variables are able to predict and suitably justify the spatial distribution of M. uniflora. The predicted range of the species could be established for potential distribution of other Asian Monotropoids like Monotropastrum and Cheilotheca. © 2015 Society for Indonesian Biodiversity. All rights reserved.

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