Environment Current Affairs

Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis: New plant species discovered in Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered new grass-like plant species named Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis in Ponmudi hills within the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. It has been classified as sedge, the grass-like plant and has been named after the locality from which it was found.

Key Facts

The new species of plant belongs to the Cyperaceae family. Its flowering and fruiting were observed from October to March. In India, Cyperaceae genus is represented by 122 species, of which 87 are reported from the Western Ghats. Many of the known Cyperaceae species are medicinal plants or used as fodder.

Threats

Fimbristylis agasthyamalaensis is highly prone to wild grazing. It is also subject to anthropogenic pressures as its habitat falls within tourism spot and perimeter of place of worship that could lead to its extinction in absence of scientific conservation. Researchers have recommended preliminary conservation assessment of plant as ‘critically endangered,’ according to IUCN criteria.

Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR)

ABR in situated at the southern-most end of the Western Ghats and spread over two southern states Kerala and Tamil Nadu.  It was established in 2001. It is named after Agastya Mala peak that rises up to almost 1868 metres above sea level, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.  In March 2016, it was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO.

ABR covers an area of 3,500 sq km at an altitude ranging from 100 metres to 1,868 metres above the Mean Sea Level. It covers Peppara and Shendurney wildlife sanctuaries and parts of the Neyyar sanctuary in Kerala and the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu.

Its flora mostly consists of tropical forests and is home to 2,254 species of higher plants including about 400 that are endemic. About 400 Red Listed Plants, 125 species of orchids and rare, endemic and threatened plants have been recorded from the reserve. It is also home to rare endimic animals include tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr. It is home to Kanikaran tribe, one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

Tags:

India at risk of food shortage due to climate change: Study    

According to recently published global study, India is among countries which are at greatest risk of food insecurity due to weather extremes caused by climate change. The study had examined how climate change could affect vulnerability of different countries mainly 122 developing and least-developed countries (mostly in Asia, Africa and South America) to food insecurity — when people lack access to sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. It examined projected changes in weather extremes and their implications for freshwater availability and vulnerability to food insecurity.

Key Findings

Climate change caused by 2 degrees Celsius global warming is expected to lead to more extremes of both heavy rainfall and drought, with different effects in different parts of world. Such weather extremes will increase vulnerability to food insecurity. The countries at greatest vulnerability to food insecurity due to climate change are Oman, India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

Global warming is expected to lead to wetter conditions on average causing floods and putting food production at risk. But agriculture may also get harmed by more frequent and prolonged droughts in some areas caused by climate change.

Wetter conditions are expected to have biggest impact in South and East Asia, with most extreme projections suggesting flow of River Ganges could more than double at 2 degrees Celsius global warming. Some areas are projected to see increase in flood event lengths of 4 days or more, particularly India and Bangladesh, for which such increases are projected in all ensemble members to some extent.

The areas worst affected by droughts are expected to be southern Africa and South America – where flows in Amazon River are projected to decline by up to 25%. Some climatic change is already unavoidable, but if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, this vulnerability is projected to remain smaller approximately 76% of developing countries than at 2 degrees Celsius

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

Tags:

Advertisement

1...1020...3031323334...405060...248