Check List 9(3): 555-600, doi: 10.15560/9.3.555
A floristic study on herbs and climbing plants at Puducherry, South India: an approach to biodiversity conservation and regeneration through eco-restoration
expand article infoRaja Ponnuchamy, Arunachalam Pragasam§, Soupramanien Aravajy, Prakash Patel|, Lipi Das|, Krishnamurthy Anupama
‡ French Institute of Pondicherry, India§ Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for Postgraduate Studies, India| Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, India
Open Access
A qualitative floristic exploration with life form classifications and monitoring of flowering and fruiting phenology has been carried out at a restored site near Puducherry, South India in 2009 and 2010. The species were classified into three categories based on their occurrence status, namely, Naturally Occurring, Naturally Regenerated and Introduced. The present study focuses only on two life forms, the Herbaceous and the Climbing plants. The site selected for eco-restoration originally comprised of an eroded and severely degraded landscape with scattered remnant species. However, active human intervention over a thirty year period included the introduction of appropriate plant species and other physical measures to enhance soil fertility and ground water level, and regenerate and conserve the deteriorating typical Tropical dry evergreen forest (TDEF) vegetation. A large number of naturally ccurring herbaceous, climbing species (172) and a consistent number of naturally regenerated species (44) are now observed as a result of eco-restoration. Lowland herbaceous species have also established themselves as a green cover at ground level. At present, parts of the area have fertile soils and rich floristic composition with the herbaceous life form represented by 165 species encompassed in 105 genera and 37 families, and the climbing plants represented by 68 species belonging to 54 genera and 25 families. ‘Genus to family’ and ‘species to genus’ ratios indicate the establishment of diverse vegetation in the study site. Nearly one third of the species have been observed flowering throughout the year and about half of the species were observed fruiting throughout the year. We emphasize that the two fold approach of land and vegetation reclamation has been very effective in helping restore the unique TDEF vegetation at the local level and the same may be extended to help regenerate and conserve the Coromandel Coastal vegetation at the regional scale.