A new plant species at New Amarambalam

Cololejeunea manilalia

Cololejeunea manilalia  

Species in bryophyte group named after botanist who translated Hortus Malabaricus

A team of botanists has found a new plant species in the bryophyte group that grows on tree leaves and named it in honour of a veteran botanist.

The news plant species found from biodiversity-rich New Amarambalam in Nilambur in Malappuram was named Cololejeunea manilalia, in honour of K.S. Manilal, former head of the Department of Botany of the University of Calicut, who translated to English and Malayalam the monumental 17th century book of Indian plants, Hortus Malabaricus, authored by Dutchman Hendrik Van Rheede.

Vital role

Botanist K.P. Rajesh, hailing from Mattool here, who was in the team, said that bryophytes are one of the least studied plant groups in the State, though they play a very significant ecological role in the ecosystem as they provide suitable habitat and micro-climatic conditions for germination of spores and seeds of other plants in the forest.

The new plant grows and completes its life cycle on the leaves of trees and shrubs, he said.

The plant was collected by Dr. Rajesh, who is Assistant Professor of Botany at Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College, Kozhikode, during a Rapid Biodiversity Assessment in the New Amarambalam Reserve Forest area in 2010.

Expert’s confirmation

Dr. Rajesh said that the novelty of the species was confirmed by Dr. Tamás Pócs of Botany Department, Eszterhazy College, Hungary, an expert on the bryophyte plants.

The paper by the research team was published in the latest issue of Acta Botanica Hungarica, a journal from Hungary, he said.

The study was funded by the University Grants Commission, Science and Engineering Research Board of the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi and the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Thiruvananthapuram.

Team members

The other members of the study team are Manju C.N., Assistant Professor of Botany at the ZG College, and research scholar Chandini V.K. Dr. Rajesh and Dr. Manju had in 2012 had described another new bryophyte from the New Amarambalam Forest.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 7:53:57 PM |

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