ENDEMIC PLANT DIVERSITY IN SELECTED SACRED GROVES OF KASARAGOD DISTRICT, KERALA
|K. Subrahmanya Prasad*and K. Raveendran
Dept. of Botany, Sir Syed College, Taliparamba – 670 142, Kerala
|Corresponding Author: K. Subrahmanya Prasad, (Research Associate, Dept. of Botany, Sir Syed College, Taliparamba – 670 142, Kerala, India). E. mail [email protected]|
|Received: 08 October 2012 Accepted: 18 October 2012|
|Related article at Pubmed, Scholar Google|
Sacred groves are one of the finest examples of traditional in situ conservation practices and act as treasure house of endemic, endangered and rare plants. Endemic species of any geographical region throw light on the biogeography of the area, areas of extinction and evolution of the flora. Six famous sacred groves of Kasaragod District, Kerala were selected for documentation of floristic diversity with special reference to endemic as well as RET plants and to know threats to them. Present inventory accounted for a total of 81 endemic angiosperms, of which 23 qualify for RET categories. Their role in germplasm conservation is evident from the fact that only three plants are common to all the groves and 52 endemic plants are restricted to any one of the groves. Out of 23 RET plants 15 are highly traded for medicinal purposes. Like other groves of Kerala, these also facing the threat of extinction from increasing anthropogenic activities and there is an urgent need of complete protection and public awareness for the existence of these near-climax communities.