International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5 Issue 1 2014- July 2014    Pages: 117-122  <<Previous    Next>>

Preliminary documentation of aquatic Macrophytes of Kole wetlands of Northern Kerala, India

Author Information:

Jyothi P.V.1, S. Sureshkumar2

1 - Department of Botany, MES Ponnani College, Ponnani, 679 586,
Malappuram (Dist.), Kerala.
2 - PG Department and Research Centre of Aquaculture and Fishery Microbiology, MES Ponnani College, Ponnani, 679 586, Malappuram (Dist.), Kerala

ABSTRACT

The Kole land, one of the rice granaries of Kerala, is a unique wetland ecosystem down south of India. It is a part of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site and spread over Thrissur and Malappuram districts of Kerala. The Kole wetland harbours a rich floristic and faunal diversity which is much higher than any other fresh water ecosystems.  Although Kole wetland is highly productive, it faces several anthropogenic pressures which result in loss of species richness, decrease in agriculture production, scarcity of portable water, variation in flooding pattern and depletion of aesthetic value. Reclamation of land and alterations in land use  pattern are most serious problems, which can impart deleterious impacts on aquatic flora.  75 species of vascular plants under 53 genera and 32 families including vascular cryptogams have been identified. The plants were identified with the help of available keys, taxonomic revisions and monographs. Among the macrophytes, Salvinia molesta, Ludwigia adscendens and Eichhornia crassipes were the very frequent species whereas, Floscopa scandens, Mollugo pentaphylla, Spheranthus africanus, Lemna perpusilla, Utricularia reticulata, Pistia stratioles and Aponogeton natans were less in frequency. Saline species viz. Maricus javanicus, Schenoplectus supinus, Paspalam distichum, Ipomoea pes-caprae, Clerodendron inerme, Acanthus ilicifolius and Avicennia officinalis were observed from the Kole wetlands during the survey.  The database developed through the present investigation will serve as a preliminary document for the impact assessment of the area and also for the policy decisions for the management and conservation of wetlands in general and the aquatic flora of this very important fragile ecosystem in particular.

Keywords:  Wetland, Ramsar site, Macrophytes, Vascular cryptogams, Conservation

DOI:10.6088/ijes.2014050100010

© 2014 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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