Biomonitoring Studies Carried Out in India Till Date

Indian landscape has wide geographical area ranging from tropical to alpine climate. It has rich lichen diversity with more than 2,300 species, reported from different regions of the country, belonging to 305 genera and 74 families. Out of these species reported about 520 species (22.5%) are endemic (Singh and Sinha 2010). There are

Fig. 7.3 Map of India showing different cities where long term biomonitoring studies are being carried out and some of the lichen rich areas of the country.* J&K: Jammu & Kashmir, GHNP: Great Himalayan National Park, NBR: NandaDevi Biosphere Reserve, MPG: Milam & Pindari Glacier, PWS: Panch marhi Wildlife Sanctuary, AABR: Amarkantak-Achanakmaar Biosphere Reserve, S: Sikkim, NH: Nilgiri Hills, which have contributed to the rich lichen diversity of India.(* Source: Lichen rich area (Upreti and Nayaka 2008). 1. DEHRADUN, 2. HARIDWAR, 3. RISHIKESH, 4. SRINAGAR (G.), 5. CHOPTA, 6. BADRINATH, 7. PITHORAGARH)

Fig. 7.3 Map of India showing different cities where long term biomonitoring studies are being carried out and some of the lichen rich areas of the country.* J&K: Jammu & Kashmir, GHNP: Great Himalayan National Park, NBR: NandaDevi Biosphere Reserve, MPG: Milam & Pindari Glacier, PWS: Panch marhi Wildlife Sanctuary, AABR: Amarkantak-Achanakmaar Biosphere Reserve, S: Sikkim, NH: Nilgiri Hills, which have contributed to the rich lichen diversity of India.(* Source: Lichen rich area (Upreti and Nayaka 2008). 1. DEHRADUN, 2. HARIDWAR, 3. RISHIKESH, 4. SRINAGAR (G.), 5. CHOPTA, 6. BADRINATH, 7. PITHORAGARH)

lichen hot spots like Great Himalayan National Park, Western Ghats, North-Eastern states and Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (Upreti and Nayaka 2008) but the urban areas have poor diversity, and only some tolerant species belonging to members of Physciaceae dominates the lichen flora dominates the lichen flora (Fig. 7.3) of urban center (Shukla 2007).

Fig. 7.4 Different lichen species widely used for biomonitoring studies in India. 1. Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Moberg, 2. Pyxine subcinerea Stirton.3. Dirinaria applanata (Fée) D.D. Awasthi

Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Mo berg

Characteristic feature', dense tuft of rhizinac on the lower surface which act as reservoir for pollutants especially Iron. Distribution in India: lias wide distribution. Common in the sub tropical and temperate climates. Has exclusive occurrence in highly polluted city centers.

Pyxine subcinerea Stirton.

Characteristic feature: presence of lie hex an then e in the upper cortex which acts as uv filter and plays major role in thcrmoprotcetion of this organism in extreme urban climate. Distribution in India: wide distribution in the tropical region of the country.

Dirinaria applanata (Fée) D,D, Awasthi

Characteristic feature: presence of different type of cuticle, whitish and flour like in appearance composed of superficial deposits most commonly calcium oxalate. Distribution in India: commonly distributed in tropical areas.

Fig. 7.4 Different lichen species widely used for biomonitoring studies in India. 1. Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Moberg, 2. Pyxine subcinerea Stirton.3. Dirinaria applanata (Fée) D.D. Awasthi

)n tropical climate of India Pyxine subcinerea, Phaeophyscia hispidula and Dirinaria applanata (Fig. 7.4), common foliose member of lichen family Physciaceae, having well known pollution tolerant characters are the most suitable lichen taxa for carrying out Active (transplant) as well as Passive (organism taken from their natural habitat) biomonitoring.

In tropical India, Shorea robusta has been reported to be an excellent host for lichen growth (Satya et al. 2005). Mangifera indica is the other tropical tree having suitable habitat for luxuriant growth of many lichen taxa. In sub-temperate areas of India trees of Melia sp. Also provide suitable suitable for growth of lichen along the road side.

Systematic study on lichens was initiated in India by Awasthi (1957), who deciphered the lichen flora of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka (Awasthi 1988; Awasthi 1991; Awasthi 2007). Biomonitoring studies with lichens in India were initiated by Das in the year 1986. Since then several studies have been carried out in various parts of India.

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