Conservation of wild orchids in Sri Krishnadevaraya University Botanic Garden, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India
K. Prasad 1, B. Sadasivaiah 2, S. Khadar Basha 3, M.V. Suresh Babu 4, V. Sreenivasa Rao 5, P. Priyadarshini 6, D. Veeranjaneyulu 7 & B. Ravi Prasad Rao 8
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 Biodiversity Conservation Division, Department of Botany, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh 515003, India
Email: 1 firstname.lastname@example.org, 2 email@example.com, 3 firstname.lastname@example.org, 4 email@example.com, 5 firstname.lastname@example.org, 6 email@example.com, 7 firstname.lastname@example.org, 8 email@example.com (corresponding author)
Sri Krishnadevaraya University Botanic Garden was established in 1975 and is being maintained by the Department of Botany. The garden extends over 20000sq.m within the university campus and located 10km away from Anantapur City. The garden is situated at 14036Õ43.67ÓN and 77038Õ42.34ÓE at an altitude of 377m. The area receives moderate annual rainfall of about 538mm and experiences a mean daily maximum temperature of 28.70C (in summer season it is 38–40 0C). The garden currently harbours about 300 indigenous and exotic taxa including endemics. Orchids collected from different parts of the Eastern Ghats are being maintained by the research group of Biodiversity Conservation Division (BCD) of the Department of Botany.
Orchids are one of the largest groups in the plant kingdom comprising 22,075 species (APG 2009), of which 1331 taxa are found in India (Misra 2007). In the state of Andhra Pradesh, 77 species have so far been reported to occur in different habitats (Raju et al. 2008), however, most of them are encountered in the forests of the Eastern Ghats. Orchids are experiencing major threats in terms of habitat destruction due to over grazing, forest fires, encroachment of forest land for agriculture and plantation purposes. This situation in Andhra Pradesh prompted the ex situ maintenance of selected orchid species in the botanic garden.
At present, 32 orchid species collected from different parts of the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh are being maintained in the botanic garden green house and the epiphytic ones are on trees within the garden premises (Table 1). Of the 32 species, 13 are epiphytic and 19 are terrestrial ones. The terrestrial orchids are potted by using red soil mixed with pieces of brick, charcoal and manure (3:2:2:3). The epiphytic orchids are grown in pots using bricks, charcoal, coir pieces with fresh cattle dung (3:3:2:2) and are tied on the trunk of living trees with the help of a gunny-bag fill of the above materials (Image 1). Watering of the plants is done every day in summer and every 2–3 days in a week during the rainy season.
Of the 32 orchid species, five are endemic to India (Ahmedullah et al. 1986) and they are: Cirrhopetalum neilgherrense, Habenaria longicornu, H. panigrahiana, H. rariflora and H. roxburghii; Cirrhopetalum neilgherrense is categorised as Vulnerable (Nayar & Sastry 2000); Eulophia graminea is relocated after eight decades in Andhra Pradesh (Sadasivaiah et al. 2010); one species, Eulophia flava is a new distributional record for the Eastern Ghats (Rao et al. 2010); Geodorum recurvum is a new record for the southern Eastern Ghats (Prasad & Rao 2010); Habenaria panigrahiana, Liparis nervosa and L. paradoxa are new distributional records for Andhra Pradesh (Sadasivaiah et al. 2009; Prasad et al. 2010). Of the 32 species, 14 species are reported with medicinal values (Reddy et al. 2005; Raju et al. 2008). All the 32 species are listed in Table 1 with their habit, distribution pattern in Andhra Pradesh, endemic status and medicinal value.
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Prasad, K., M.V.S. Babu, B. Sadasivaiah & B.R.P. Rao (2010). Two species of Liparis L.C. Richard (Orchidaceae), new distributional records to Andhra Pradesh, India. The Journal of the Economic Taxonomic Botany 34(3): 514–516.
Prasad, K. & B.R.P. Rao (2010). Geodorum recurvum, new distribution record to southern Eastern Ghats of India. Indian Journal of Forestry 33(1): 119–121.
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Rao, B.R.P., B. Sadasivaiah, K. Prasad, S.K. Basha, A. Miria, A.B. Khan & M.V.S. Babu (2010). Eulophia flava (Lindl.) Hook.f. (Orchidaceae), in Eastern Ghats, India. Indian Journal of Forestry 33(3): 403–404.
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Sadasivaiah, B., K. Prasad, V.S. Rao & B.R.P. Rao (2009). Habenaria panigrahiana S. Misra - a new distributional record to Andhra Pradesh, India. The Journal of the Swamy Botanical Club 26: 1–2.
Sadasivaiah, B., K. Prasad, S.K. Basha, M.V.S. Babu, V.S. Rao & B.R.P. Rao (2010). Eulophia graminea Lindl., E. ochreata Lindl. and Habenaria barbata Wight ex Hook.f. - Relocated in Andhra Pradesh after Eight Decades. Indian Journal of Forestry 33(2): 211–214.