TAXONOMIC STUDIES OF FLORISTIC MICROFUNGI FROM NORTH WESTERN GHATS OF INDIA
Botanical Survey of India
Western Regional Centre, Pune – 411001
Western Ghats, one of the biological hotspots of India, represents some of the best non-equatorial, tropical evergreen forests in the world and supports many endemic species of plants, animals and microorganism and are also facing threats of rapid deforestation. The Northern Western Ghats are popularly known as `Sahyadris' runs from TaptiHills (Gujarat), Maharashtra and Goa. The region supports Tropical semi evergreen to moist deciduous type of forest as ' type of climax vegetation. Unlike its southern counterpart, the North Western Ghats has not attracted much attention from the researcher community perhaps owing to its drier and fragmented landscape.The forest loss is relatively more in Northern Western Ghats than in Southern Western Ghats. The region has witnessed rapid urban expansion and an increase in development projects since last three decades. Unless actions are not taken to protect biodiversity, the opportunity of reaping its full potential benefit to mankind will be lost forever. This necessitates a balanced exploitation and conservation of the nation's wealth, especially plants, animals and microbes. Amongst the microbes, fungi are the most important and versatile living components of tropical ecosystems. Micro fungi are important organisms involved in biogeochemical cycling within ecosystem and have an enormous potential for bioprospecting.Therefore, there is a need to design an information system for Taxonomic characterization of microfungi that would help in the conservation and management of biological resources and also increase the Microbial wealth of the nation. Buoyant by fascinating and noteworthy results and lack of detailed knowledge on systematic taxonomic and biology of microfungi, a taxonomic studies of micro fungi from different geographical areas of Northern Western Ghats of India was undertaken. In the present study, various areas were visited in different forest ecosystems of Western Ghats and collected the live, dried, senescing and moribund leaves, logs, stems etc. The results presented in this paper are based on an investigation carried out over a period of five and a half years, from Nov. 2010 to March, 2016, on the floristic micro fungi associated with plants of Maharashtra. This multipronged effort resulted in the collection of more than 1000 samples with identification of more than 500 species of fungi.
The present study area forms the type locality two new genera (Sheathnemaindicum Dubey and Moonnambeth, 2014 and Sawantomyces indica Dubey and Moonnambeth, 2014,11 new species: Custingophora ratnagiriensis Dubey & Moonambeth, 2013; Goosiomyces bambusicola Dubey & Moonambeth, 2013; Kamalomyces mahabaleshwarensis Dubey & Moonambeth, 2014;Periconia chandoliensis Dubey & Moonambeth, 2016; Solicorynespora matheransis Dubey & Moonambeth, 2014; Stigmina koyanensis Dubey & Moonambeth, 2016; Tharoopama livistonae Dubey & Moonambeth, 2013;Tripospermummelghatensis Dubey & Moonambeth, 2013; Vermiculariopsiella papaya Dubey & Moonambeth, 2013; Zygosporium cocos Dubey & Moonambeth, 2014 and Zygosporium dilleni Dubey 2014 In addition to this 21 fungal taxa were new additions to Fungi of India and 71 fungal taxa were found to be new to Western Ghats and besides this, many new host records were also reported during this period. Thus Northern Western Ghats offers an important site to study and characterize[Download]