Current Affairs

A new Bryophyta is discovered in Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    4th May, 2021

Context

A new species of moss of the genus Bryocrumia has been named after the Malabar region of Kerala from where it was spotted.

About the new moss

  • It is named as Bryocrumia malabarica.
  • Location: It is discovered in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary along the Western Ghats.
  • Features: This is a tiny bryophyte and is only the second species to be identified in the genus Bryocrumia which has for long thought to be monotypic.
    • It was thought to be represented by just one species.
    • For years, the genus Bryocrumia was thought to include only one species - Bryocrumia vivicolor.
  • Found on rocks in streams,  vivicolor has been spotted in Congo and Uganda in Africa, North and South Carolina in the United States, China’s Yunnan, Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka, and Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala in India.
    • Bryocrumia malabarica was found on rocky patches along a stream in the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • The plant, which is light green in colour, differs from Bryocrumia vivicolor in the structure of its leaves.
    • The plant was first collected in 2014.

Bryophytes

  • These are a group of plants that play significant roles in the ecosystem.·       
  • They arrange the suitable microclimate in the forest ecosystem, and provide suitable microhabitats for many other organisms, especially small insects.·       

Features:

  • Bryophytes are three divisions of non-vascular land plants (embryophytes): the liverwortshornworts and mosses.
  • They do not produce flowers or seeds.o   They reproduce via spores.
  • Bryocrumia malabarica is the 12th species of bryophytes newly described from Kerala in recent years.
  • The present discovery indicates the potential of our habitats in holding new taxa, and the need for detailed documentation.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary 

  • It is a protected area located along the Western Ghats.
  • It also comes under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and forms a part of the Wayanad Elephant Reserve.
  • The sanctuary area constitutes the watersheds of Kuttiady River.
    • Flora: These are the West-coast Tropical Evergreen, West-coast Semi evergreen, Southern Moist Mixed Deciduous, Southern Hill-top Evergreen forests, Grasslands, and Marshy grasslands.
    • Fauna: Forty one species of mammals are reported in the area, which include 6 Western Ghats endemics. Of the 179 species of birds, 10 are endemics, 6 range restricted and 5 globally threatened species. Thirteen of these are listed in the schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
  • Preliminary surveys indicate the presence of 36 species of
    reptiles including 8 Western Ghats endemics.