Major R & D Programmes
- Plant Animal interaction studies
Knowledge on mutualism is highly relevant for the maintenance of biodiversity. It brings out the existing life long and/or co-evolved linkage between plant and animal communities in an ecosystem. Mutualistic interaction between Cullenia exarillata, a tree found in tropical forests and vertebrate community in Silent Valley tropical rain forests has been studied for the last two years. Feeding habits of dominant vertebrate species especially primates on Cullenia was completed. Further work on the role played by the vertebrates in establishing Cullenia exarillata as a dominant species is progressing.
- Amphibian ecology with relation to plant community
During the last five years of this study in 30 selected different ecological centers in the Kerala forest area and survey of the amphibian community in different seasons was done. Certain species groups are showing high affinity to certain ecosystems. Result will be compiled in the form a book shortly. As part of this study 135 novelties of anurans were collected and scientific description of the species are being done
- Flora of Eravikulam National Park
During the last five years of field studies in Eravikulam National Park of Kerala State, 1000 species of angiosperms and 120 species of pteridophytes were collected. Analysis and categorization of rare and endemic flora of this region were studied for the proposal of future conservation strategies. As part of this study seven new species could be identified, of which two speciers are already published and remaining species are in the process of preparation. The result of this project is planned to be published in the form of a book.
- Data Base on Kerala Flora
Division was preparing a data base of plants of Kerala for the last five years and estimated about 4000 flowering plants. The preparation of a book ‘ Flora of Kerala- a database’ is progressing. The database will serve as a status report on the plants of Kerala.
- Aerobiology of Kerala
Aeroallergen sampling was conducted in three districts (Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Kannur) of Kerala state. About 90 types of pollen grain and 76 types of fungal spores were captured from the air. Many of the pollen and fungal spores types were detected from the air are reported as allergenic. It is expected that the results evolved from the study could be used by several agencies for the betterment of human health in the state.
- Population biology of Janakia arayalpathra
As an endemic medicinal plants of Kerala This species has gained considerable attention over the last decade. Population dynamics and demography, pollination mechanisms, cytological analysis and genetic variation within and among the populations employing molecular markers were studied. The results will help to prepare strategies in the conservation of this plant species.