Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity: Floral Biodiversity Assessment

Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity: Floral Biodiversity Assessment

Ashok Kumar Rathoure (Biohm Consultare Pvt Ltd, India) and Hani C. Patel (Biohm Consultare Pvt Ltd, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1226-5.ch015
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Understanding the unequal distribution of species diversity is one of the greatest challenges in ecology. Standardized sampling protocol for diversity assessment are there for essential to reflect diversity patterns across spatial scales and to compare the diversities of different ecosystems. Measurements of biodiversity at the level of species or inhabitants are directed towards the fulfillment of an index of the number of species and their relative abundances in a given landscape. Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has caused the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is important for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. This review presents a basic description of different techniques that may be used for analysis of plant species. This chapter also includes an overview of the diverse, predominantly molecular techniques used in assessing plant genetic diversity.
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Floral diversity states to the variety of plants taking place during a specific region and particular era. It generally refers to the diversity of naturally occurring indigenous/native plants. The word Flora comes from the Latin, Flora – the goddess of plants (floris means flower). A total of 215,644 species of plants out of 298,000 predicted have been catalogued on earth till-date. Apart, 8,600 flora species have been recorded from ocean out of estimated 16,600 as per Environmental Information System (ENVIS) on Floral (Plant) Diversity. Plants are important part of the environment. Plants (Flora diversity) are the base of the food chain and biogeochemical cycling of nutrients between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They must constantly fight against the environmental modifications, however, that threaten to cause global species extinction and habitat destruction (Ansari et al., 2016). Plants are a large group of living components in nature. As biodiversity is an association of all living components of the nature from different possible natural habitats. Plants are also known as producers. They are important for reduction of pollution level and also a source of energy by trapping solar radiations to convert in to chemical energy (Sources of energy) in their photosynthesis activities. Animals are referred as consumers (Herbivores) which are dependent for energy in green plants, carnivore’s dependent on herbivores. This dependency of organisms forms a food chain. It is important and remarkable relationship among the varied group of organisms in nature (Patel, 2015). Assessment of plant diversity is fast and non-destructive approaches of measuring plant species diversity have been a subject of excessive scientific curiosity and disquiet to environmentalists and field ecologists worldwide (Peng, 2018) and quantify the population of floral diversity at study area. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of floral species is essential to conservation and forest managers in order to identify high priority areas like vulnerable species and habitats, and designate areas for reserves, refuges and other protected areas. A reliable map of the diversity of plant species over the landscape is an invaluable tool for such purposes (Hernandez-Stefanoni & Ponce-Hernandez, 2006).

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