National Workshop

NATIONAL WORKSHOP

on

Plant Taxonomy, Conservation and Propagation methodology of

Primitive Vascular Plants of South India

26th October to 4th November, 2013

at

MALABAR BOTANICAL GARDEN

Kozhikode – 14, Kerala

Supported by

NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY AUTHORITY

Chennai, India

 

Taxonomy is considered to be the “Queen and servant of all biological sciences” considering the essentiality of the scientific name of an organism and its taxonomic rank to initiate any study / research on that organism. In that respect Taxonomy provides the basic and inevitable information on each organism. Taxonomy is one of the oldest disciplines of all sciences. However, unfortunately being old, it is considered to be an orthodox and esoteric subject and hence neglected by modern biologists being failed to understand its importance and application. Never-the-less, recently consequent to the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) held as part of the Earth Summit (UNCED, 1992) there is a shift in the attitude which emphasized the need for area-wise documentation of local flora and fauna.

Major functions of Plant Taxonomy are Description, Identification, Nomenclature and Classification (DINC). Usually Taxonomy is conjugated with phylogeny (evolutionary history of a taxon) thence called 'Plant Systematics'. Earlier, only visible morphological characters were used in the elucidation of phylogenetic relationships. But, modern Taxonomy draws evidence from almost all disciplines such as anatomy, cytology, embryology, ecology, phytochemistry and molecular data making 'taxonomy a never-ending synthesis. Molecular systematics thus has become an emerging branch of modern Taxonomy.

Taxonomy has been dynamic in the case of flowering plants in recent times. The APG (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) has been actively engaged in the revision and redefining of phylogenetic relationships among angiosperms on the basis of molecular and other data.

In the case of Primitive Vascular Plants (Pteridophytes) also the phylogenic concepts have been rewritten keeping Lycopsida apart from other fern allies merging the latter  with the ferns as a separate, definite, single group. This will be the focal theme in the present workshop, besides a general awareness on the pteridophyte flora of South India and its conservation. Expert Taxonomists will discuss the problems and methods in modern taxonomy and train the participants.

The workshop includes theory as well as practical classes, field work, hands on preparations, project work and feedback from the participants.

An identificaion manual for Primitive Vascular Plants of S. India will be prepared as an outcome of the workshop.

Malabar Botanical Garden:

Malabar Botanical Garden is a grant in aid institution under the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environ ment. The Garden sprawls in 45 acres of area adjacent to the Calicut city (8 km from Calicut Railway Station and 22 km from Calicut Airport), of which 15 acres are wetland forming a placid lake during monsoon and 25 acres a hill slope providing diverse habitat and niche for a variety of plants. MBG has Green Houses and Polyhouses for Begonias, Aroids, Ferns, RET Plants, Aquatic Plants and Medicinal Plants. Inaddition, there are Palmetum, Bamboo setum, Gymnosperm Garden and Rock Garden (for Xerophytes). Star Forest (Trees of Birth Stars) and Hortus Valley are other attractions of Malabar Botanical Garden.

 

·       MBG is at present running research projects in Conservation Biology  and many research students work for Ph.D.

·       MBG is a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).

·       MoEF, Govt. of India has recognized MBG as a Lead Garden.

·       Calicut University has approved MBG as a Research Centre in Botany.

·       MBG has facilities for research in Taxonomy and Biodiversity conservation.

·       Best collection of Aquatic plants in the Country.

·       Lower plant group conser vatories.

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