NEGATIVE IMPACT OF NEW INVASIVE SPECIES DOLICHANDRIAUNGUIS-CATI ON THE FLORA IN BALH VALLEY OF MANDIDISTRICT, INDIASuman Rawat
India has rich plant and animal diversity. It is amongst twelve mega biodiversity countries of the worldand has ten biogeographical regions. It is rich in wild genetic biodiversity and apart from this also hailsnumber of exotic species. Prehistorically, number of plants were introduced and India harbours around18% exotic flora. Himachal Pradesh is rich in wild as well as exotic plant biodiversity. Approximately, its40% flora is exotic and of American origin. plants. These plants have reproduced, propagated andnaturalized in the new region. Sometimes, these species show aggressive behavior upon finding suitableresources and environmental conditions in a given area. These species have shown high fertility, dispersalrates and it has been reported that they secrete certain allelochemicals that adversely affect the growth andsurvival of native plants. Bidens pilosa, Lantana camara, Eucalyptussp, Parthenium hysterophorus, Populussp,Ageratum conyzoides, Argemone mexicna are some of examples of invasive species in India. This study wasconducted on a new invasive species Dolichandria unguis-cati in Balh valley and its effects on the surroundingflora. This species was introduced as an ornamental climber in the studied area. Within the small durationof time it shows high invasive nature and badly affects the local ecosystem of studied area. Study revealsthat this species shows alarming negative effects on local genetic pool of valley. Government should payattention to eradicate this invasive vine.