PLANTS OF CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE IN FOUR GRASSLANDS OF NILGIRIS, THE WESTERN GHATSD. Suresh, S. Paulsamy, S. Manorama and P. Senthilkumar
The grasslands of Nilgiris being a species rich vegetations, harbour many medicinal and other economically important plants. Data of floristic composition and utility value and the ecological status of constituent species are the most essential requirements for the preparation of conservation programme for any ecosystem. Considering this fact, four major grasslands namely, Thiashola, Korakundah, Ebbenadu and Wenlockdown were selected in Nilgiris, the Western Ghats for the present study. The study revealed that out of 190 species, encounted in all grasslands, 102 of them are having economic importance. Among them, the species of lower importance value index, higher utility value and threatened nature viz., Anaphalis elliptica, A risaema leschcnaultii, Centel la asiatica, Ceropegia pusilla, Curculigo orchioides, Gaultheria fragrantissima, Helichrysum hracteatum, Heracleum rigens, Hedyotis articularis, Kyllinga monocephala, Leucasvestita, Luzula campestris, Oxalis latifolia and Swertia corymbosa are suggested for cultivation and conservation so as to reduce the pressure upon the wild population.
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