Biodiversity in India

a short description of the diversity in india
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  BIODIVERSITY IN INDIA The term “biodiversity” encompasses the variety of all life forms on earth. It is identified as the variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within and between species and ecosystem. In simple words it can be defined as “ variety, variability between genes, species and ecosystems.”  ® Levels of Biodiversity There are three levels of diversity Ψ Species Diversity   Ψ Genetic Diversity   Ψ Ecosystem or Habitat Diversity   Mangifera indica   L.   The name mango, almost identical in countless languages, is derived from Tamil, and was transferred to the West by the Portuguese. The general term for mango in Tamil is mamaran, but the fruit is usually referred to either as manpalam (also transcribed mambazham for ripe mango fruit or mangai for unripe mango fruit . The term 'mangai' seems to have been picked up by Portuguese sailors who encountered the fruits at harbours and markets. It is possible that mangoes were dominantly traded in their unripe state at that time. The North Indian names for mango derive from Sanskrit 'amra', which is probably also derived from the Tamil word for mango. The genus name Mangifera   ( bringer of mango ) contains Latin ferre carry, bring (see also asafetida), cf. Lucifer bringer of light or Christopher he who carries Christ .  A native of Burma, Sikkim, Khasia and the W. Ghats (India) , Mango, the national fruit of India, Philippines and Pakistan, is among the most economically and culturally important tropical fruits, especially in Asia. Mangoes belong to the family Anacardiaceae and genus Mangifera . The genus Mangifera  contains several species that bear edible fruit. Most of the fruit trees that are commonly known as mangoes belong to the species Mangifera indica . The other edible Mangifera species generally have lower quality fruit and are commonly referred to as wild mangoes. Mangoes were srcinally found in the foothills of the Himalayas in northeastern India, Burma, and Bangladesh, and were domesticated thousands of years ago, possibly independently in Southeast Asia. Many cultivars in India have been vegetatively propagated for hundreds of years. Now, however, this tree is grown in most tropical countries and some subtropical ones - it is grown as far north as 35° to 37° N in southern Spain. Very soon after it's discovery, mangoes were brought to Malaysia and other East Asian countries, then to East and West Africa, and finally to the New World. Mangoes were introduced to Brazil by the Portugese from their colonies in Mozambique and Angola; to Mexico and Panama via the Philippine; and, to the West Indies in the mid-to late 1700s, probably via Brazil. Much of the spread and naturalization of mangoes has occurred in connjunction with the spread of human populations, and as such, the mango plays an important part in the diet and cuisine of many diverse cultures. That there are over 1000 named mango varieties throughout the world today is in itslf a testament to their value to humans. Habit : Evergreen Trees. Reaches heights of 15  – 30 m (50  – 100 ft); cultivated trees are usually 3  – 10 m (10  – 33 ft) high when mature. Trunk & Bark : Trunk fluted near base; bark scaly. Branches and Branchlets : Terete. Branchlets brown, glabrous. Exudates : Watery and acrid. In sensitive individuals, ingestion of the fruit, or skin contact with its  juice, may cause a poison ivy-like rash. Leaves : Leaves simple, alternate, spiral, clustered at twig ends; petiole 1.2-6.2 cm long, swollen at base, planoconvex in cross section; lamina 8-25 x 1.7-6 cm, narrow oblong-elliptic or lanceolate, apex gradually acuminate, base acute to attenuate, margin slightly undulate, subcoriaceous, glabrous; midrib raised above; secondary_nerves many, nearly straight or gradually curved 28 to 30 pairs; tertiary_nerves reticulate. Inflorescence / Flower : Inflorescence terminal panicle; flowers polygamous, radially symmetrical, greenish white.Usually only 1 fertile stamen per flower; 4 other stamens are sterile. Each flower has a conspicuous 5-lobed disk between the petals and stamens. Fruit and Seed : Irregularly egg-shaped and slightly compressed fleshy drupe, 8-12 (-30) cm long, attached at the broadest end on a pendulous stalk. Skin smooth greenish-yellow, sometimes tinged with red. Underlying yellow-orange flesh varies in quality from soft, sweet, juicy and fiber-free in high-quality selected (clonal) varieties to turpentine-flavored and fibrous in unselected (wild) seedlings. Individual fruits can be round, oval, heart-shaped, or kidney-shaped; and can weigh as  little as a few ounces or as much as five pounds. The soft pulp is juicy and sweet, although it can sometimes has an acid overtone. At its best, mangoes have a pleasant resinous quality, but at its worst can smell like kerosene. The single, large, inedible compressed-ovoid seed is 3.5-20 cm long and encased in the white fibrous inner layer of the fruit.
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