Checklist of the orchids of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Meghalaya, India

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Bikarma Singh


A study on the diversity and distribution of different orchid species in Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (NBR) was carried out from 2009 to 2015 with an objective to assess the threatened plants present in protected areas. A total of 127 species of orchids belonging to 56 genera were identified from NBR; out of which 94 are epiphytes or lithophytes, 32 are terrestrial, and one species is mycoheterotrophic. Dendrobium (21 spp.) is the most dominant genus in terms of the species composition, followed by Bulbophyllum (8 spp.), Coelogyne (8 spp.), Liparis (7 spp.), Cymbidium (5 spp.), and Pinalia (4 spp.). Other dominant genera include Aerides, Agrostophyllum, Cleisostoma, Habenaria, Micropera, Paphiopedilum, and Pholidota which were represented by three species each. A total of 10 genera were recorded that were represented by two species include Acampe, Cryptochilus, Dendrolirium, Gastrochilus, Oberonia, Peristylus, Phalaenopsis, Pleione, Spathoglottis, and Vanda. Of the recorded species from NBR, the Gastrochilus calceolaris is assessed by the IUCN Red List as ‘Critically Endangered’, Paphiopedilum insigne and P. venustum are ‘Endangered’, P. Hirsutissimum as ‘Vulnerable’, and Dendrobium aphyllum as ‘Least Concern’. It has been observed that at the higher elevations, subtropical and temperate forests provide a conducive environment for the orchids to occupy a pristine ecosystem because the temperature and maximum humidity recorded in those areas is lower in comparison to lower regions. This research finding recommends the designation of Nokrek hill as a permanent orchid sanctuary for germplasm collection and conservation, as it could better guarantee the survival of threatened plants and reduce human interventions in the forested zone.

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