Neeta Basumatary, Vipin Parkash, Ajit Kumar Tamuli, Ankur Jyoti Saikia and Robindra Teron receive George Bentham Research Award-2015 in Biodiversity
12 March, 2015, India, USA NEWS CORPThe George Bentham Research Award-2015 in Biodiversity goes to Neeta Basumatary, Vipin Parkash, Ajit Kumar Tamuli, Ankur Jyoti Saikia and Robindra Teron from India. This is an excellent global opportunity to recognize the meritorious efforts by individual and organization. The research findings were published on world’s prestigious The Journal of Biodiversity. Arbuscular mycorrhizal distribution, diversity and species richness were analysed in five different rubber plantation sites i.e. Manja, Hidim-Teron Gaon, Samelangso, Diphu and Bakalia of Karbi Anglong district, Assam, India and their variation with age was evaluated. The results showed that among the three types of root colonizations, only hyphal and vesicular colonizations were present in roots; mycorrhizal colonization in roots was profuse and scanty in low and high age plantation groups. Almost 40 species with 5 genera were identified; Glomus species were found highly abundant. The maximum species richness, diversity index and similarity index were observed in Manja and minimum in Diphu plantation sites respectively. Similar was the case with dissimilarity index, although index of similarity illustrated a reverse pattern. The nutrients especially nitrogen and potassium were having no variation with increasing elevation at the various plantation sites. Precisely, the soil nutrient status depleted and AM population dwindled with increasing plantation age. Since, it is an exotic plant species, introduced in Karbi Anglong district of Assam has well suitability for plantation in the region due to its compatibility with endomycorrhizal fungi and other microbes which are beneficial for rubber plantation, are having future scope for such types of studies. Mycorrhizal colonization recorded in Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Müll. Arg., was higher than the earlier reports. Amongst the three types of root infection/colonization, only hyphal and vesicular colonization were present, while arbuscular colonization was absent. Mycorrhizal colonization in roots was profuse in low age group and scanty at high age group of plantations. Abundance, diversity and richness suggest that Glomus species is most preferred by the target host plant, which may possibly favour host plant nutrition and growth. Out of the studied physic-chemical parameters, electrical conductivity and moisture content increased with the increase in age group but pH and organic carbon (%) were observed in decreasing trend in all studied plantation sites. No any change in availability of nutrients especially nitrogen and potassium was observed with increasing elevation at the various plantation sites. Increase in pH and elevation were observed to individually influence AM spore numbers up to a critical value; although age increment gradually diminished AM diversity and population in the plantation sites. Anthropogenic pressure and disturbances affect the distribution and diversity of AM fungi which are otherwise helpful to plantation crop. Adoption of cover cropping in rubber plantation may influence soil AM fungal diversity and richness as in the case of Manja plantation, under this study. Due to frequent anti-social activities of extremists belonging to the study site, survey and sample collection of other plantation plots could not be done. The AM spore distribution and diversity wasn’t correlated with the latex yield per plant/ plantation area. Further survey of rubber plantation sites in non-studied districts of Assam, India must be taken up. Apart from rubber monocultures, Rubber plant under intercropping systems in other parts of the state, if any must also be evaluated for endomycorrhizal colonization and soil nutrient availability status. The people should be made aware about the beneficial microbial population and activity in the rhizosphere of rubber plantation. Keeping in mind, the deteriorating nutrient status and dwindling AM population with increase in age, intercropping or cover cropping may be preferred rather than monocultures in plantation stands. NB did survey of plantation site/s, collection of rhizospheric soil and roots, laboratory investigation and manuscript preparation. VP supervised NB in laboratory investigation, statistical analyses and manuscript preparation. AKT and RT assisted NB in plantation site/s survey of plant and collection of rhizospheric soil and roots. AJS assisted NB in laboratory investigation, statistical analyses and manuscript preparation. The Authors declare that they have no significant competing financial, professional or personal interests that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.
Ankur Jyoti Saikia is Technical Assistant. He is affiliated to Mycology and Soil Microbiology Laboratory, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat- 785001, Assam, India. He has been conferred with Fellow, IASR.
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