IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

New plant species

25th June, 2024 Environment

New plant species

Source: The Hindu

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • Indian botanists identified two new plant species in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh, showcasing India's rich biodiversity and underlining the critical need for ongoing conservation efforts in these bio-geographic hotspots.


Key Points

  • New Discoveries: Identification of Dendrophthoe longensis in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Petrocosmea arunachalense in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Bio-geographic Hotspots: Emphasis on the ecological importance and diversity of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Conservation Need: Highlighting the urgency of protecting newly discovered species and their habitats.
  • Unique Plant Adaptations: Exploration of hemiparasitic and cave-dwelling plant adaptations.
  • Ecological Impact: Understanding the impact of new plant species on their ecosystems and host species.

Biodiversity Hotspot:

  • Rich in Endemic Species: Biodiversity hotspots are regions with a high number of endemic species, meaning species found nowhere else in the world.
  • High Threat Levels: These areas face significant threats from human activities, making conservation efforts crucial to prevent the extinction of unique species.
  • Global Conservation Priority: Designated as priority areas for conservation due to their rich biodiversity and the immediate threat to their ecosystems.

Global Distribution of Biodiversity Hotspot:

  • 34 Recognized Hotspots: Spread across various continents, including tropical rainforests, Mediterranean ecosystems and mountainous regions.
  • Examples: The Amazon Rainforest, the Congo Basin, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas.
  • Criteria: Hotspots must have at least 1,500 endemic plant species and have lost at least 70% of their original habitat.

India's Distribution of Biodiversity Hotspot:

  • Four Major Hotspots: Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas, Indo-Burma and Sundaland (including the Nicobar Islands).
  • High Endemism: These regions host numerous endemic species of plants and animals.
  • Conservation Efforts: Significant government and non-governmental efforts are underway to protect and preserve these hotspots.

About Petrocosmea arunachalense:

  • Family:
    • Gesneriaceae
  • Habitat:
    • Caves in the Mandla region of West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Appearance:
    • Herbaceous plant with white flowers and purple spots, hairy texture.
  • Adaptations:
    • Thrives in low-light conditions, demonstrating unique ecological adaptations.
  • Conservation Status:
    • Requires protection due to habitat specificity and potential threats from habitat disturbance.

About Dendrophthoe longensis:

  • Family:
    • Loranthaceae
  • Habitat:
    • Long Islands of middle Andamans, primarily on mango trees near evergreen forests.
  • Ecological Impact:
    • Affects host trees’ health by drawing nutrients, pollinated by birds like sunbirds and flowerpeckers.
  • Adaptations:
    • Hemiparasitic with unique haustorium to attach and extract nutrients from host trees.
  • Conservation Status:
    • At risk due to habitat loss and human activities


The Hindu


Q. Consider the following statements about Petrocosmea arunachalense:

1.It is found in the Western Ghats of India.

2.It grows in rosette shapes and prefers damp, shady conditions.

3.It is a member of the family Loranthaceae.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A) 1 and 2 only

B) 2 only

C) 1 and 3 only

D) 2 and 3 only

Answer: B)