Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Half of India vulnerable to alien invasive plant species: Study

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Picture credit: blenderartists.org
Picture credit: blenderartists.org

Kolkata: According to a new study, nearly half of India’s total geographical area is prone to invasion by alien plant. It shows that biodiversity hotspots in India are “especially vulnerable” and limiting human interference in remote forests is necessary.

Scientists from North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, have created the first pan-India catalogue of regions most susceptible to invasion and identified the ‘hotspots’.

‘Hotspots’ are regions that are climatically and geographically most suited for alien invasive species – species which colonise, spread and invade new territories.

“Almost half of the total geographical area of India is prone to invasion by alien plant species with moderate and high levels of climatic suitability,” Saroj K. Barik, co-author of the study and a professor at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, NEHU, told IANS.

In India, alien plant species constitute 40 percent of the total plant diversity, of which 25 percent are invasive (such as Siam weed, bitter vine, water hyacinth and mesquite).

Alien invasive species threaten the biodiversity hotspots, he said.

Key findings show most ecologically sensitive regions of India, including the biodiversity hotspots, islands, coastal forests, freshwater swamp forests, mangroves and protected forest reserves, croplands, rangelands and village biomes coincide with the identified ‘invasion hotspots’, indicating their vulnerability to alien plant invasion.

Barik said more than half of the geographical areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal are at “high risk” of being invaded by alien plant species.

Some of the major port towns such as Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Panaji, Nagapattnam, Chennai, Kakinada, Paradip, and Haldia fall within the identified invasion hotspots. Such areas provide suitable habitats for colonisation of alien invasive species after being introduced through shipping routes.

The study (using modelling and GIS data), carried out by Barik, D. Adhikari and R. Tiwary of NEHU is published in ‘PLoS One’ journal and contributes to the comparatively little studied genre of ecological invasion.

Additionally, it sheds light on the fact that remote forest areas with high tree cover and low human population are “unlikely” to be invasion hotspots. This stresses on the necessity of minimum human interference, said Barik.

“Delineating the areas climatically suitable for invasion by diverse species would enable us to gauge the extent of damage the invasive plants can incur to the native biodiversity, assist to identify areas threatened by invasion and facilitate formulation of appropriate policy for their control and management,” said Barik.

Worldwide, alien invasive species cause an estimated annual economic loss of $314 billion in the agriculture and forestry sectors, of which India’s share is around $116 billion.

(IANS)

 

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Google Announces New Prepaid Plans for YouTube Premium & Music

New Prepaid Plans Unveils for YouTube Premium and Music Premium in India

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Prepaid plans for YouTube Premium and Music Unveils
YouTube Music and YouTube Premium respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming and content with their Prepaid plans. Pixabay

US-based search engine giant Google has announced new prepaid plans for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium for users in India.

YouTube launched YouTube Premium and YouTube Music in India last March and while at the time users could only subscribe to a monthly plan.

Now, users will be able to purchase one-month or three-month prepaid plans for YouTube Premium and Music Premium in India.

“With these new plans for India, users can now purchase prepaid plans without enrolling in an ongoing subscription and enhance their viewing and listening experience with all the paid membership benefits for the period that they pay for,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

New prepaid plans announced by google
Social media apps allow users to connect and interact. Pixabay

The new YouTube Music prepaid plans in India start from Rs 109 for a month and Rs 309 for a period of three months.

The YouTube Premium prepaid plan, on the other hand, is priced at Rs 139 for one month and Rs 399 for three months.

ALSO READ: Google CEO Sundar Pichai Bets Big on YouTube For Future Growth

YouTube Music Premium offers ad-free music, download any song for offline playback, listen to music in the background while accessing other apps and YouTube Premium offers all the benefits of YouTube Music Premium.

Google says that prepaid plans can be purchased with credit or debit card using Visa or Master-card and the YouTube Premium page reads “many forms of payment are accepted”.(IANS)