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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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Samsung Refreshes its Galaxy A Series in India

It would be available in ghost white, phantom black and angel gold colours

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To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung India on Thursday refreshed its Galaxy A series with Galaxy A80 with the world’s first rotating triple camera, priced at Rs 47,990.

The Galaxy A80 has a 3,700 mAh battery and features Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G Octa-Core chipset and comes with Samsung Pay.

“Galaxy A80 has the world’s first rotating triple camera with 48 Megapixels. It allows brilliant quality images and videos to be captured on both front and rear cameras,” Aditya Babbar, Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India, said in a statement.

The Galaxy A80’s selfie mode in the camera app makes its three cameras pop-up and rotate. The camera is also capable of shooting ultra wide videos with super steady mode and has a 3D depth camera that offers “Live Focus” videos.

The device comes with the company’s new 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED “Infinity Display”.

Samsung, Home, Privacy
Arvin Baalu, vice president of product management at Harman International, talks about the Samsung Digital Cockpit during a Samsung news conference at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

Coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard memory, it runs Samsung’s own One UI interface on top of Android Pie OS.

The battery comes with 25W super-fast charging technology and USB Type-C.

Also Read: Survey: Only Half of Indian Women Able to Pursue Career of their Choice

Galaxy A80 would go on sale starting August 1 across retail stores, e-Shop, Samsung Opera House and all leading online channels.

It would be available in ghost white, phantom black and angel gold colours. (IANS)