A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) has spotted a new species of plant belonging to the African Violets family from Mizoram along Indo-Myanmar border.
The researchers' team was led by IISER's Associate Professor Vinita Gowda.
According to IISER, there are a total of 106 currently known species of this (African Violets) genus, of which 26 are present in Northeast.
Didymocarpus is a genus belonging to the plant family Gesneriaceae (commonly known as African Violets) and its members are distributed from Western Himalayas to Sumatra.
Most of these species are narrow endemics and require specialised habitats to survive, thus acting as an indicator of pristine habitats.
Most of these species are narrow endemics and require specialised habitats to survive, thus acting as an indicator of pristine habitats"Northeast India is home to highly diverse flora because of its unique bio-geographic placement as part of two biodiversity hotspots - the Indo-Burma hotspot and the Eastern Himalayas," said Gowda.
She said that IISER, Indo-Myanmar border, Mizoram, Eastern Himalayas this region of India.
"Beyond the academic desire to document biodiversity, finding the amissing pieces' of the biodiversity puzzle are important in designing conservation approaches to protect the fragile ecosystem of such hotspots," Gowda said.
Newly described species Didymocarpus vickifunkiae (Gesneriaceae) is currently known from only three locations in Mizoram and considered as an endangered species.
Along with other discoveries by the IISER, the Bhopal research team in the past few years, this discovery shows that the biodiversity of the region is understudied and there are many species of plants that remain undiscovered.