Bioresearches of Fragile Ecosystem/Desert

  • Narpat S. Shekhawat
  • Mahendra Phulwaria
  • Harish
  • Manoj K. Rai
  • Vinod Kataria
  • Smita Shekhawat
  • Amit K. Gupta
  • Nitika S. Rathore
  • Meena Vyas
  • Nisha Rathore
  • Vibha J. B.
  • Sumitra K. Choudhary
  • Ashok K. Patel
  • Deepika Lodha
  • Rachana Modi
Review

Abstract

The proponents of anthropocene (the era of human-induced climatic changes) suggest that unless humanity changes its behavior according to earth system rules there will be no more holocene-type relative stability. Even the sustainability of the Earth’s life support systems is threatened. Humans and their use of land have transformed more than three quarters of the terrestrial biosphere into anthropogenic biomes. According to Rockstrom and Karlberg, humanity has entered a new phase of sustainability challenges, the Anthropocene, in which human development has reached a scale where it affects vital planetary processes. The earth system is under the pressure from a quadruple squeeze. The human-induced carbon and nitrogen (N) fertilizers are generating a strong imbalance with phosphorous (P). Global fresh water resources are, and will increasingly be, a fundamental limiting factor in feeding the world. By 2025, two third of the world’s population could be living under water-critical conditions. Arid regions (drylands) cover about 45 % of earth’s land surface; they constitute the largest biome on the planet. The dryland forests takes up carbon at rates similar to those of pine forests. In this millennium, global drylands face a myriad of problems that present research, management and policy challenges. Climate change/global warming is great threats to life supporting systems of the desert: drought and heat-induced die-back/drying/deaths and climate-driven vegetation/tree mortality in fragile ecosystems are great concerns. Introduction of alien/invasive species and cultivation of plants with unfavorable water footprint are threat to fragile ecosystems. The study of plant biology in the 21st century is, and will continue to be, vastly different from that in the 20th century. One driver for this has been the use of genomics methods to reveal the genetic blueprints for not one but dozens of plant species. Plant genomics researchers have readily embraced new algorithms, technologies and approaches to generate genome, transcriptome and epigenome datasets for model and crop species that have permitted deep inferences into plant biology. At the Department of Botany, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur; with the help of Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the University Grants Commission of India, we have developed biotechnological methods for characterization, conservation, propagation and improvement of plants of Rajasthan. These are described and discussed in this paper. A few recommendations, useful for the desert ecosystem and bio-resources are submitted.

Keywords

Anthropogenic biomes Climate change Global warming Plant genomes Fragile ecosystem 

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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Narpat S. Shekhawat
    • 1
  • Mahendra Phulwaria
    • 1
  • Harish
    • 1
  • Manoj K. Rai
    • 1
  • Vinod Kataria
    • 1
  • Smita Shekhawat
    • 1
  • Amit K. Gupta
    • 1
  • Nitika S. Rathore
    • 1
  • Meena Vyas
    • 1
  • Nisha Rathore
    • 1
  • Vibha J. B.
    • 1
  • Sumitra K. Choudhary
    • 1
  • Ashok K. Patel
    • 1
  • Deepika Lodha
    • 1
  • Rachana Modi
    • 1
  1. 1.Biotechnology Unit, Department of BotanyJai Narain Vyas UniversityJodhpurIndia

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