Populations of Polygonatum cirrhifolium (Wall.) Royle and Malaxis muscifera (Lindl.) Kuntze are restricted to small pockets and are subject to destructive harvesting (rhizomes/pseudobulbs) from wild. Being under high threat categories considering habitat specificity, population size, utilization and extraction trends, both the species need conservation interventions. This study in Kumaun West Himalaya reveals that in the case of P. cirrhifolium the maximum density (6.33 individual/m2) was reported for the Burphu population, whereas for M. muscifera the maximum density (1.75 individual/m2) was reported for Kathaliya population. No significant (p < 0.05) relationship was found between altitude and studied phytosociological parameters and morphological parameters in both the targeted species. Principal component analysis-based analysis identified population of Gagar (P. cirrhifolium) and Kathaliya (M. muscifera) to be best performing populations and moist habitat is appropriate for the growth and development of these species. These populations can, therefore, be used for mass propagation and cultivation to meet the demand for commercial purposes.
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The authors thank the Director, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Almora, for support and encouragement. The funding for this study under the Botanical Garden Scheme of Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), New Delhi (F.N. BSI-290/6/2013-Tech; dated 29/09/2013), is gratefully acknowledged. The authors also thank Mr. Puran Singh Kanwal, Miss Shashi Upadhyay and Miss Shinny Thakur for their help during the study.
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Variability in biomass of target species across populations suggests a possible use of propagules from elite populations, for instance, Gagar (P. cirrhifolium) and Kathaliya (M. muscifera), for harnessing best potential through cultivation.
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Suyal, R., Bhatt, D., Rawal, R.S. et al. Status of Two Threatened Astavarga Herbs, Polygonatum cirrhifolium and Malaxis muscifera, in West Himalaya: Conservation Implications. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., India, Sect. B Biol. Sci. 90, 695–704 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40011-019-01144-3
- Polygonatum cirrhifolium
- Malaxis muscifera