Abundance and Diversity of AMF in the Indo-Myanmar Biological Hot spot in North East Hills of India

Subrata Nath Bhowmik
Subrata Nath Bhowmik
project abstract

Northeast India is situated at the confluence of Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese and Indian bio- geographical realms and as a result of this the region harbours rich and diverse culture and high biodiversity and endemism. The region’s vegetation types range from tropical rain forest in the foothills to Alpine meadows and cold deserts which amount to more than one-third of the country's total biodiversity. The region is an important part of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot, one of the 12 mega biodiversity hotspots of the world and represents 50 percent of Indian biodiversity. Seven hill states that include Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura in the region are collectively referred to as North Eastern Hill Region (NEHR). It is located between of 21°58' to 29°30'N latitude and 88°58' to 97°30' E longitude and is spread over 1, 83,741 km2 area. Climate of the region varies from tropical to alpine type with a very high range of variation in precipitation. AM fungi are obligate symbionts, their population and diversity may be determined by the plant species present in the given ecosystem. The hilly terrain of NEH interspersed with valleys and plains; the altitude varies from almost sea-level to over 7,000 meters above MSL. The change in elevation and climate allowed vegetation/forests of six major categories viz., tropical, subtropical, temperate, montane, subalpine and alpine. Above ground floristic diversity impacts below ground microbiome especially AMF. Information on the distribution and frequency of occurrence of specific AM fungi in the Indo Myanmar Biosphere of the NEH area is very scarce. Hence, we hypothesize to study the abundance and diversity of AMF across gradients in the Indo Myanmar Biosphere of the NEH in the light of changes in elevation and climatic variations in interactive and intra-active mode with native macroflora and microflora respectively.

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