Biodiversity


BIODIVERSITY OF FLORA FAUNA ASSOCIATED WITH IN COLLEGE CAMPUS





INTRODUCTION
Biodiversity is one measure of the health of biological systems. Life on earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species. Biodiversity is not consistent across the earth. It is consistently rich in the tropics and it is less rich in Polar Regions where conditions support much less biomass. A complex relationship exists among the different diversity levels. Identifying one level of diversity in a group of organisms does not necessarily indicate its relationship with other types of diversities. Rapid environmental changes typically cause extinctions. Most species that have existed on earth are now extinct. The period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing reduction in biodiversity. Named the Holocene extinction, the reduction is caused primarily by human impacts, particularly the destruction of plant and animal habitats.

Western Ghats
Western Ghats, older than the Himalayas, is one of the 34 Global Hotspots of Biodiversity – flora, fauna, landscape and ethnicity. Climatic conditions in the Western Ghats vary with the altitude and physical proximity to the Arabian Sea and the equator. Although the Western Ghats experience a tropical climate - being warm and humid during most of the year with mean the temperature ranging from 20°C in the south to 24°C in the north, the higher elevations experience subtropical climates and on occasions frost. Further, it has been observed that the coldest periods in the southern Western Ghats coincide with the wettest. Whereas rainfall peaks of 9000 mm and above per year, are known locally, annual rainfall as low as 1000 mm are frequent in the east bringing the average to around 2500 mm. Much of the rainfall is received during the southwest monsoon season. Peak period of rainfall is July to August.

Need for biodiversity conservation
Conservation is the protection, preservation, management, or restoration of wildlife and natural resources such as forests and water. Through the conservation of biodiversity the survival of many species and habitats which are threatened due to human activities can be ensured. Other reasons for conserving biodiversity include securing valuable Natural Resources for future generations and protecting the well being of eco-system functions. Plant genetic resources are the product of natural evolution and human intervention. In-situ biodiversity conservation includes the conservation of habitats, species and ecosystems where they naturally occur. The conservation of element of biodiversity out of the context of their natural habitats is referred as ex-situ biodiversity conservation. Concentration of genetic diversity comprising native species and landraces occurs more in Western Ghats, Northern Himalayas, Southern plateau, Central India and Northwestern Himalayas.

Hajee Karutha Rowther Howdia College Academic Campus
Hajee Karutha Rowther Howdia college academic Campus is located in the south western part of the Theni District in the foothills of western Ghats. The total area of the college campus is 25 acre. The temperature during both summer and winter varies anywhere between 33 to 22°C. Highest temperature is 35°C and lowest is 12°C. The regular monsoon starts from June lasting till early September. These monsoons are brought about by the retreating south western monsoon. The campus area has annual average rainfall of 1000 mm. Soil in this area is red loamy type which is more fertile than sandy soil, its porosity allows high moisture retention and air circulation. Overall this place is God gifted in all the natural ways.
The college is outwardly interested in the healthy state of their surroundings. Our desire for a clean environment represents a powerful sense of destiny and hope for the future. The environment fulfills us when it is used to recreate, apply our sciences and practice our arts. Its natural resources and energy also serve as a unique means of capita. Today’s talk is all about “green;” that universal symbol of value, respect and concern for the life-sustaining processes and cycles of the natural environment system, of which we all are a part. This geographical location comprises several Indias endemic flora as well as fauna.
The college encompasses different laboratories .Several wastes has been produced during laboratory experiments, some of which includes scalpels and syringes, Glassware, Biological samples, General lab waste such as wipes, gloves, tissue and Chemicals. The biotic and abiotic components of the environment function together as an ecological system. Several anthropogenic influence, most especially laboratory activities has been involved in environmental modification. Biodiversity has recently emerged as an issue of both scientific and political concern primarily because of an increase in extinction rates caused by human activities. Pausas & Austin (2001) submitted that species richness patterns in relation to the environment need to be understood before drawing conclusions on the effect of biodiversity in ecosystem processes. There is need to identify and document the flora and fauna species associated with college environment with a view to ascertain the organism biodiversity . This study therefore aims at conducting a survey of plants and animal species found in the vicinities of the college area.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study sites
Five major areas located in around the places namely: Main Building, Science Building, Golden Jubilee Building, P.G. Building, Memorial Auditorium, Women’s Hostel were selected and used for this study. The college is 64 years old. Each of the building occupies a large area of land.

Fauna Survey
Pilot fauna survey:
Animal species present around each of the building locations were assessed. Places such as in and around the college vicinity, in the soil and on the vegetation around the college were checked and noted. Some of the fauna species which could not be identified on the field were collected for identification in Zoology laboratory of our college

Questionnaire based fauna survey:
An assessment of animal species commonly cited around the study college area by pupils and workers of the college was also conducted through a structured interview schedule (questionnaire). A total of one hundred and ninety three (190) questionnaires were administered in all the study area. The respondents were allowed to express the names of the animal species in their local language (Tamil).

Flora Survey
Direct observation of plants growing freely around the college were done to ensure a proper and more accurate plant survey. The collected plant samples were identified in the herbarium of the Department of Botany.

RESULT
Fauna Survey Pilot fauna survey:
A total of Thirty five animal species were cited of the college area sampled. Fauna species observed in the study area were good representative of the animal kingdom as they cut across the insect group, other invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds and the mammals.
Fauna species were noted to be common to each of the study area. Among the fauna species common to the college study area, termites, ants, earthworms, lizards, spiders and springtails were observed to be more in abundance.

Questionnaire survey of fauna:
A total of thirty five animal species was identified by the respondents to be present in the college study area. About nine types of the bird’s species were observed. In that crow, cuckoo, sparrow, pigeon are commonly found in all of the buildings. Approximately 13 type of insects The frequency of occurrence of lizard, termites, cockroach, soldier ants, golden beetle were high among the Main Building, Science Building, Self Finance Building, Golden Jubilee Building, P.G. Building, M.P. Auditorium, Indoor Stadium, Women’s Hostel than those of the other animal species responded present in the study area of the college buildings. About 6 types of invertebrates are found in the vicinity of the campus area. Also reptiles, amphibian’s ad mammalians were also cited.

Flora survey
We have identified different trees from different genera and families and ornamental plants and have studied their properties and uses. There are many trees and ornamental plants which are rare in the college campus, such plants are planted in different parts of campus and monitored for proper growth. Plants which are having frequency less than 0.1% were chosen for conservation these are some plants are chosen for vegetative propagation that includes, Pisonia alba, Leucaena leucocephala , Thespesia populnea, Aloevera.
The highest diversity of plant was observed in the college campus with 38 plant species. The number of Azadirachata indica was found to be the higest planted trees. Phyllanthus niruri was the second topmost plant found in the campus area. Millingtonia hortensis was the third topmost plant found in the campus area. Holoptelea integrifolia and Pongamia pinnata commonly found plants. Only five plant species (Synedrella nodiflora, Sida acuta, Euphorbia hirta, Commelina benghalensis and Amaranthus spinosus) were common to all the study sawmills while Abutilon mauritianum, Axonopus compressus, Euphorbia hysoppifolia, Gomphrena celosoides and Sida rhombifolia occurred in four of the five sawmill locations.

DISCUSSIONS
The major component of an ecosystem is the plants. They are major modifiers of climate and providers of community structures and they are pathway through which energy enters the ecosystem The plant forms a complex interaction between the biotic and abiotic entities of the environment by making use of the abiotic entities as food to produce food in form of biomass for the animal communities. High diversity of animal species within the college vicinities as recorded in this study could therefore be connected to the observed high diversity of plant species.
This study has shown that the college environments have rich and abundant flora and fauna populations which could be regarded as a biotic community consisting the populations of different organisms interacting together. It also revealed that the activities on the study area may not be completely detrimental to the existence of the organisms. Thus, if well maintained, college activities are not entirely unfriendly to the biotic community.
Although, it is not a common practice to base ecological research on questionnaire survey, this study has revealed that the opinion of people who have been used to a particular area over a long period of time on the fauna species usually encountered in such areas should not be discarded. However, there is the need for a field survey to backup verbal responses.

RESULTS