FLORISTIC BIODIVERSITY IN MEGHALAYA: AN INDO-BURMA HOTSPOT AREA OF INDIA Sangeeta Gupta Botany Division, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun-248006, India firstname.lastname@example.org Meghalaya, meaning the abode of clouds is one of the states of India that falls under the Indo-Burma hotspot. The total forest area of the State is 15584 sq km which is about 69% of the geographical area of the state. However, only 1027.20 sq km is under the control of State Forest Department, which constitutes only 4.58 % of the total geographical area of the State and 6.56 % of the total forest area of the State. Rest of the area is community owned and is under control and management of the Autonomous District Councils. About 5.06 % of the State’s Geographical Area is covered by the protected area network in Meghalaya that includes 2 national Parks, 4 wildlife Sanctuaries and 1 Biosphere Reserve, playing an important role in in-situ conservation of Biodiversity. There are 79 sacred forests covering approximately 90 sq km. For a state of 22,429 sq km it may appear that Meghalaya flora is well protected but looking at the extent of floristic diversity still more needs to be done. A study was carried out to estimate the floristic biodiversity of Meghalaya and the results showed an estimated figure of about 60-80% flora being different at an interval of every 30 km distance. Comparison of floristic of three areas viz. Jowai (altitude 100-1800 m), Nongpoh (160-1300 m) and Balphakram (50-1026 m) were made. The presentation shall focus upon further areas that need to be covered under protected area network based on the floral diversity.
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