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Studies on the Vascular Flora of Anaimudi and the Surrounding Regions, Kottayam District, Kerala


The paper deals with an account of the vegetation of Anaimudi (2,695 m) - the highest peak in the peninsular India - and the surrounding regions situated in the Kottayam District of Kerala. The above area has not received much attention in the detailed studies undertaken by various workers on the vegetation of the South Indian hill tops. Based on the explorations carried out by the authors during the years 1965-70, 317 taxa of vascular plants, under 233 genera and 101 families, are enumerated. An analysis of the distribution pattern of the shola and grassland species has shown that (1) the shola species are mainly of tropical stock, (2) quite a number of species on the shola fringes and the grassland are of temperate origin and (3) the temperate elements play a comparatively less important role in the composition of the vegetation at the higher altitudes (above 1,925 m), and that the predominent elements here are of tropical stock. The high incidence of endemic taxa in this region has been pointed out. Literature on the ecological status of the shola-grassland formation has been reviewed for a better understanding of the vegetation.


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