562 pages, 172 plates with colour photos; colour & b/w illustrations, 1 colour map
The family Cyperaceae (commonly known as sedge family) is taxonomically one of the most intricate families. It is represented by about 70 -80 genera and about 4 000 species distributed throughout the world. India represents 28 genera and 500 species while the study regions are represented by about 16 genera and about 322 species and 84 infraspecific taxa. The studies in Cyperaceae did not progress well as compared to those in grasses and is neglected throughout the world and more so in India. All these 400 taxa are dealt with in present work which serves two fold purpose viz. primarily it provides the first hand information with regards to diversity, and availability of taxa in study regions and secondly provides tools for easy identification of sedges so that even beginners will feel comfortable with studies of the family.
The first hand information provided in Cyperaceae of Western Ghats, West Coast and Maharashtra is hoped instrumental for further research in experimental taxonomy of family including biosystematic studies, revisionary and monographic studies at generic level, ultimately leading to encyclopaedic knowledge of the sedges of the regions. It needs to be mentioned here that this is the second comprehensive floristic account of Cyperaceae being published after about 130 years of the publication of first well known treatise by C. B. Clarke in 1893 – 94 in FBI. Obviously this second account much improved, relevant information accumulated over the extensive period is meticulously dealt with in present work.
Cyperaceae of Western Ghats, West Coast and Maharashtra provides certain user friendly topics and subtopics such as illustrated glossary of macro and micro morphological characters and their role in sedge taxonomy, generic, specific and infra specific delimitation of taxa, polymorphism, species complexes and ecological grouping etc. Every genus is provided with critical and comparative notes to understand generic and specific delimitation and circumscription.
The multicharacter keys for the identification of genera, specific and infraspecific taxa are the strong point in Cyperaceae of Western Ghats, West Coast and Maharashtra as these facilitate even to beginner to come to correct identification of taxa in general and the study regions in particular. Many new diagnostic parameters have been added to make keys more effective. The infraspecific taxa of all species which in most cases are based on type studies, are updated by the addition of foot-notes to clear out intricacy or ambiguities in the nomenclature as well as in specific and infraspecific delimitation.
The account of book also includes about 80 very good quality illustrations with all necessary details and about 150 plates of photographs of habit, inflorescence and floral parts. It also provides account of 33 new taxa which includes 14 new species, one new genus Naikia W. Khan, Bhuskute & Kahalkar, a new sec. Linearies W. Khan et al. (under the genus Fimbristylis) and a new record of the genus Lepironia (l.c.) Rich from Kerala state (by P. K. Shaji et al, 2009 TBGIR) which is significant contribution and enriches the text and value of the book. This compilation of comprehensive and of up to date knowledge of sedge diversity from aquatic and semi aquatic habitat of inland and coastal plains as well as different forest types of 5 state of Peninsular India is based on original research work.
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