India has a vast surface area of 328 million hectares, extending from the tropics to the alpine regions, with rich wetlands, deserts, islands, a long coastline, and extending from the Western and Eastern Ghats to the high Himalayas. It has an equally rich and diverse plant diversity, with over 47,000 species that are already documented. Because of the large population dependence on these plants, expansion of agriculture, urbanization and developmental efforts, many species are threatened. Some of the issues concerning plant diversity in India are unique to the country. Taxonomic and floristic studies on all major groups have been carried out but the information is scattered in research papers and regional or local floras, manuals and monographs. This volume intends to bridge this gap. Nine of the thirteen chapters of this volume deal with different plant groups extending from algae to angiosperms and allied groups such as bacteria, fungi, lichens, and myxomycetes. There are chapters dealing with topical issues in the global context of biodiversity with special reference to India, such as climate change and its impact on biodiversity, crop diversity, and traditional medicine. Each chapter is written by author(s) specialising on the particular group who have extensive research experience. Each chapter includes not only information on distribution and diversity, but also on economic uses and conventional human interactions. Lacunae in current knowledge are pinpointed. The book provides information on ecosystem diversity, flora of special sensitive regions (mangroves, wetland, and coral reefs), and on policies and strategies being adopted for in-situ and ex-situ conservation.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Rakkoshima, the Sea Otter Islands 2. Promyshlenniki and Padres 3. Boston Men 4. Near Extinction and Reemergence 5. Nukes, Aquaria, and Cuteness Conclusion Appendix: List of Vessels Engaged in the California Sea Otter Trade, 1786-1847 Notes Bibliography Index