Myristica swamps

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The Myristica swamps which are endemic to many species are critically in need of conservation, currently there is no consistent monitoring system in place to detect changes.

About Myristica swamps

  • These are called live fossils, a biodiversity hotspot dominated by evergreen trees belonging to Myristicaceae family, one of the oldest flowering plants on earth.
  • These are freshwater swamps.
  • These forests are characterized by trees with large protruding roots jutting out of waterlogged soil which remains inundated throughout the year.
  • They have evolved over millions of years and are made up of old-growth trees.
  • Geographical distribution: In India, these unique habitats occur in the Western Ghats and a smaller distribution exists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Climatic conditions: The formation of these swamps is dependent on abiotic conditions like the shape of the valley between the forested hills, the amount of rainfall a place receives (with an average of 3000 mm), and water availability throughout the year.
  • Typically, Myristica swamps are seen next to rivers and help in retaining water and act as a sponge, ensuring perennial water availability.
  • These swamps are home to many vertebrate and invertebrate faunal species. This is due to stable macroecological conditions like high humidity, moderate temperature, and macrohabitat availability.

Q1) What are Abiotic Factors?

It is the nonliving part of an environment. It includes all the physical and chemical aspects of an ecosystem. These factors may be present in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. It contributes to the continuity of life on earth by supporting the survival and reproduction process.

Source: Rare forest ecosystem faces steady degradation in Kollam