Wetlands found near levels in and around Pune locale have been discovered flourishing with an assortment of macrophytes, amphibian plants, demonstrating impressive occasional varieties.
A botanist couple – Savita and Sanjaykumar Rahangdale – embraced a nine-year-long investigation of wetlands in the area. They recorded 67 endemic taxa (gathering of life forms) and marked four to confront some level of danger to their reality in the area.
The angiosperm macrophytes confronting peril in the region, covering a geological zone of 15,642 square meters, incorporate Eriocaulon santapaui, which is marked as ‘critically endangered’, though Iphigenia stellata, Eriocaulon richardianum and Dimeria hohenackeri are ‘endangered’ and Isachne bicolor and Utricularia albocaerulea are ‘powerless’.
Upwards of 198 out of the 457 taxa in the district have been discovered not defenseless to any sort of existential emergency, as of now.
“A majority of the macrophytes were found along wetlands located adjacent to the Sahyadri mountains. Even though they have a short life span coinciding with that of a season, they showcased excellent seasonal variety. Newer macrophytes got accommodated in these wetlands with each passing season, a variety not observed in the riverine or wetlands in the district,” said lead researcher Sanjaykumar Rahangdale from the Department of Botany at Annasaheb Waghire College, Otur.
Of the more than two lakh wetlands in India, 23,046 are found in Maharashtra.
Home to three streams like Mula-Mutha, Neera and Ghod-Bhima alongside various little and large stores, Pune likewise has 11 wetlands.
“The biodiversity in the four natural wetlands was much greater than the man-made ones. We need to maintain and preserve the wetlands, as they are important for maintaining the right balance of our ecosystem. Wetlands are responsible for purifying water before it occupies as groundwater,” said Rahangdale.
Nonetheless, the riverine wetlands inside city cutoff points of Pune were discovered to be progressively thriving with obtrusive weeds, similar to hyacinth – a typical sight along the banks of Mula and Mutha streams in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.
“In the last decade itself, these invasive weeds have captured and expanded their area. This is mainly due to the rising pollution levels in the rivers,” the researcher said.
“In addition to pollutants, unchecked encroachments into wetlands for settlements or other purposes, too, are posing serious threat to the aquatic plants here,” he said.
Yet, since 2018, the state Forest office has embraced a few measures to moderate the biodiversity of the wetlands. For example, local people living close to Durgawadi level, arranged about 30km from Junnar, have been made mindful of the hugeness of the wetlands. Local people are shunned performing open cooking or consuming of kindling, for which the division has organized substitute offices.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Pune journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.