Monday, July 13, 2009

Deforestation of PHANEROPHYTES: alarm to the future.

Great ecologist Prof. C. Raunkaier, in his book, " The Life Form of Plants and Statistical Plant Geography [1934] " classified plants into six broad life-form categories, on the basis of the position of perennating buds on plants and degree of their protection during adverse conditions. These are:
1- Epiphytes- air plants;
2- Phanerophytes- aerial plants;
3- Chamaephytes- surface plants;
4- Hemi-cryptophytes- tussock plants;
5- Cryptophytes or Geophytes- earth plants;
6- Therophytes- annuals.
The majority of species which are governing the biodiversity, rain, human lives and earth's carbon balance are belonging to phanerophytes. They are prominent in tropical forests whereas therophytes belongs to deserts and alpine areas. It is said that a medium size phanerophyte absorb average one ton of carbon dioxide in its life. So, deforestation of these plants will be directly proportional to the global warming and biodiversity degradation. Increasing population density, urbanisation, industrialisation and per capita consumption are the main causes of deforestation. According to the data's from US department of energy, in 2004, G-8 nations are releasing maximum carbon dioxide in comparison to the developing nations. USA's per capita emission of carbon dioxide was 20.4 metric tonnes, Canada's 20 metric tonnes and between 6 to 10.5 metric tonnes for remaining G-8 nations. While India's per capita emission of carbon dioxide was 1.2 metric tonnes.
Due to this GLOBAL WARMING is increasing. This is resulting into disruption of monsoons and melting of Himalayan, Antarctic and Arctic glaciers. It has been warned by scientists that many glaciers of rivers including Ganga may melt before the end of 21st century. This will affects the lives of billions of people.
If we want to protect our biodiversity, glaciers, earth from warming, rivers and lives of billions of people then we should do afforestation of phanerophytes coz they absorb maximum carbon dioxide. [ Prabhat Misra, District Savings Officer, Etawah, India ]