Debjyoti Das; Jai Prakash Keshri:

Desmids of Eastern Himalaya

2016. 260 pages, 10 figures, 2 tables, 30 plates, 14x23cm, 480 g
Language: English

(Bibliotheca Phycologica, Band 119)

ISBN 978-3-443-60046-4, paperback, price: 109.00 €

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Algaealgal diversityfreshwatermicroalgaebiodiversityphycology


Synopsis top ↑

The authors present an exhaustive catalogue of desmids of the Eastern Himalaya, including most parts of Sikkim and the northern regions of West Bengal (Kalimpong, Lava, Lolegaon etc.).
In spite of an enormous range of biodiversity very little work has been done on algal diversity particularly of desmids of the Eastern Himalaya region, which is considered one of the key global biodiversity hotspots. Since Turners (1892) groundbreaking "The freshwater algae (principally Desmidieae) of East India", there has been no monographic account of the desmids of India and neighbouring countries.
On the basis of 1000 algal samples collected from almost all accessible localities and habitats of these regions, 272 taxa under 27 genera of desmids are described and illustrated. Out of 272 taxa 25 members under 7 genera include Saccoderm desmids and 247 members under 20 genera belong to Placoderms. 34 taxa under 4 genera (Actinotaenium, Closterium, Cosmarium and Micrasterias) are described as new to science. In addition one new combination under Cosmarium [C. cohnii (Nobilis) Keshri et Das] is proposed here. 6 genera (Ancylonema, Genicularia, Roya, Teilingia, Triplastrum and Triploceras) are new additions to the desmid flora of Eastern Himalaya. 78 taxa under 17 genera are new additions to Indian desmid flora, and 152 taxa are new additions to Eastern Himalayan desmid flora. An updated account of the work done by earlier workers is given in the review section.
Detailed methodology and easy identification keys to the taxa level have been provided along with distinct camera lucida drawings and supporting microphotographs. Since no up-to-date record of desmids was available for this part of the globe, this volume will help researchers, environmentalists and amateurs of Eastern Himalayan and Asian countries to identify and study this interesting group of microalgae.

Book Review: Acta Botanica Hungarica 58(3–4), 2016 top ↑

Das and Keshri have recently published the present book, which extends our knowledge about the bio-geographical distribution of desmids in the Eastern Himalaya region. The book is a very useful summary of the doctoral dissertation of Das, entitled “Investigations on the Desmid biodiversity of certain regions of Eastern Himalayas” supervised by Keshri, University of Burdwan, Department of Botany.
The book details three years of phycological studies in the Sikkim, and NW-Bengal (Kalimpong, Lava, Lolegaon) regions, in which 1,000 samples from accessible habitats have been analysed. The authors describe more than 270 desmid taxa at species level including 34 new ones to science. Additionally, more than 70 taxa are new to Indian desmid flora, and more than 150 are to the Eastern Himalaya region.
The book begins with a short “Introduction”, covering the systematic position and general representation of desmids, their geographical distribution, climate preferences and literature review in the geographical area studied. In this section, a very detailed table summarises all desmid taxa formerly recorded in the Eastern Himalayas. The section “Material and Methods”, besides standard information, includes photographs of major habitat types; followed by a brief summary about the “Ecology” of desmids. The “Systematic” section includes keys to genus, then to taxon level under the main divisions of Zygnematales (saccoderm desmids) and Desmidiales (placoderm desmids). Additionally to systematic details, authors provide a “Discussion” section about the proportions of desmid taxa to other algal groups in the region. At the end of the book, 30 high quality plates illustrate the desmid taxa studied based on both light micrographs and drawings. According to the cover text, authors recommend the books for both scientific studies and environmentalists.
We highly recommend this book for any study on the desmid flora of the Eastern Himalayas and for all phycologists in general.

A. Abonyi

Acta Botanica Hungarica 58(3–4), 2016

Table of Contents top ↑

Abstract 4
Introduction 6
Review of literature 9
Material and methods 33
Ecology 40
Systematic part 41
General discussion and conclusion 175
Acknowledgements 182
Literature 183
Figures (Plate I-XXX) 193
Taxonomic Index 254