Synopsis top ↑
Bryological research in India in the past showed a .slow progress in
comparison to other areas of botany due to paucity of workers getting
interested in this field. While considerable work has been done on
liverworts and mosses of India in recent years, the hornworts remained
neglected inspite of luxuriant growth of these plants in various parts
of the country. On the suggestion of late Professor Ram Udar it was
decided to revise the Indian taxa of Anthocerotae which exhibit a wide
range of interesting sporoderm architec- ture. In the present
investigation an attempt has been made to evaluate the taxonomic
status of each taxon. Taxonomic parameters derived both from the
gametophyte and the sporo- phyte have been taken into account. SEM
studies have been employed for clear elucidation of the sporoderm
ornamentation which has greatly helped in resolving the taxonomic
Earlier 44 taxa were listed from India (Parihar 1961—62) which has now been reduced to 34 belonging to 3 families and 5 genera in the present contribution. Each taxon has been described and illustrated with adequate details. The illustrations have been made directly from the material by one of the authors (AKA). A total of 49 plates of illus- trations including photographs have been incorporated. A separate chapter describing the distribution of Indian taxa has also been provided with a map.
The amount of data embodied in this work represents largely the result of unpublished research and observation on the part of the authors. In presenting this contribution the authors hope to fill a need of such a comprehensive treatment of Indian hornworts, at present not available. Though it is introductory in nature it is believed to embody a fairly comprehensive treatment of each taxa.
The present work with an exhaustive bibliography would not only serve the purpose of a research reference for the use of advanced students but also would pave the way for similar contribution on other groups of Bryophyta.