The status of information and results of the integrated studies using
geoinformatics and modeling tools provided following features:
- Biodiversity is generally greatest in the oldest ecosystems. It changes across environmental gradients like latitude, altitude, depth, aridity etc. The habitat definitions in the form of vegetation cover types will allow ‘what to look where’. The disturbance regimes assessed across the landscape will allow focusing on the ecosystems, which are under ‘stress’ . Hence if the field survey indicates that the region is important habitat for a species for bioprospecting, the ‘stress’ factor needs to be removed/reduced.
- Biological Richness Index (BR) asserts the areas, which should be treated as priority in decision-making and management level for conservation of biodiversity.The Gap Analysis carried out on maps will guide management and decision making.
- All plant species have a basic requirement of its ecological optima in particular habitat or niche within range of tolerance and requirement. Habitat identification and economic importance of the species can be useful input for biodiversity conservation.
- Biological rich areas are those habitats where landscape ecological conditions are favourable for natural speciation and evolutionary process. These areas can be expected to be in equilibrium where species can occur, grow and evolve in natural conditions.
- Each species requires a specific ecological niche (minimum/optimum area for its survival, evolution, gene exchange). Analysis of landscape parameters like habitat fragmentation, patchiness, interspersion and juxtaposition have shown impact on the definition of the limits in different habitats. Greater the variety of types of habitat, the greater is diversity of the species. Diversity also increases with expanding architectural complexity of the physical habitat.
- Management of contiguous (large), intact and juxtaposed patches of high diversity in any landscape should draw first attention for conservation. The ground inventories on species/ genetic diversity should further decide on priorities. The patches having higher biological diversity at landscape level will be subject for more intensive ground inventories for assessing species/genetic diversity. The patches with genetic and species diversity should draw first attention followed by patches of high species and/or genetic diversity.
- Most of the species growing in the natural conditions have some sociological association with the species – environment complex and in general have fairly well defined niches. Similar ecological conditions in different geographical location bear similar biodiversity if not the same. But they will have differences at genetic level. The vegetation cover types, their composition, association, latitude, altitude, fragmentation levels, inferences on possible corridors and species database compliment the information needs.
- Based on the existing literature about the occurrence of the valuable threatened species (BSI Red Data Book and field data of the present and subsequent studies), its habitat can be examined in terms of its landscape requirements of the species. Once the comprehensive species database is established, potential species distribution and occurrence maps can be generated. Integrated gene marking techniques can help in preparing the location – species – environment complexes. Such information base can be of immense value for effective management.
- It is expected that the maps will be strategically used for planning detailed ground level inventories of flora and fauna by premier institutions like Botanical Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, State forest departments and Wildlife Institute of India. The region wise maps of the country can be used for redefining ecological zones for biodiversity conservation.