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NeBIO (2010) Vol. 1(3) Borgohain et al.


Orchid diversity and host specificity in Deopani Reserve Forest, Sadiya,

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A. Borgohain , A. B. Gogoi and P. C. Nath
Department of Botany, Sibsagar College, Joysagar, Sivasagar - 785 665, Assam
Department of Botany, Tinsukia College, Tinsukia - 786 125, Assam

Author for correspondence:

© NECEER, Imphal


Sadiya subdivision of Tinsukia district is a bordering area of Arunachal Pradesh and it has
rich biodiversity with a boon of nature. Orchids with its charming and tantalizing beauty
are a characteristic plant of Tropical region of Assam. This paper set out to explore the
world of orchid with 28 species and 15 genera in the natural world of Deopani Reserve
Forest in Sadiya division. Among the host plant Bischofia javanica was the most preferable
one (20.5%) which supports a large number of orchid species. All the species are tabulated
with frequency of host plant along with their status in reserve forest.

KEY WORDS: Semi Evergreen Forest, Disturbance, Epiphyte, Rare species, Illegal trade

The tropical forest of Assam is still very little Cattleya, Cymbidium etc. are having high
explored for the broad spectrum of biological commercial importance as ornamental plant
diversity it possesses. The dense vegetation and high (Chowlu & Das, 2007) in the global market for their
humidity of the region supports the growth of extremely beautiful and long lasting flowers. Beside
epiphytic plants, mainly the orchids. The family these some other species of Dendrobium,
orchidaceae is one of the most diverse and most Cymbidium, Orchis, Aerides, Cypripedium, Vanilla
widespread groups among the angiosperms that etc are having high ethno botanical importance
contribute 10% of all known species of flowering (Bordoloi, 2002). The use of orchids in traditional
plants (Khumbongmayum & Das, 2006) and is medicine for treating various diseased like nervous
regarded as advance among the angiosperms in disorder, dermal problem, dysentery, malignancy etc
floral complexity. The northeastern region harbours has been documented by Sarma et al., (2003).
more than 70% of the total species of orchids,
occurring in India (Tripathi & Barik, 2003; Kumar The Sadiya sub-division is located on the foot hills
& Manilal, 1994). The recent data reveals the of Himalaya are separated from the mainland of
presence of about 293 species in Assam representing Assam by the mighty Brahamaputra. The region is
44.39 % of NE and 24.42 % of India (Choudhury, still unexplored for its plant diversity due to its
1988). Among these species Rhyncostylist retusa inaccessibility and geographical isolation. The
popularly known as “Kopaou phool”, Aerides region has total seven reserve forest namely
odoratum and Papilionanthe teres (Bhatou phool) Deopani, Sadiya station North Block, Sadiya station
are intimately linked with the culture of “Assamese South Block, Kukuramora, Hollowgaon, Kundil
Society”. Gogoi et al. (2009) had recorded 68 Kalia which is linked wlth Arunachal Pradesh,
species of orchids at one of the tropical rainforest Dibang reserve forest is in continuation with Dibru-
patch prevailing in Dibrugarh District of which Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary. All these reserve forest
Anoectochilus brevilabris, Bulbophyllum spathu- together constitute a larger patch of forest covering
latum, Ceratostylis sabulata, Podochilus khasianus, an area of 14223.8 hectare. These reserve forests
Thelasis longifolia, Trichotosia velutina, and were once remained together, but now had degraded
Tylostylis discolour are recorded newly from the to mere small patches. The region is still out of
region. The species of Paphiopedilum, Vanda, reach from the scientific community. Therefore the