The lower plant groups, bryophytes and pteridophytes, play significant role in ecosystem balance by maintaining the primary productivity and mineral recycling. These are seedless spores producing non-vascular or vascular photosynthetic plants and usually growing in moist habitats with well distinct gametophytic or sporophytic stages. For keen observation and study on spores producing lower plants, PG Department of Botany organized a collection trip to Wayanad (Ooty of Kerala) on 18th October 2023 for First Semester M.Sc. Botany students.
As part of the trip, the students explored the plant diversity of Gurukulam Botanical Sanctuary which fosters myriad rainforest plants including buttressed trees, epiphytes, bryophytes, pteridophytes, lianas, flowering plants, tubers, grasses etc. and Pookode lake. On the way to these cryptogamic spots, they collected different pteridophytes (Blechnum sp., Angiopteris sp., Cyathea sp. etc.) and bryophytes (Asterella sp., Pallavicinia sp., Pogonatum sp. etc.) for further botanical studies and herbarium preparation.
The experiential trip bridged the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, and fostered the research attitude in students; moreover, it played as a better strategy to conserve the germplasm of lower plants in the campus for future studies. The trip was coordinated by Ms. Sudheesha K. (Assistant Professor Adhoc, PG Department of Botany), Dr. Deepa P. (Assistant Professor Adhoc, PG Department of Botany) and Sreya T.P. (First Semester M.Sc. Botany).