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Authors: Khan, Shakeela
Issue Date: 1996
Abstract: The present state of environmental decision-making is often based on short-term analysis of an individual component of the system, and interpretation made on the basis of some set of general evaluation criteria, which ignore site and pollutant-specificity. The ecosystem health analysis, therefore, requires identification of a systematic set of relationships which provide the basis for ecosystem health assessment. Moreover, the issues of biodiversity have multifarious dimensions which need to be analysed appropriately in the context of several environmental parameters sQ«& that meaningful assessment and interpretation of cause-effect relationships emerge facilitating pragmatic planning of terrestrial ecosystems. The present study, therefore, aims at development of suitable methodologies for appropriate analysis of the select ecosystems with reference to vegetation and their tolerance characteristics, in order to evaluate the impacts, and offer measures for biodiversity conservation and management. As evident, biotic community plays a vital role in ecological sanitation by assimilating various pollutants through tissue uptake, accumulation, metabolism and physiological biodegradation. Moreover, green plants not only serve as sinks/air purifiers/assimilators of the air pollutants, but are also the primary producers, because of their photosynthetic capacity, and form the first baseline A organisms for the attack, deposition and assimilation of the pollution. Though plant-environment interactions have been explored, and the mechanisms responsible for the impacts have been well investigated/documented, very little is known about the effects of various interacting stresses due to pollutant impacts, and the management strategies in combination. A substantial body of research is directed towards understanding the impacts of gaseous pollutants on the vegetation. As a primary pathway for the exchange of gases between internal leaf surfaces and the atmosphere, stomates play an important regulatory role in the leaf physiological processes. It has always been assumed that adsorption into the leaves through the outer layer and the stomata of the leaves play the sole role in the elimination of the pollutants by the plants. The environmental alterations due to the population explosion since the past century have imposed physiological stresses, which make stomatal action a potentially important mechanism for protection against damage due to the pollutants, and thus an important criteria to be incorporated in studies related to ecosystem health assessment. In the present study species diversity has been used in order to identify the most important species representing different ecosystem communities investigated. Ecosystem Health Analysis has been carried out on the basis of various diversity indices and their incorporation in the ecosystemprocess- based Assimilative Capacity Model (ACM) Assimilative Capacity Model as a modified version of the earlier developed Ecosystem-Health-Exposure-Risk Model has been applied for quantifying assimilative capacities of the studied ecosystems. This has enabled delineation of pragmatic and ecosystem-specific biodiversity management plans.
Other Identifiers: Ph.D
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (Bio.)

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