Seasonal Wetland Flora of the Laterite Plateaus of Coastal Uttara Kannada
1Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences [CES], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
2Department of applied Botany, Mangalore University, Mangalore
*Corresponding author:


Formations of lateritic terrain along the South Indian west coast probably began about 90 million years ago with the separation of India from Madagascar, the steep escarpment side of the Western Ghats subjected to erosion and eroded materials getting deposited on the coast. In the course of time characteristic floral elements including the evergreen forest elements from the Western Ghats, colonized this terrain, as their relics to this day reveal. The beginnings of agriculture along the west coast, three millennia ago, was marked by the clearances of coastal hills and plateaus for shifting cultivation and savannization, intensifying the formation of laterite, with the exposure of tropical iron-rich, clayey soils alternatively to wet and dry climates. Laterites, for the first time described by Francis Buchanan (1807) from Angadipuram in north Kerala in 1801, are monumental geological formations requiring greater attention from conservationists, especially for their unique plant community. Unfortunately, being considered as an infertile and barren terrain, great portions of these are getting planted with monocultures of exotic Acacia auriculiformis and cashew (Anacardium occidentale), as well as used for quarrying building stones and utilized also rampantly for human settlements. Serious attempts along all of the Indian west coast to map species rich areas of unique laterite communities for conservation. We have already submitted to the Government of Karnataka proposal for consideration of Mugli and Bhatkal lateritic plateaus as Conservation Reserves (Chandran et. al. 2012).

Citation : Rao G.R., Krishnakumar G., Subash Chandran M.D. and Ramachandra. T.V, 2012. Seasonal Wetland Flora of the Laterite Plateaus of Coastal Uttara Kannada., Proceedings of the LAKE 2012: National Conference on Conservation and Management of Wetland Ecosystems, 06th - 09th November 2012, School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, pp. 1-9.
* Corresponding Author :
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : +91-80-2293 3099/2293 3503 [extn - 107],      Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
E-mail :,,     Web :,
E-mail    |    Sahyadri    |    ENVIS    |    GRASS    |    Energy    |      CES      |      CST      |    CiSTUP    |      IISc      |    E-mail