HABITAT LOSS OF Oryza rhyzomatis Vaughan IN SRI LANKA OVER FIVE YEARSAuthors: A.V.C.Abhatagunasekara,D.K.N.G.Pushpakumara,W.L.G.Samarasinghe,P.C.G. Bandaranayake
The genetic materials of crop wild relatives (CWR) have widely been utilized to improve the quality and yield of cultivated crops. In addition, they are essential components of natural and agricultural eco-systems. Sri Lanka has always been recognized as an important center for CWR with over 400 species of food crops. This paper describes the habitat loss of one such species, Oryza rhyzomatis, an endemic wild relative of cultivated rice found in Sri Lanka. A field survey was carried out to collect O. rhyzomatis during its peak growth period, January to March, in year 2015. Sampling sites were selected based on eco-geographic study published in year 2010. We revisited the sites and if the sample is found within 50 m diameter of the original location, it was considered as the same location. Out of the study sites, Yala national park (YNP), is a strict nature reserve where as others are natural habitats with proximity to human activities. Within YNP block A, about 38 % of the samples were collected from the previously identified locations while about 38 % were from the new locations. In North Central (NC) and North Western (NW) provinces, about 44% of samples were collected from the same locations and found that 56 % O. rhyzomatis populations were lost from their original habitats. About 18% of the collection was from the new locations in the same regions. Our analysis suggests that the genetic erosion of this endemic wild species occurs in an alarming rate. While our observations imply that expansion of agricultural lands, urbanization, deforestation and animal grazing are some contributing factors, climate change, natural environmental hazards and over grazing by wild animals may also be reasons. In-situ and ex-situ conservation combined with utilization of this valuable genetic resource are highly recommended.
Keywords: Crop wild relatives, Genetic erosion, Endemic, Wild rice, Oryza rhyzomatis, Conservation
How to Cite: Abhatagunasekara,A.V.C,Pushpakumara,D.K.N.G,Samarasinghe,W.L.G, Bandaranayake,P.C.G, (2017). HABITAT LOSS OF Oryza rhyzomatis Vaughan IN SRI LANKA OVER FIVE YEARS.WILDLANKA, 5(4):Pages 161-171
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,