The geographical coordinates at which it is situated is between latitude 13° and 14° North and longitude 17° East. The Tirumala Hill is 3200 feet above sea level, and is about 10. 33 sq miles in area. It comprises seven hills which are said to represent the seven hoods of Adisesha, thus earning the name, Seshachalam.
Pteridophytes are well known for their beauty, elegance and infinite variety. These are non-seed vascular plants which reproduce through spores. Their life cycle includes two chlorophyllous, autotrophic, independent phases namely dominant sporophyte and short lived gametophyte called prothallus.
They show transition from simple microphylls to complex macrophylls called fronds. They show wide range of diversity in habitat, morphology, anatomical reproductive structures etc.. The present study reveals the distribution and diversity of pteridophytes in different parts of Tirumala Hills. Materials and Methods Various field visits were organized during 2009-2010 to different parts of Tirumala Hills along with expert Pteridologists. The various species were photographed, collected and preserved in the form of herbarium-specimens.
Selaginella bisculata Griffith (K)All valleys of Tirumala Hills Selaginella chrysocaulosAll valleys of Tirumala Hills 3IsoetaceaeIsoetes indicaChakratheertham, Papavinasana Theertham 4PsilotaceaePsilotum nudumChakratheertham, Papavinasana Theertham 5OphioglossaceaeOphioglossum reticulatumTirumala Hills, Vishnu Theertham Ophioglossum costatumChandragiri Hills , near Uppu Chatti and Pappu Chatti Ophioglossum nudicaulis, Linn. F. Tirumala Hills, on the way to Microwave Station 6AngiopteridiaceaeAngiopteris evecta, Hoff (man. Kailasanathavari Kona (Near Puttur), Chittor Dt. 7GleicheniaceaeDicranopetris linearis L. Tirumala Hills, Papavinasana Theertham, Vishnutheertham, Chakradhara Theertham 8PolypodiaceaeDrynaria quercifolia (L. ) J. SmithPapavinasana Theertham Microsorium scoloperndrium(burn. F) CopelTirumala Hills, Papavinasana valley 9LygodiaceaeLygodium flexuosum (Linn)SWTirumala Hills, Thumbura Theertham Lygodium microphylla (Linn)SWTirumala Hills, Papavinasana Theertham, Japal Theertham 10ActinoperidaceaeActinopteris australis (L.
FiL) LinkTirumala Hills and chandragiri hills 11PteridiaceaePallaea concolar Rang FischTirumala Hills, Papavinasana Valley Gogarbham and Thrubura Theertham Pteris quadriaurita L. Tirumala Hills, Papavinasana Valley, Vishnu theertham Pteris tripartita sud. Tirumala Hills, Kailasakona Pteris pellucens AgardhTirumala Hills, Papavinasana Theertham Schizoloma ensifolilum SWTirumala Hills, Papavinasana Theertham 12ParkiriaceaeCeratopteris thalictriodes BrougnChandragiri Hills , near Uppu Chatti and Pappu Chatti 13DryopteridaceaeDryopteris cochleata (Don) C.
CharTirumala Hills, Japal Theertham, Srivari Theertham Dryopteris valllichiana (Spreng). Hyl. Tirumala Hills, Japal Theertham, Avvacharikona, Papavinasanam 14AdiantaceaeAdiantum Caudatum L. Tirumala Hills Aleuropteris farinosa (Forsk)FeeTirumala Hills, Srivarimettu, Vishnu Theertham Cheilanthes mysurensis WallTirumala Hills, Japa Theertham, Gogarbham, Chandragiri Hills Hemionites arifollia (Burm. ) MooreTirumala Hills, in all most all Theerthams 15MarsileaceaeMarselia quadrifolia LinnIn the marshy areas of Tirupati and Tirumala Marselia minuta LinnTirumala Hills 6CyatheaceaeCyathea glabra (wall, ex Hook)Tirumala Hills, Avvacharikona, Papavinasana theertham 17NephrolepidaceaeNephrolepis cordifolia (HBK) PreslTirumala Hills, In all most all Theerthams, Kailasanatha vari kona 18BlechinaceaeBlechnum orientale (Linn)Tirumala Hills, Papavinasana valley ! 9AzollaceaeAzolla filiculoides. LChandragiri , Rice fields and also in the pond situated near Mahal Results And Discussions The diverse habitats and cool, humid climatic conditions of Tirumala hills allow a rich fern flora .
We now report 35 species of 25 genera belonging to 19 famillies and are listed in Table-I along with localities of occurrence. Pteridophytic flora of Tirumala hills exhibit wide range of ecological groups like epiphytic, climbing , arboreal , xerophytic, hydrophytic, lithophytic nature. Majority of the genera of ferns i. e. 12 genera out of 25 genera are distributed near Papavenasana Theertham (Water body) and remaining genera also located near other Theerthams. It denotes Pteridophyte’s dependence on water for fertilization even though they are true land plants.
Extensive straggling leaves entangled with other leaves and form almost impenetrable thickets in Dicranopteris linearis. Two species of Lygodium are the only climbing ferns in which fronds helps in twining. Angiopteris evects Hoff is a large sized tree fern. Cythea glabra has arborescent caudex with large herbaceous fronds. Actinopteris and Cheilanthes are xerophytic ferns grow well on exposed dry places along forest marzins and Road sides. Nephrolepis cordifolia grows on dripping rocks and almost all species of Selaginella grow on moist rocks in shaded situations.
Members of Isoetaceae and Ophioglossaceae grow mixed with grasses and over shadowed by them. Marsellia, Azolla and Ceratopteris are aquatic ferns in which Azolla species are used as biofertillizer in Paddy fields due to its nitrogen fixing capability.
Pteridophytes are found to provide food, fiber, crafts, building material, abrasives and widely used in floral decoration. Few of them like Lycopodium, Cheilanthes and Actinopteris are used in Homeopathic medicine. There is great need for advanced research that may helps in identifying some more species of ferns .
This is useful for resource management, conservation of fern diversity at genetic, species and ecosystem levels and socioeconomic development of the region.