Srinagar, Feb 5: Even though the climate change is a global phenomenon, Kashmir has started to witness the vast impact on vegetation, fruit and the pollination to mention the least.
There has been early plant flowering in Kashmir this year. However, over the past few years, it has been noted that the flowering cycle has been interrupted by January blossoming, which affects fruit yield.
In an exclusive interview, Akther H Malik, field Botanist and a scientist at the Department of Botany, Kashmir University said: “Earlier also, we have seen snowfall in late March in Kashmir but from the past few years this is not happening and the cause is climate change. So what will happen if the plants don’t get the chilling period the flower petals will fall when the flower production will be affected with the result pollination will not happen or pollination will not happen properly as a result the fruit production pollination service is provided by insects will be affected with the result the production of fruits.”
“January is the favourable season for precipitation and in this month we were getting precipitation, so it was recharged with the result rain-fed crops, particularly our horticulture sector their production will get hit with the result their production of apple harvest will be very less like apple and many other crops like apricot, cherry, plums, pears, and even almonds they will also get affected,” he said.
Professor Manzoor Ahmed from the Department of Botany at Kashmir University said that climate change as a general phenomenon is reported globally to facilitate the invasion by exotic plants or the alien plants. “This climate change has been facilitated because of climate change, so many things happen that favor the alien plants as compared to the native plants. There is unequivocal scientific evidence now that has proved that global climate change in the context of global change, because of the increased temperatures; the biological engagements have significantly increased all across the globe,” he said.
Professor Manzoor said: “The lowland species, the aliens, try to move upwards. So many native species that have evolved in this region for centuries are very sensitive to these temperature fluctuations. Genetically, these invasive species are genetically more resistant. In ecology, we call them root drugs, or all selected species. This means that these are the species that can give anything and they can manage it in any situation. There are many alien species in Kashmir e.g., Anthemis Cotula It is a very aggressive invader. It is a European native. It is very widespread here. Climate change is in a way facilitating it.”
Another alien species Parthenium hysterophorus, is called Congress grass. It is a tropical species. “It was not found in Kashmir. “However, because of climate change, it has been spotted here. It is such an aggressive invader. If it is not checked well at the beginning, it can create havoc all across the landscape. In our water bodies, you will see Azolla. It is also attributed largely to climate change,” he said.
He further said that the magnitude of this problem is that very less research is done on this . “We need a lot of research, especially in the context of Kashmir. I believe that the extent of research and the contours of research have to be broadened. There has to be a main focus of the funding agencies. The research in this area is to be funded on priority and then government also has to prioritize it that way, keeping in view the economic importance, the ecological importance of this overall dimension.”