Dendrobium bicameratum,
Dendrobium regium,
Dendrobium transparens) 

A New Species of Dendrobium (Orchidaceae) from Assam, India (Kew Bulletin Vol. 43, No. 4 (1988), pp. 667-669)
Dendrobium assamicum S. Chowdhury

Diversity and Ecology of Dendrobiums: 17 posts by 8 authors.
Please find one of our articles attached with the mail. It got published today.

Kumar, P., G. S. Rawat and H. P. Wood. 2011. Diversity and Ecology of Dendrobiums (Orchidaceae) in Chotanagpur. Plateau, India. Taiwania, 56(1): 23-36.
Dr.H.P.Wood has written a monograph on Dendrobiums of the world, but unfortunately he expired last year.

Really useful information. Thanks for sharing. Your paper says
–”No epiphytic orchids including Dendrobium were found in Shorea – T. alata forests.”
In selected plot or this finding is for entire study area? May I know about the exact location in Jharkhand to which this statement is related?
Please correct me if I have interpreted it wrongly.

In continuation to previous mail.
It is really surprising to miss the names of Pterocarpus marsupium and Terminalia chebula like species in the paper.
Any comment?

Thanks a lot for the response.
Coming to your queries.
The study area was whole of Jharkhand We used Stratified Random Sampling. Stratification was done on the basis of presence of more than 10 orchids in the region and the habitat, i.e., sampling was done exclusively in those areas where we had more than 9 orchids.
1. In the present article I didnt talk about the vegetation composition of each of the 5 habitats.
2. When you do random sampling you are likely to miss species of orchids as well as host trees, as you can see out of 11 had only 7 species in the plots.
3. Pterocarpus marsupium was undoubtedly there, but I never found orchid in it, and I never found so much of it in the plot, i.e., it was not as dominant as other tree species to classify a habitat on its basis. Infact acording to my findings, orchids were present in the areas were sal is (w.r.t.) more than 9 orchids. How did I chose.9
orchids? I made some preliminary survey and found the most common ones which were around 9 in numbers.
4. On Terminalia chebula I did find some orchids, but no Dendrobiums and this tree was also not as dominant as the other counterparts in a habitat. Some Vanda tessellata, V. testaceae, Aerides multiflora, if I remember correctly I found on this.
4. Yes, I never found an epiphytic orchid in Shorea – terminala alata forests. This doesnt mean, that I didnt find epiphytic orchids on Shorea or T. alata (I did find them) but not in an area where these trees formed the major vegetation, in my area, may be because they were too dense.
5. When you do random sampling, you have to maintain the ramdomness otherwise you cant calculate the densities and abundance accurately.
6. To prove that, I used species area curve to check if my sampling effort was adequate, and frankly speaking in all the habitats yes the curve saturated much before my last plot.
I really appreciate posting your queries.

Thanks for detailed reply.
In early days of my surveys I were adopting random sampling technique as it was required to publish a paper. But later in villages I found that every native in village has different knowledge about herbs growing in surroundings then how random sampling can give accurate result? I started interacting each and every individual and still continuing it. It take many decades and many times entire life but it results in accurate as well as detailed information. Yes, you can not publish it in form of research papers. Who bothers as another option on online articles is there.
Pterocarpus and Teminalia chebula including other Terminalias are store house of orchid diversity (… can throw more light on it). I have found many species in visits of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. That’s why I was expecting it in your paper. I am sure that more surveys in the same area will result in new information. For time being this paper can be used as reference.
Local people play vital role in such surveys. Expecting that you have taken their services. May be not as I have not seen their names in acknowledgment. ;(
If possible please send the list of reported host trees of Dendrobium in India. If names of Pterocarpus, T.alata and T.chebula like trees are not there then lets start publishing new records by … and … from Efloraindia.

Congrats …, for the publication of your article. It sounds informative and looks attractive (i yet to read it fully 🙂
Dear …, pl consider these ‘missing information’ as ‘standard errors’ which is known, expected and accepted by the scientific community!
In transect studies, we used to come across with situations wherein we see certain species in the areas just adjoining the plot, but we can not include as it falls outside the plot, ultimately it won’t reflect in the study. At time even a microhabitat with several unique species would be missed in line transect methods. Realizing this, we relied upon ‘criss-cross’ methods to cover all types of habitats (espl for floristic studies) and ‘ocular estimations’ and ‘resource maps using inputs from local knowledgeables’ to estimate occurrence and population status of a particular species in a particular area. This has yielded more reliable data which were used effectively for designing conservation strategies. But, of course, we can not publish these in scientific journals, as we can’t do any extrapolation and estimation for larger areas. I also feel both of these strategies should be combined to get actual and more reliable information at least at a micro level.

Thanks … for making it simple.
Respected …,
I have always admired your work in Chhattishgarh, but I would like to add something here….
1. You cant compare the forests of Chhatisgarh with Jharkhand, they are two different phytogeograhic zones. Just for example, I have never seen Orchids growing on Pinus roxburghii trees in Jharkhand, but yes,
I have seen it in Himalayas. Jharkhand is not an orchid hotspot and hence it doesnt have luxuriant growth of Orchids.
2. As … said, yes you can miss many things outside your plots, thats not a big deal, as you cant search each and every tree present in the area for the presence of Orchids.
3. Pterocarpus and Teminalia chebula, can you please send me some pics to show how many species grow on these two trees? I would be grateful.
When you say storehouse, you may be referring to only one taxa growing luxuriantly on the tree, not a big deal. I am talking about areas with more than 9-10 orchids were sampled. I will give you another example.
I went to coal mine areas in Hazaribag, where due to some reasons, the trees were laden with orchids, but only two species.
4. As you can see, the paper deals exclusively with Dendrobiums and hence I am not talking about any other orchids, which might be or are found on these two trees.
5. When you say, if I used locals, my answer is ALWAYS!! except for some naxallite prone zones where no one was willing to accompany me.

If you say they play vital role in such surveys, then may be yes, but its not of much help unless you are looking for a particular orchid which they know. For example, if I wish to know about Pathal Kela (Pholidota imbricata and P. pallida. The first point here is, they cant differentiate between two), then for sure, they know places where these plants grow as they have been using them. But, I can go to a patch of Pholidota and lay a plot saying its abundant in the area.
That will be ridiculous. For each of my plot, I used to check orchids on my own for their identity which they cant do.
6. You should understand that there is a difference between devoting you life in the forest and working for your PhD. If I had 10 years in hand to work for my PhD, then may be my results would have shown
differences. This answer your question that more survey can lead to more result. Secondly, for you information, one of my friend went to Chattisgarh for one week and we had new records of Orchids from that
area, it doesnt mean that you didnt survey well. Its mere luck and also the area where he worked.
7. Your sampling design is based on your objectives as well as your duration. One simple example will be, if you wish to calculate the density of lets say one species of Orchid in an area, then for sure
you will either have to do the total count, which is not possible, or you will have to lay RANDOM plots and then count inside the plots. You will surely get chances when you will find that particular orchid
outside your plot, but you are not supposed to count it. Hope you understand what I mean here.
8. No, I never acknowledged local people in my articles but all those who helped me have been acknowledged in my thesis, each and every person. But that doesnt mean that I dont respect them. There are so
many friends here and at Jharkhand who have helped me in my work, I cant write each and every name there on the articles. Infact my boss found my acknowledgement in the thesis too long and smiled when I
showed him so many names.
9. I had around 33 new records of Orchid from chhotanagpur and this doesnt include around 12 species which I know they are present, but couldnt identify due to lack of flowers. There could be many more new
records of both orchids as well as host trees. I have seen Vanda growing on ground, it makes no sense as it some how fell down and was carried away by flow of water. Orchids are very opportunistic. They
can grow anywhere and you wont find a reason to explain. Just because I found ONE ORCHID GROWING ON ONE TREE, doesnt make it publishable. If you really want to publish it, then for sure you need to prove it
10. When you say how random sampling can give accurate result: YES IT CAN…BEST WAY IS TO INCREASE YOUR SAMPLING EFFORT.
11. You send me the list of orchids found on these trees and list of hosts and may be list of orchids and I would be there to help you publish it. No authorship needed, no acknowledgement needed. I always
believe in distributing rather than gathering. I thought you should have known by now.
12. I can give you suggestions how to do scientific interviews and sampling, which could yield you good PUBLISHABLE results, you just need to ask…FOR FREE… otherwise you will end with yet another book
on list of medicinal plants, which most of the people do now a days.
There are books on HOROPATHY, if you know. It comes in volumes, and it is available at ranchi. Then there are so many people writing same book over and over again. If you wish to come out with better
publication then for sure you need to do it more scientifically. For which I can help you and it is evident that Dr. Vijay will also be able to help you.

Thanks for your detailed reply once again. Hoping to post the pictures of Dendrobiums collected from many tree species including Pterocarpus and Terminalia sp. from Jharkhand few years back, in near future. I was on visit on request of Ranchi based non-governmental organization. They wanted to prepare a report on impact of mining on Orchid diversity. I was odd man for this work but based on superficial (?) knowledge I have done it for them. Also post pictures about my work on Niyamgiri orchids including Dendrobiums in Orissa.
There is no doubt that you are one of finest orchid experts of India and we are fortunate to have you in our group.
And …, I agree with your thoughts on development of new research methodology.

I would love to see this report of yours on Mining Impact on Orchid Diversity, if you can share.
There are distinct Orchid zones on trees, The one growing on the main trunk is ecologically different from the one growing on the terminal branches (twig epiphytes) hence it becomes tricky to understand if an
orchid grew by mistake of it really has a preference of the tree over other trees.
Orchids have seeds without endosperm and hence they need to make association with specialised fungi called mycorrhiza. Now these fungi are specific to the host like all other fungi. So where these fungi
are found, orchids can grow. But, once they have germinated, you put the plant on any tree it will grow. This gets more tricky… Orchids of Arunachal Pradesh has a picture of Orchid growing on….ELECTRIC/TELEPHONE POLE….now who will explain that to me….. Its fun when you see things which you cant explain…..orchids have
lot of such fun…

Yes it may be correct if any one sees it as rare case but occurrence of Dendrobiums on said species is not rare case. It was shocking to see the paper having no info on it. That’s why I reacted immediately But as …. said it may be due to standard error, it is not the author’s fault.
During the said visit I found insect species damaging Dendrobiums. I posted its picture to International experts but they asked for dead insects for correct identification. Due to laziness the samples are still with me. During visit on Shorea and other species mainly on orchids I observed heavy infestation of scale insects. The guides informed that this year infestation was at higher side. I searched the literature and based on it, in process of submitting a paper in journal. In short visit fortunately I got information about 30 formulations in which Dendrobiums are used. Hoping the Ethnobotanists from Jharkhand have reported it.
I am sorry as always if I am encroaching your territories i.e. Jharkhand as well as Orchids. 😉

Well explained, … Your knowledge on orchids is really amazing. You are a valuable asset not only for this group but for entire India espl in floristics field 🙂
Its really nice to see interactions between ‘Orchidopedia’ and ‘Oudhipedia’. I learnt many new things incl. habit & host preferences of orchids, and also ‘Horopathy’. Thanks …
Thanks also to … for raising questions which yielded a detailed explanation filled with information from …
In my area I have seen Vanda growing on rocks! Is it a lithophyte as well?

Dendrobium is a huge genus of orchids. It was established by Olof Swartz in 1799 and today contains about 1,200 species. The genus occurs in diverse habitats throughout much of south, east and southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Borneo, Australia, New Guinea, Vietnam, Solomon Islands and New Zealand. The name is from the Greek dendron (“tree”) and bios (“life”); it means “one who lives on trees”, or, essentially, “epiphyte”.
In 1981, Briegar reclassified all terete-leaved Dendrobiums from Australia and New Guinea into a new genus, Dockrillia. The Winika orchid from New Zealand was formerly D. cunninghamii, but has now been moved into a monotypic genus Winika. In 1989, Clements upgraded the D. speciosum complex into individual species;[1] similarly, the D. bigibbum complex (which contains the well-known Cooktown Orchid of Australia, D. phalaenopsis) has recently been split up. However, as an illustration of the current revisions in the taxonomy of Orchidaceae these ‘splits’ have now been reversed and the currently accepted species, natural nothospecies and synonyms are presented on Wikispecies Dendrobium.
Dendrobium species are either epiphytic, or occasionally lithophytic.
They have adapted to a wide variety of habitats, from the high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains to lowland tropical forests and even to the dry climate of the Australian desert.
This genus of sympodial orchids develop pseudobulbs, which vary in length from under a centimetre (e.g. Dendrobium leucocyanum) to several metres long (e.g. Dendrobium discolor), resembling canes. A
few grow into long reedlike stems. Leaf bases form sheaths that completely envelope the stem. In the section Formosae (e.g. Dendrobium infundibulum), the sheaths and undersides of leaves are covered with fine short black hairs. Other species (e.g. Dendrobium senile), are covered with fine white hairs.
In selected species, the short, ovate leaves grow alternately over the whole length of the stems, in others, the leaves are bunched towards the apex of the stem (e.g. Dendrobium tetragonum). The axillary inflorescence vary in length from insignificant to 1m long, and can carry from a few (1-4) (e.g. Dendrobium nobile) to as many as 100 (e.g. Dendrobium speciosum) flowers. Deciduous species carry their leaves for one to two years then typically flower on leafless canes, while canes of evergreen species usually flower in the second year and
can continue to flower for a number of years (e.g. Dendrobium densiflorum).
These orchids grow quickly throughout summer, but take a rest during winter. Dormant buds erupt into shoots from the base of the pseudobulb mainly in spring, and a few species in autumn. This is then followed
by rapid growth of new roots. Reproduction is usually through seed, but a few species reproduce asexually through keikis produced along the stem, usually after flowering and sometimes as a result of injury
to the growing tip.

Very useful information.
Dendrobium is well represented in Uttarakhand and D.amoenum is one of the beautiful species in temperate forests.


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