Studies on identification, nomenclature, classification and distribution of plants of Kerala forests come under the purview of the Division of Botany (Taxonomy). These aspects are of paramount importance for research not only in Botany but also in various disciplines of Forestry and conservation.
The division is actively involved research and extension work rendered to various institutions in and outside Kerala and to the State Forest Department. Among these projects the establishment of a herbarium covering flora f Kerala finds the first place. So far over 10000 plant specimens representing most of the tree species of Kerala forests have been collected, identified and stored. Valuable materials exchanged from Botanical Survey of India and French Institute, Pondicherry are also included in the collection. This herbarium collection is of immense value in study of flora of Kerala state.
Along with the study on species diversity of our forests and their proper taxonomic identity, their distribution is also being studied. In this regard a detailed study on distribution of important tree species in the forests of the central circle of Kerala was taken up. This work provided detailed distribution maps of the important tree species.
A live collection of important medicinal plants of Kerala forests is maintained by the Department in collaboration with Department of NTFP at the KFRI Campus, Peechi. So far 300 plants were established in the garden.
The department also studies specific groups of plants such as orchids, lichens etc.
Investigations related to taxonomy, distribution, phenology and anatomy of Canes and palms and seedlings of various species of canes and palms are raised for a live collection in the campus
Ongoing Research Projects
- Resolving species complexes using molecular systematics: a case study of few taxa in the Western Ghats
- Seasonal influence on phenology of woody species in a tropical wet evergreen forest of southern Western Ghats, India
- Impact of flood on floral elements and soil biota in Pamba, Periyar, Bharathapuzha and Chalakkudy Rivers in Kerala
- Evaluation of alternative species for Jiggat production, characterization of accessions for growth, adaptability and gum production
- Bird hazard to aircrafts in Thiruvananthapuram Airport
Contact: Dr. VB Sreekumar
Kerala Forest Research Institute
Peechi 680653, Thrissur, Kerala, INDIA