Diatoms are microscopic algae and characterized by their unique silica based cell wall with species-specific ornamentation. Diatoms are incredibly species rich with nearly 20,000 known species and few hundred thousands of species are yet to be described. The silica cell walls, called frustules show a wide diversity in form and shapes but usually groups diatoms into two types pinnate (elongated shape) and centric (Circular shape). They potentially account for 40% of the world's primary production, generate much of the energy that drives aquatic ecosystem.
Amphibian population decline across the globe at an alarming rate has enthused researchers to probe for the cause. Habitat alteration including fragmentation, degradation, modification and rapid urbanization are considered to be key factors in such declines. In addition, fungal diseases, use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers are also negatively influencing the amphibian population. It is still not clear how these causalities work, individually, collectively or synergistically?
Biodiversity estimations have been typically carried out mostly in protected areas for a long time now. However, there remains an un-estimated diversity outside forests or the non-protected areas which are mostly not sampled and estimated scientifically. The objective of the research is to initially estimate the biodiversity in the non-protected areas of south-central Deccan Plateau between the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. The estimations would involve assessment of ants, amphibians, birds, butterflies, fish, flora, and mammals.