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Page:The Journal of Indian Botany.djvu/18

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THE MYXOPHYCEAE OF LAHORE.

BY

S. L. Ghose, M. Sc.,

Government College, Lahore.


Probably no other group of the vegetable kingdom has been so much neglected by morphologists as that of the Myxophycece. In India practically no work on them has been done at all. With the exception of a few stray records of certain Indian species by Schmidle, Hassal, Turner and West, absolutely nothing is known about the Indian Blue-green Algae.

At first sight, one would not think that the Blue-green Algae are found to any large extent in Lahore, but a little careful observation reveals a large variety of them, and in fair abundance. After the rains, that is in the months of October and November, they are at their best, and then again in February and March. Even in such bad months as May and June, or December and January, they are quite easily obtainable ; so that one can rightly say that the Blue-green Algae flourish fairly well in Lahore throughout the year. In this connection it might be noted that Lahore is situated in 31 35' N. and 74° 20' E. Its height is 732 feet above the sea-level. The hottest months, namely May and June, have a mean maximum temperature of about 106° F., the actual highest might go up to 120° F. The coldest months, namely December and January, have a mean minimum temperature of 40° F., the lowest never going below 29° F. Rainfall is chiefly confined to the months of July, August and September, and ranges between 8 and 25 inches.

The sources of material for examination are manifold. A large number of the Blue-green Algae are found throughout the year in places, where there is a constant flow of water, such as drains and water-courses. Artificial tanks kept constantly full of water, such as those in the Shalamar and Shahadara Gardens, also form a useful permanent source. Again, after the rains, a few natural ponds and ditches are left by the road-side in the outskirts of Lahore, which take quite a long time to dry up, and are generally found to be full of algal flora. In addition to all these, short-lived varieties are found on ordinary ground or lawns, on which rain or well-water has stood for even a short time. Another interesting source is afforded by the tree-trunks, which are sometimes covered by beautiful varieties after the rain has moistened them.