Diversity, invasion status and usages of alien plant species in northeastern hilly state of Tripura: a confluence of Indo-barman hotspot.
The present study has explored the first authentic catalogue of the alien flora of the foot Himalayan hilly region along with their diversity, uses, various ecological aspects and invasion status. Environmentally similar south and tropical American aliens are higher in numbers in this region. A total of 216 plant species under 158 genera belonging to 58 families have been compiled in this catalogue. This alien flora occupies ∼14.5% of the state flora, while 3.47% is invasive. Families having a large number of alien species are Asteraceae followed by Caesalpiniaceae and Solanaceae. Most of the alien species (61.57%) are of American origin followed by Asia (15.28%) and African continent (12.04%). Life form analysis shows that herbs (42.6%) are dominated alien. Among all the aliens, 67 species are used as ornamental plant, followed by 50 medicinally useful plants. In the state neutralized aliens are (36.57%) followed by invasive alien (24.07%). The present study also reports five alien species for the first time from the study site. This base line study would be the foundation for further advance studies on the invasion ecology and for the future assessment and management of invasive species in this biodiversity rich zone. Present work obviously helps in the agricultural sector of the state as well as the country and gives a clue for further introduction of new species in the country.