Context: The Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot in India, is home to 62 Desiccation-Tolerant (DT) Vascular plant species, capable of surviving extreme dehydration by losing up to 95% of their water content and reviving when water becomes available again.
- This unique ability allows them to thrive in harsh, arid environments that would be unsuitable for most other plants. These DT plants have potential applications in agriculture, especially in water-scarce regions.
- The study highlights that DT plants are predominantly found in rock outcrops, a common landscape feature in the Western Ghats, but they also inhabit tree trunks in partially shaded forests.
- Of the 62 species identified, 16 are exclusive to India, and 12 are unique to the Western Ghats outcrops, emphasizing the area’s significance as a global DT hotspot.