Research Publications 2017:
2017. Can native plants become invasive? Ceylon Journal of Science 46 (1) 2017: 1-2
Ariyarathne, W.A.M.P., Deepthi Yakandawala, Rosabelle Samuel & Siril Wijesundara.
2017. Evaluating the occurrence and conservation statuses of Sri Lankan Orchids (Orchidaceae): Observations on newly recorded species and undocumented regions. Phytotaxa 308 (1): 037–053.
Ariyarathne, W. A. M. P., Deepthi Yakandawala, Mary Rosabelle Samuel, and Siril Wijesundara
(2017). Evaluating the occurrence and conservation status of Sri Lankan Anacardiaceae species. Ceylon Journal of Science 46 (2) 2017: 59-67.
Jayalal, R.G.U., O.A. Ileperuma, P. Wolseley, D.S.A. Wijesundara
and V. Karunaratne 2017. Correlation of atmospheric purity index to the diversity of lichens in the Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science 46(2) 2017: 13-29
Diversity and Distributional Ecology of Tree Ferns of Sri Lanka: A Step towards Conservation of a Unique Gene Pool. 2017. Ranil, R.H.G., D.K.N.G. Pushpakumara, D.S. A. Wijesundara,
P.D. Bostock, A. Ebihara and C.R. Fraser-Jenkins. Ceylon Journal of Science 46 (Special issue) 2017: 127-135
Jayasinghe, S., Bandara, B. M. R., Wickramasinghe, A., Karunaratne, D. N., Wijesundara, D. S. A.,
& Karunaratne, V. (2017). The importance of harnessing the rich diversity of Sri Lankan flora for their medicinal value. Ceylon Journal of Science, 46(4), 3–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjs.v46i4.7473.
Awards & Recognitions:
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara has been awarded "Athi Vishishta Poorna Sewa Prasadini" at the Sewa Prasadini Abhises – 2017 (Service Excellence Awards) organized by the Ministry of Wildlife and Sustainable Development held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) on 3 March 2017 (on World Wildlife Day) under the patronage of HE the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena to honour those who excel in the field of conservation of wildlife.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was felicitated at the 37th Annual Sessions of the Institute of Biology “in recognition of my contribution to plant taxonomy, and engagement in research and ex-situ conservation of floristic diversity”.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered an Invited Lecture on “Habitat destruction by IAS flora in Sri Lanka” at 27th Session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) Workshop on Habitat and species specific protocols for management of forest invasive species in the Asia-Pacific region held at BMICH, Colombo on 25-10-2017 .
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered an Invited Lecture on ‘Plant Migrations’ at BMICH organized by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) of Sri Lanka on 20-07-2017
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered an Invited Lecture on Diversity of Sri Lankan Lichens at Fourth National Workshop on Sri Lankan Lichens held at the NIFS from 24th May to 26th
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered an Invited lecture on Urban tree planting” at Sri Lanka Next- A Blue Green Era Workshop held at BMICH, Colombo on 16-10-2018.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered an Invited presentation on “Forest dieback in Montane forests of Sri Lanka” at workshop on dieback organized by the Wildlife Department held at Jade Green Hotel, Hambantota on 7-07-2017.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered a Lecture on Invasive Alien Plants of Sri Lanka and their impact on Biodiversity and ecosystems” at a Workshop held at BMICH on Invasive Alien Species organized by IFL on 07-03-17.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered a Lecture on “Diversity of Lichens in Sri Lanka” at a workshop organized by PGIS on 31-03-2017.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara delivered a Lecture on Invasive Alien Plants of Sri Lanka” at a Environment Ministry Workshop held at Mahaweli Training Centre, Hantane on 27-03-17.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a Ph.D. Thesis Examiner of Ms. Rumana Azad University of Ruhuna,
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a Ph.D. Thesis Oral Examiner of Ms. Shalini Rajakaruna, University of Peradeniya.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a Co-Chair, National Invasive Species Specialist Group, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Third National Biodiversity Experts Committee, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the National Species Conservation Advisory Group, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the National Expert Committee on Mangrove Conservation and sustainable use, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Basic Science Research Policy - Study Group of NASTEC
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Board of Studies (Agriculture Biology), Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Expert Committee, World Bank funded Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project (ESCAMP)
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Faculty Board, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the National Committee on Biodiversity and Environment, National Science Foundation (NSF )
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the National Committee on Man and Biosphere (MAB), National Science Foundation (NSF)
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the REDD+ Academic and Research Forum of Department of Forest Conservation
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the REDD+ Advisory and Coordinating Board (RACB) Department of Forest Conservation
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Technical Expert Committee of the Department of Wildlife Conservation on Habitat Management plan for Udawalawa N.P. & Yala Complex (funded by the ESCAMP
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Editorial Board of Wildlanka (Journal published by Sri Lanka Department of Wild Life Conservation)
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Editorial Board of Sri Lanka Journal of Food and Agriculture (Journal published by Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy)
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Editorial Board of Tropical Agricultural Research (Journal published by Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture, Sri Lanka)
Prof D.S.A. Wijesundara was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board Rheedea (Journal published by Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy)
Prof. S. Wijesundara— Floristic Survey of IFS-Popham Arboretum, Dambulla.Funded by Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. “The assessment on the distribution and investigating possible control methods of Invasive Alien plant, Ageratina ripraia in Horton Plains National Park”. Funded by MAS Holdings Pvt. Ltd.
Biogeographical studies of Sri Lanka
Endemism in Sri Lanka shows a specific geographical pattern. The sightings or locations of the endemic flowering plants in Sri Lanka were obtained using records from the National Herbarium and reliable published ecological studies. The locations were plotted in a grid overlaid on a map of Sri Lanka using the GIS software Arc GIS 10. The grid of Sri Lanka consisted of 2847 cells each measuring 5 km x 5 km. There were 84,429 location records. The areas of endemism were identified by using the weighted endemism scores of grid cells and were classified by natural break method and geographic features.
High endemism was recorded for the wet zone of Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka nine areas were identified where endemism was high (weighted endemism were between 0.7 - 2.5) and were tentatively named as endemic zones (Figure 1). The identified endemic zones are; Central Highlands, South Western Wet Zone, Northern Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Ritigala, Dolu kanda, Yala, Wilpattu and Jaffna. Within the nine endemic zones, there were regions with very high endemism and were called core endemic areas. The core endemic areas are Sinharaja, Adams Peak, Knuckles, Horton Plains and Kandy. The occurrence of endemic genera (Adrorhizon, Championia, Cyphostigma, Davidsea, Diyaminauclea, Doona, Hortonia, Leucocodon, Loxococcus, Nargedia, Phoenicanthus, Podadenia, Schumacheria, Schizostigma, Scyphostachys and Stemonoporus) were generally confined to the core endemic areas.
Figure 1. Endemic areas in Sri Lanka
Preliminary investigations of a new invasive plant in Sri Lanka
Panicum trichocladum K. Schum., a grass native to Tropical East Africa was first reported in Sri Lanka from Hanguranketha area around 2002. Distribution of this grass appears to be expanding in the country during the last decade. It is mostly seen along the roadsides forming a dense mat covering the ground. In some areas it is found inhabiting coconut estates, home gardens, cultivated areas and wastelands (Figure 1). Up to now, there are no serious investigations carried out to find out its distribution and invasive potential in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the main focus of this preliminary study is to find out the occurrence of this grass in relation to different climatic regions of Sri Lanka. In this study, natural distribution of P. trichocladum was measured by conducting an island wide field survey. The map of Sri Lanka was divided in to 2 km x 2 km grids laid over agro-ecological regions using Arc GIS software. The field survey was conducted starting from Hanguranketha along coordinal directions; North, South, East and West. Occurrences of P. trichocladum along the main roadsides of each direction were monitored and the presence and absence of the grass species were marked and recorded on the 2 X 2 km grids.
No occurrence of P. trichocladum was observed in the agro-ecological regions DL1, DL3, DL5, and WU3. P. trichocladum was present in all other agro-ecological regions visited. Among those agro-ecological regions where this grass is present, IM1, IM3, WM3 and WL1 showed the highest density compared to the other regions. It appears that this grass prefers wet areas in the low and mid country and the dry and cold areas are not invaded.
Figure 1. Panicum trichocladum in Galagedara area
Using an invasive tree for grafting economically important plants
Clusia rosea (gal goraka) is a plant species having a highly efficient C4 photosynthetic pathway. This plant, native to Central America, has become a nationally significant invasive plant in wet sub-montane Sri Lanka. However, Clusia rosea has the ability to prosper in marginal landscapes such as heavily rocky areas due to the strong and efficient root system belongs to the plant. Success rate of grafted Garcinia quaesita (goraka) and G. mangostana (Mangosteen) up to fruiting stage are low due to poor support in nutrient supply by the root stock of their own species. An experiment was conducted at Hapugastenne estate, Maskeliya, to ascertain the possibility of using C. rosea as a rootstock in grafting of crop plants such as Garcinia quaesita (goraka) and G. mangostana (Mangosteen) in the Clusiaceae family to which Clusia also belongs.
Grafting of both G. quaesita and G. mangotana was carried out using C. rosea as the rootstock. 55% of Mangosteen and 67% of goraka grafts were alive and healthy at the beginning of acclimatization. However, casualty rate increased. as time passed. Only 32% of Mangosteen survived after one month of acclimatization. Survival rate was seen highest (48 %) in unbranched, smaller (5-10 cm long) goraka scions with 4-6 fully opened leaved twigs.
Figure 1. A successful graft of goraka on a Clusia root stock