In Photos: Mumbai’s Last Remaining Green Spaces
Currently working as a scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society, and pursuing his PhD on urban ponds with the University of Mumbai, Vishal Rasal is fascinated by life forms that survive in Mumbai’s urban landscapes and the amount of biodiversity in this congested city with 15 million humans. Mumbai’s remaining few green pockets, which are oases for many organisms, are dwindling. These green spaces silently provide countless ecological services such as reducing pollution, storm water management, and temperature regulation, making our lives a little easier. In this photo gallery, Vishal documents some of these ecosystems in and around Mumbai. Almost all of the photographs have been taken on his mobile phone.
Lianas or woody climbers are abundant in the small pockets of mixed deciduous forests that still survive in Mumbai. Soon after breaking through the ground, a young liana starts climbing the trunk of a nearby tree. Soon, it reaches the top of the canopy, where it branches to ruthlessly strangle the tree by blocking its supply to sunlight. Its flexible trunk, which can grow up to 914 metres, are wondrous. It took scientists many years to understand the mechanism of water and food transportation through such long distances in lianas, which lack any moving parts.