Living root bridges

Photo: Somsubhra Sarkar

The Umshiang double decker root bridge of Nongriat in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya stands at a height of 732 m. Reaching the upper bridge, which is 20 m long is a tough job and demands a high degree of physical fitness.

Abstract: Living tree bridges that one finds in picturesque Meghalaya are called Jingkieng Deingjri meaning ‘bridge of the rubber tree’ in Khasi. Tree bridges are natural structures that are examples of bioengineering at its best.

The author is freelance writer and photographer.

Term Power

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Relay cropping is growing one crop and then planting another in the same field after maturation or before harvesting the first. Whereas growing two or more crops in the same field at the same time is known as inter cropping and growing two crops in the same field, one after the other in the same year is called sequential cropping.

Precision farming aims at increasing productivity, decreasing production costs and minimising the environmental impact of farming by utilising information and technology based management system. The information on soil and crop characteristics unique to each part of the field is acquired by use of technology including telecommunications, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), variable rate controllers, and infield and remote sensing and used to increase the production.

Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without use of soil. Instead of using soil, plants are grown in a sufficiently nutrient-rich water solution.

It is the process of genetically modifying plants and animals so that they produce substances which may be used as pharmaceuticals. It is also known as molecular farming or biopharming.

The term denotes a method which relies mainly on visual interpretation of the plant cover to detect morphological changes or plant associations typical of certain types of geological environments or of ore deposits.

The Gini coefficient is a statistical measure used for assessing variations in a given set of values. It has been primarily used by economists to analyse income inequality.

Haulm is the stem or top of crop plants such as peas or potatoes left after the crop has been gathered. This world has originated from old English.

Mutagenesis is the process of change in genetic information of an organism due to exposure to mutagens leading to mutation. It may occur naturally or can be done in laboratories. Whereas genetic modification is the process to change the genetic makeup of cells in laboratories that includes transfer of genes within and across species to produce organisms with desired traits.

Atomic gardening is a form of mutation breeding where plants are exposed to radioactive sources, typically cobalt-60 in order to generate useful mutations.

An artesian aquifer is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level in a well to rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached.