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Impact of Disturrance on Composition, Structure, And Floristics of Tropical Moist Forests in Uttara Kannada District, Western Ghats, India

Bhat, DM and Hegde, GT and Shetti, DM and Patgar, SG and Hegde, GN and Furtado, RM and Shastri, CM and Bhat, PR and Ravindranath, NH (2011) Impact of Disturrance on Composition, Structure, And Floristics of Tropical Moist Forests in Uttara Kannada District, Western Ghats, India. In: Ecotropica, 17 (2). pp. 1-14.

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Abstract

Impact of disturbance on forest stand density, basal area, dbh class distribution of density and basal area, species richness, species diversity and similarity index was assessed through monitoring six, one-hectare, permanent forest plots after a period of 24 years in tropical moist forests of Uttara Kannada district, Western Ghats, India. It was observed that all sites lost trees due to removal by people and mortality. Loss of trees was more in sites that are easily accessible and closer to human habitation. In spite of a decrease in tree density, an increase in basal area was observed in some forest plots, which could be on account of stimulatory growth of surviving trees. Decrease in basal area in other sites indicates greater human pressure and overexploitation of trees. Preponderance of lower girth class trees, and a unimodal reverse `J-shaped' curve of density distribution as observed in majority of the sites in the benchmark year, was indicative of regenerating status of these forests. The decrease in number of species in all forest sites was due to indiscriminate removal of trees by people, without sparing species with only a few individuals, and also due to mortality of trees of rare species. Higher species richness and diversity in the lowest dbh class in most of the sites in the benchmark year is indicative of the existence of favorable conditions for sylvigenesis. The decrease in the similarity index suggests extirpation of species, favoring invasion and colonization by secondary species. To minimize human pressure on forests and to facilitate regeneration and growth, proper management planning and conservation measures are needed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Soc Tropical Ecology, Gtoe, Zoological Research Inst & Muse.
Keywords: Human disturbance;tree density;species diversity;tropical forests;southern India
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2012 07:29
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2012 10:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/44206

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