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Hydrological importance of sacred forest fragments in Central Western Ghats of India

Ray, Rajasri and Chandran, MDS and Ramachandra, TV (2015) Hydrological importance of sacred forest fragments in Central Western Ghats of India. In: TROPICAL ECOLOGY, 56 (1). pp. 87-99.

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Sacred groves are patches of forests of special spiritual significance to humans, offering also a diverse range of ecological and environmental services. We have attempted here to understand the local hydrological dynamics of a sacred forest, in terms of the benefits the village community derive, in central Western Ghats region of India. A comparative assessment has been made between two small watersheds in terms of their landscape structure (woody species composition) with soil water properties and availability of water in the respective downstream villages. The result shows that, sacred site with more primeval vegetation has close association with soil moisture in comparison to non-sacred site during dry spell of the year. The higher soil moisture ensures year long availability of water in the downstream village of the sacred site which facilitates farming of commercial crops with higher economic returns to the farmers, unlike the farmers in the other village where they face water crisis during the lean season. The study emphasizes the need for conservation endeavour on sacred groves highlighting its potential for water conservation at local and regional levels.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the INT SOC TROPICAL ECOLOGY, DEPT BOTANY BENERAS HINDU UNIV, VARANASI 221 005, INDIA
Keywords: Ecosystem service; native forest; sacred grove; water conservation; watershed
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2018 09:00
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52125

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