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Vegetation structure and composition of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests in Uttara Kannada District, Western Ghats under different disturbance regimes

Murthy, Indu K and Bhat, Savithri and Sathyanarayan, Vani and Patgar, Sridhar and Beerappa, M and Bhat, PR and Bhat, DM and Ravindranath, NH and Khalid, MA and Prashant, M and Iyer, Sudha and Bebber, Daniel M and Saxena, Raghuvansh (2015) Vegetation structure and composition of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests in Uttara Kannada District, Western Ghats under different disturbance regimes. In: TROPICAL ECOLOGY, 57 (1). pp. 77-88.

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Abstract

In the present paper, we present the structure and composition of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests in the Western Ghats monitored under a long-term programme involving Indian Institute of Science, Earthwatch and volunteer investigators from HSBC. Currently, there is limited evidence on the status and dynamics of tropical forests in the context of human disturbance and climate change. Observations made in this study show that the `more disturbed' evergreen and one of the deciduous plots have low species diversity compared to the less-disturbed forests. There are also variations in the size class structure in the more and `less disturbed' forests of all the locations. The variation is particularly noticeable in the DBH size class 10 - 15 cm category. When biomass stock estimates are considered, there was no significant difference between evergreen and deciduous forests. The difference in biomass stocks between `less disturbed' and `more disturbed' forests within a forest type is also low. Thus, the biomass and carbon stock has not been impacted despite the dependence of communities on the forests. Periodic and long-term monitoring of the status and dynamics of the forests is necessary in the context of potential increased human pressure and climate change. There is, therefore, a need to inform the communities of the impact of extraction and its effect on regeneration so as to motivate them to adopt what may be termed as ``adaptive resource management'', so as to sustain the flow of forest products.

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: Disturbed forests; species diversity; size class distribution; regeneration; biomass
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2015 04:47
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2015 04:47
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52748

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