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Tree Diversity Changes over a Decade (2003-2013) in Four Inland Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest Sites on the Coromandel Coast of India
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Tree Diversity Changes over a Decade (2003-2013) in Four Inland Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest Sites on the Coromandel Coast of India
Pandian, Elumalai; Parthasarathy, Narayanaswamy;
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Forest tree diversity inventory and its periodical monitoring are important to understand changes in tree population structure and to provide information useful for biodiversity conservation and reserve management. In a long-term forest dynamics program in Indian tropical dry evergreen forest, this communication deals with tree diversity changes at decadal interval. The initial inventory of tree diversity was carried out in 2003, in four tropical dry evergreen forest sites - (much disturbed sites Shanmuganathapuram - SP and Araiyapatti - AP and moderately disturbed sites - Karisakkadu - KR and Maramadakki - MM) on the Coromandel Coast of peninsular India, by establishing four 1ha permanent plots, one in each site. In 2013, the four plots were re-inventoried for tree diversity () changes which yielded 56 species from 46 genera and 26 families. The studied forest sites are threatened by disturbance due to multiple reasons; cutting of trees inside of the forest, grazing by goats, construction of temple approach road, and some aspects cultural attachment of local people like constructing new, additional strctures of temple by denuding a portion of forest etc.. Tree species richness over a decade increased by four species in site SP, two species in site AP, and one species in site KR, but decreased by one species in site MM. Tree density decreased drastically by 480 (28.92%) and 102 (12.63%) stems respectively in sites SP and AP, but moderately increased by 82 (12.09%) stems in site KR and 26 (3.46%) stems in site MM. Tree basal area declined in site KR from to and in site SP from 21.1 to , but increased from to and from 15.5 to in sites AP and MM respectively. Three tree species (Allophylus serratus, Maytenus emarginata and Ehretia pubescens) were lost out of the 57 species recorded in 2003, and two species (Jatropha gossypiifolia and Streblus asper) were new additions in ten years. The long-term forest monitoring data will be valuable to understand forest dynamics and for conservation and management of this and similar tropical forests.
decadal change;permanent plot;re-census;tree species density;tropical dry evergreen forest;
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