Changes in Tree Diversity and Stand Structure of Two Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests on the Coromandel Coast of Peninsular India Over a Decade (2001−2011)

smita Baithalu, Munisamy Anabarashan, Narayanaswamy Parthasarathy

Abstract


Tropical dry evergreen forests have restricted geographical distribution and are subjected to extensive human disturbance. Hence, their long-term monitoring will be useful to support management decisions for maintaining forest biodiversity and functional ecology. We recensused all trees 10 cm gbh in two 1-ha permanent plots established in 2001, at two tropical dry evergreen forest sites (much disturbed Arasadikuppam- AK and less disturbed Oorani- OR) on the Coromandel Coast of peninsular India, that varied in their species composition, forest stature and disturbance regime. Over a decade out of 45 species, nine species from nine genera and three families were lost. The 2011 recensus recorded 39 species from 36 genera and 22 families. Stem density and species richness declined by 52% and 23% in site AK and by 29% and 3% in site OR respectively. Tree basal area declined by 17.6% in AK, but increased by 17.6% in site OR. Five species were newly recruited and six species were lost in site OR, whereas site AK lost seven species with no new addition. The data generated would provide an insight into forest composition changes with time and human interference, useful for forest management and biodiversity conservation.

Keywords


Long-term Monitoring; Anthropogenic Disturbance; Forest Structure; Species Richness

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