Diversity and Composition of Woody Vegetation in a Riparian Forest of Western Ghats, Southern India

P. Manikandan, P. Balasubramanian


The present study assessed the woody vegetation diversity and composition of the riparian forest of Athikadavu Valley, Western Ghats, India. Woody vegetation along the narrow strip of vegetation on river banks was quantified by using belt transect method. A total of 1039 individuals belonging to 34 families, 60 genera and 70 species were enumerated. Family Moraceae with eight species constituted the most predominant family followed by Fabaceae and Ebenaceae.  Most dominant tree species based on Importance Value Index (IVI) included Pongamia pinnata (53.52%), Terminalia arjuna (42.90%) and Mangifera indica (38.31%). Shannon-Weiner diversity index of plant diversity of the study site worked out to be 2.96. A comparison of vegetation parameters of riparian forests from other parts of India was made. The need for enhanced protection of this unique habitat is suggested.


Tree Species Diversity; Athikadavu Valley; Bhavani River; Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve


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