Tree Species Diversity and Population Structure in the Tropical Forests of North Central Eastern Ghats, India
The tree species diversity and population structure were studied in four stands of the tropical forests in the north-central Eastern Ghats, based on tree inventories conducted on four 1-ha plots. In the four independent plots, two 5 x 1000 m transects were established and all trees with ≥ 15 cm girth at breast height were enumerated. The density, frequency, basal area and IVI along with diversity indices viz. Shannon index, species richness, equitability and species dominance were computed to see the variation in tree community. A total of 92 species representing 73 genera under 40 families of angiosperms were recorded. Tree species richness was as low as 34 species per hectare plot in Geddapalli to as high as 48 species in Koruturu. Tree density ranged from 360 stems per hectare in plot Geddapalli to 526 stems in plot Chintapalli and that of total basal area from 16.31 m2 ha-1 in Koruturu to 31.15 m2 ha-1 in Chintapalli. The number of species and stems decreased from the smaller to the largest girth classes. The tree inventories of the study area when compared to those of the other tropical forests showed great differences in density and basal area. This may probably be due to differences in geography and annual rainfall patterns. The information on tree species structure and function can provide baseline information for conservation of the biodiversity.
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