Forest Structure, Composition and Above Ground Biomass of Tree Community in Tropical Dry Forests of Eastern Ghats, India
The study of biomass, structure and composition of tropical forests implies also the investigation of forest productivity, protection of biodiversity and removal of CO2 from the atmosphere via C-stocks. The hereby study aimed at understanding the forest structure, composition and above ground biomass (AGB) of tropical dry deciduous forests of Eastern Ghats, India, where as a total of 128 sample plots (20 x 20 meters) were laid. The study showed the presence of 71 tree species belonging to 57 genera and 30 families. Dominant tree species was Shorea robusta with an importance value index (IVI) of 40.72, while Combretaceae had the highest family importance value (FIV) of 39.01. Mean stand density was 479 trees ha-1 and a basal area of 15.20 m2 ha-1. Shannon’s diversity index was 2.01 ± 0.22 and Simpson’s index was 0.85 ± 0.03. About 54% individuals were in the size between 10 and 20 cm DBH, indicating growing forests. Mean above ground biomass value was 98.87 ± 68.8 Mg ha-1. Some of the dominant species that contributed to above ground biomass were Shorea robusta (17.2%), Madhuca indica (7.9%), Mangifera indica (6.9%), Terminalia alata (6.9%) and Diospyros melanoxylon (4.4%), warranting extra efforts for their conservation. The results suggested that C-stocks of tropical dry forests can be enhanced by in-situ conserving the high C-density species and also by selecting these species for afforestation and stand improvement programs. Correlations were computed to understand the relationship between above ground biomass, diversity indices, density and basal area, which may be helpful for implementation of REDD+ (reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) scheme.
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