Phytosociological observations on tree species diversity of an urban tropical dry deciduous forest of central India
Keywords:Biodiversity indices, Basal area, Importance value index, tropical forests, vegetation dynamics, tree diversity, Conservation
We analyzed phytosociological characteristics of a tropical dry deciduous forest located in an urban environment of Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) Campus in the capital city of Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh state, Central India. A Comparison has been made among the tree community characteristics during the years 1988, 2002 and 2020 in terms of tree species composition, stem density, basal area and Importance Value Index (IVI). At the time of establishment of the institute in 1988, the forest area resembleda degraded dry scrubland. Due to continuous care/protection, plantation activities, degraded forest recovered remarkably, ecological processes evolved favorably with canopy cover reaching over 60% in some patches and about 50% in general over most part of the campus. During last two decades, tree density increased from 319 to 525 stem ha-1 indicating an increase of 64% whereas basal area increased from 18470.79 cm2 ha-1 to 29782.31 cm2 ha-1,an increase of about 61%. Leguminaceae family represented 26.4% of the tree community followed by Combretaceae (11.76%). Shannon-Weiner index (1.31), Simpson index (0.93) and evenness index (0.85) are within the reported ranges for similar forest type of dry deciduous nature in India. Theresults of the presentstudy will help forest managers in conservation planning of urban tropical forest ecosystem of central India.
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