, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 171-181

Vegetation survey of the Wasgomuwa National Park: reconnaissance

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Abstract

Wasgomuwa National Park is situated south of Polonnaruwa and north of Mahiyangana in Sri Lanka and is bordered by two rivers Mahaweli Ganga and Amban Ganga. Bioclimatically most of the park lies in the dry zone of the country but the south west embraces the intermediate zone. The vegetation is broadly a dry monsoonal forest but forms an interesting mosaic of vegetation types from Semi evergreen forest to abandoned paddy fields, on a finer scale.

The vegetation of the park was studied in detail on ground and also using aerial photographs. It was possible to classify the vegetation into many distinct types or phytosociological units, based on their cover, site characteristics, physiognomy and species composition.

  1. Forests

  2. Tall riparian forests

  3. Semi-Evergreen forests

  4. Hill forests

  5. Forest of rock outcrops

  6. High stature Monsoon forests

  7. Degraded forests

  8. Seral scrubland

  1. Grasslands

  2. Iluk (Imperata cylindrica) grasslands

  3. Ischemum and Eragrostis grasslands

  1. Abandoned cultivated lands

  2. Low lying fields with remnant Manilkara and Bauhinia

  3. Highland chenas, overgrown with Phyllanthus scrub

The different types of vegetation are described. The origin and the development of the different phytosociological units are the viewed through anthropogenic, historic and environmental factors.