, Volume 75, Issue 1-2, pp 3-16

The structure and phenology of a moist deciduous forest in the Central Indian Highlands

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The vegetation structure and phenology of a 74.5 ha block of moist deeiduous forest in Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India were investigated during primatological fieldwork. Within a grid of 0.25 ha quadrats all 9935 trees (woody plants > 2 m tall), of 63 species, were enumerated and their girth measured. The forest was dominated by the dipterocarp sal (Shorea robusta). Most species were rare and showed clumped distributions within the ‘sea’ of sal whilst the dispersion of five large canopy trees could not be distinguished from random.

The phenology of 215 trees, of 61 species, was monitored over 14 months using an index of phytophase abundance. Leaf renewal was highly synchronous between and within species, mostly occurring between February and June. One species was evergreen, 5 were semi-evergreen and 55 were deciduous. Flowering generally occurred between leaf fall and flush whilst fruiting peaked late in the hot weather and early monsoon.