, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 245–248 | Cite as

Canopy dieback in the upper montane rain forests of Sri Lanka

  • Werner Wolfgang L. 


In 1978 a patch of dying upper montane rain forest had been observed on the slope of Thotupolakanda above Horton Plains. Patches in the upper montane rain forests of Sri Lanka were also recorded in 1980/81. All these sites were on windswept western slopes and ridges with stunted tree growth and shallow soil. From 1971 to 1983 Sri Lanka experienced some exceptionally dry years. The severe droughts of 1976 might have cause or “triggered” that dieback. After heavy rains between 1983 and 1986, these forests showed signs of recovery. Some trees had survived and sprouted again. Tree saplings were found, but regeneration was very low and further impeded by serious frost in February 1986. The influence of drought and frost clearly indicates the vulnerability of the stunted upper montane rain forest in the highest and wind-exposed regions of Sri Lanka.


Forest Patch Shallow Soil Dwarf Bamboo Tree Sapling Montane Rain Forest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Domrös, M.: Frost in Ceylon. Arch. Met. Geoph. Biokl., Ser. B. 18, 43–52 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Domrös, M.: The Agroclimate of Ceylon. Geoecological Res., 2, Steiner, Wiesbaden 1974.Google Scholar
  3. Mel, I. D. T. de: Comparison of rainfall over Ceylon during the two 30 year periods (1911 to 1940 and 1931 to 1960) Tropical Agriculturist 127, 1, 1–10 (1971)Google Scholar
  4. Mueller-Dombois, D.: Ecogeographic analysis of a climate map of Ceylon with particular reference to vegetation Ceylon Forester 8, 3+4, 1–20 (1968)Google Scholar
  5. Mueller-Dombois, D.: Perspectives for an etiology of stand-level dieback. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 17, 221–243 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Perera, W. R. H.: Thotupolakanda — an environmental disaster? Sri Lanka Forester 13, 3+4, 53–55 (1978)Google Scholar
  7. Steenis, C. G. G. J. van: Frost in the tropics Proc. Symp. Recent Advances in Trop. Ecol., Varanasi, p. 1, 341–342 (1968)Google Scholar
  8. Werner, W. L.: Die Höhen- und Nebelwälder auf der Insel Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Trop. u. suptrop. Pflanzenwelt 46. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1984.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Wolfgang L. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. of GeographyUniversität Heidelberg, South-Asia InstituteHeidelbergGermany

Personalised recommendations