Logs and snags in a shola forest of Kerala, India
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In a tropical wet montane evergreen forest in the southern peninsular India, the estimated stocking of dead wood is 90 ± 3 stems·ha−1 and the total dead wood volume is 70.7 m3·ha−1. When the logs (downed dead trees more than 10.1 cm in diameter) constitute about 80% of the total deadwood stocking and volume, the rest is by snags (sound and rotting standing dead trees). Since the shola forest trees are characterized by their short stature with low to medium girth, about 89% of the total number of deadwood is of the size ranging from 10.1 cm to 40.0 cm in diameter. The estimated standing dead wood/standing live tree ratio is 0.16 indicating that the forest represents an old stand. Variations observed between logs and snags to change from a given decay class to the higher decay classes in two year period could be attributed to the facts that the logs would be in contact with soil for a relatively longer time and in turn would be in more contact with microorganisms and other decomposing agents.
Key wordsDead wood, log, snag, montane forest shola forest Western Ghats of India
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