Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 492–500 | Cite as

Differences in tree species diversity and soil nutrient status in a tropical sacred forest ecosystem on Niyamgiri hill range, Eastern Ghats, India

  • Sudam Charan SahuEmail author
  • Nabin Kumar Dhal
  • Brij Lal
  • Rama Chandra Mohanty


We have quantitatively analyzed the tree species diversity with respect to soil nutrient status in three sites of a sacred forest ecosystem of Niyamgiri hill range, Eastern Ghats, India. Extensive field surveys and sampling were conducted in 3 sites of the hill range: Site 1 Pterocarpus dominated forest (PTF) (19°40′02.2″ N and 83°21′23.1″ E), Site 2 Mangifera dominated forest (MAF) (19°40′02.8″ N and 83°21′40.8″ E) and Site 3 Mixed forest (MIF) (19°36′47.1″ N and 83°21′02.7″ E). A total of 28 families, 42 genera, 46 tree species, and 286 individual trees were recorded on an area of 0.6 ha. Tree density varied between 470 and 490 individuals ha−1 and average basal area between 3.16 and 10.04 m2 ha−1. Shannon Index (H′) ranged from 2.34 to 4.53, Simpson’s Index ranged from 0.07 to 0.09, and equitability Index ranged from 0.7 to 1.34. The number of individuals was highest in the girth at breast height (GBH) class of 50–70 cm. The soil nutrient status of the three forest types was related to tree species diversity. The soil pH value of the three sites reflected the slightly acidic nature of the area. Species diversity was positively correlated with organic carbon and phosphorus and negatively with nitrogen, EC and pH. The results of the current study may be helpful to further develop a conservation plan for tree species in tropical sacred forest ecosystems.


Tree species diversity Sacred forest ecosystem Soil nutrient status Eastern Ghats 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudam Charan Sahu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nabin Kumar Dhal
    • 1
  • Brij Lal
    • 2
  • Rama Chandra Mohanty
    • 3
  1. 1.Environment and Sustainability DepartmentCSIR-IMMTBhubaneswarIndia
  2. 2.Biodiversity DivisionCSIR-IHBTPalampurIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUtkal UniversityBhubaneswarIndia

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