Floristic analysis and dominance pattern of sal (Shorea robusta) forests in Ranchi, Jharkhand, eastern India

  • Rahul Kumar
  • Purabi Saikia
Original Paper


The present study describes the floristic composition and dominance pattern of sal forests in Ranchi, Jharkhand, eastern India. Vegetation was studied in 47 belt transects (50 × 100 m) that had 137 plant species (110 identified and 27 unidentified) belonging to 51 families. The family Fabaceae with 17 species (8 spp. belonging to subfamily Faboideae, 6 spp. to Caesalpinioideae and 3 spp. to Mimosoidieae) contributed the most to diversity, followed by Rubiaceae (8 spp.) and Euphorbiaceae (6 spp.). Tree density in sal was inversely related to species richness. Total tree density (≥ 10 cm GBH) in the studied forests was 397 individuals ha−1, with a basal cover of 262.50 m2 ha−1. Important plants of conservation concern are Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb, Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Wall, Sterculiaurens Roxb., Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers, and Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop. Phanerophytes had the highest percentage (71%, with percentage deviation from normal life form of + 25) followed by therophyte (15%, with percentage deviation + 2). Observed percentage deviation from normal life form was much lower (with + 2 percentage deviation) in both chamaephytes (8%) and therophytes (15%), suggesting that the studied sal forests are favorable for supporting various plants species. The forest management strategies should focus on the increasing demands for different timber and non-timber forest products to conserve the plant diversity of these natural forests.


Sal forests Species richness Life form Jharkhand 



The authors sincerely thank the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) for financial assistance for the project “Status, Distribution and Composition of Sal Forests of Ranchi, Jharkhand, Eastern India in relation to Microclimatic as well as Edaphic Conditions” (Ref. No. YSS/2015/000479 dated 12 January 2016). The help and support received from the State Forest Department, Ranchi and local people involved in the survey and sampling are duly acknowledged.

Authors’ contribution

RK participated in data collection, analysis and interpretation and also drafted the manuscript. PS conceived the study, participated in its design, coordinated during data collection and finalized the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesCentral University of JharkhandRanchiIndia

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