Journal of Forestry Research

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 735–748 | Cite as

Biophysical quantification of biodiversity and ecosystems services of forest ecosystems in the Western Ghats: a case study of Uttara Kannada District, India

  • Priya P. Joshi
  • Indu K. Murthy
  • Gurunath T. Hegde
  • Vani Sathyanarayan
  • Savithri Bhat
  • Vishal Patil
  • Tashina Esteves
  • N. H. Ravindranath
Original Paper


Biodiversity and ecosystem services play key roles in future economic strategies seeking to promote development and prosperity. This study assesses the status of biodiversity and flow of ecosystem services from selected forest types in the Western Ghats. At the sampling sites, the number of tree species ranged from 16 to 79 per hectare depending on the forest type. The estimates for Shannon–Wiener index for trees in the evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forest plots were 3.02, 2.9 and 1.54, respectively. The total biomass carbon stocks in evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests in the study area was 229, 221 and 189 t C/ha, respectively. Analysis of dependency patterns of local communities on forest resources indicated a high dependency on provisional services such as fuelwood, manure and fodder. The study records the highest dependency rates for fuelwood, ranging between 72 and 100% for the three forest types and indicates that forest ecosystems underpin the well-being of the population dependent directly and indirectly on them.


Biodiversity assessment Ecosystem services Western Ghats 



The authors would like to acknowledge The TEEB India initiative of MoEFCC under which the current study was conducted for the ‘The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Western Ghats Forest Ecosystems, India’ pilot project. The contribution by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for coordinating the project is appreciated. The hard work of the research and field scientists at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science is valued. Acknowledgement is also due to Pondicherry University.


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Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priya P. Joshi
    • 1
  • Indu K. Murthy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gurunath T. Hegde
    • 1
  • Vani Sathyanarayan
    • 1
  • Savithri Bhat
    • 1
  • Vishal Patil
    • 1
  • Tashina Esteves
    • 1
  • N. H. Ravindranath
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable TechnologiesIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencePondicherry UniversityKalapetIndia

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