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Floristic status of tropical deciduous forests in Odisha, Eastern India

Abstract

Floristic analyses of tropical deciduous forests were carried out in four randomly selected forest ranges (Palhara sub-division of Angul, Gandhamardan hills of Bargarh, Telkoi forests range of Keonjhar, and Similipal Biosphere Reserve of Mayurbhanj districts) of Odisha, Eastern India by laying 32 belt transects each of 0.10 ha size. A total of 65 plant species belonging to 56 genera and 32 families were recorded in the present study, of which Euphorbiaceae was the most dominant family with eight species (12.31%). Species diversity (Shannon–Wiener's Index) and concentration of dominance (Simpson’s Index) were 3.08 and 0.09 for trees, 2.72 and 0.12 for shrubs, and 2.83 and 0.08 for herbs, respectively. On the other hand, Margalef’s index of species richness (Dmg) was 8.08 for trees, 4.48 for shrubs, and 4.69 for herbs while, Menhinick’s index of species richness (Dmn) was 1.17 for trees, 0.23 for shrubs, and 1.17 for herbs in the studied forests of Eastern India. The total tree density was 1241 individuals per hectare, and Shorea robusta was the most dominant tree species that shared 40.12% of the total tree density. The total basal cover of the studied forests was quite low (18.93 m2 ha−1), and S. robusta contributed the most (33.54%). Most of the species (89%) were distributed contagiously, while 11% were distributed randomly in the studied forests. No regeneration of most documented tree species (47.83%) and the low family richness is a matter of concern that signifies the ongoing anthropogenic disturbances, including the collection of fuelwoods, timbers, and intentional fires. The eco-development process should be carried out to meet the local inhabitants' livelihood requirements residing in and around forests to reduce the ongoing pressure on the natural forests and also to maintain the species-rich forest ecosystems of Odisha, Eastern India. Besides, exploitation of natural resources poses the greatest threat to the survival of many valuable species and ecosystems, leading to the loss of important biodiversity. Therefore, there is an urgent need to conserve these important bioresources.

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All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article.

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Acknowledgements

The support and assistance provided by the Odisha State Forest Department, Bhubaneswar, and the local people involved during the field survey are highly acknowledged. Author PS also acknowledges the financial support in the form of an R&D project under UGC-BSR Research Start-up Grant (Ref. No. F.30-14/2014(BSR) dated 22nd July 2014).

Funding

Financially supported by the UGC-BSR grants.

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AN: participated in the field data collection, analyses, and interpretation, and drafted the manuscript; SC: participated in the field data collection, analyses, and interpretation, and also helped in manuscript preparation; PS: conceived the study, assisted in species identification and also contributed in finalizing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Purabi Saikia.

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Nag, A., Chatterjee, S. & Saikia, P. Floristic status of tropical deciduous forests in Odisha, Eastern India. Vegetos (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42535-021-00283-1

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Keywords

  • Phytosociology
  • Stratification
  • Regeneration
  • Species diversity