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Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 1753–1773 | Cite as

Tree diversity and population structure in undisturbed and human-impacted stands of tropical wet evergreen forest in Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalayas, India

  • Putul Bhuyan
  • M.L. Khan
  • R.S. Tripathi
Article

Abstract

Tree species richness, tree density, basal area, population structure and distribution pattern were investigated in undisturbed, mildly disturbed, moderately disturbed and highly disturbed stands of tropical wet evergreen forests of Arunachal Pradesh. The forest stands were selected based on the disturbance index (the basal area of the cut trees measured at ground level expressed as a fraction of the total basal area of all trees including felled ones): (i) undisturbed stand (0% disturbance index), (ii) mildly disturbed (20% disturbance index), (iii) moderately disturbed (40% disturbance index), and (iv) highly disturbed stand (70% disturbance index). Tree species richness varied along the disturbance gradient in different stands. The mildly disturbed stand showed the highest species richness (54 of 51 genera). Species richness was lowest (16 of 16 genera) in the highly disturbed stand. In the undisturbed stand, 47 species of 42 genera were recorded while in the moderately disturbed stand 42 species of 36 genera were found. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index for tree species ranged from 0.7 to 2.02 in all the stands. The highest tree diversity was recorded in the undisturbed stand and the lowest in the highly disturbed stand. The stands differed with respect to the tree species composition at the family and generic level. Fagaceae, Dipterocarpaceae and Clusiaceae dominated over other families and contributed 53% in the undisturbed, 51% in the mildly disturbed, 42% in the moderately disturbed and 49% in the highly disturbed forest stands to the total density of the respective stand. Stand density was highest (5452 stems ha−1) in the undisturbed stand, followed by the mildly disturbed stand (5014), intermediate (3656) in the moderately disturbed stand and lowest (338) in the highly disturbed stand. Dominance, calculated as the importance value index of different species, varied greatly across the stands. The highest stand density and species richness were represented in the medium girth class (51–110 cm) in all the stands. In the undisturbed stand, the highest density was found in the 111–140 cm girth class, while in the mildly disturbed stand the 51–80 cm girth range recorded the highest density. About 55, 68 and 52% species were found to be regenerating in the undisturbed, mildly disturbed and moderately disturbed stands, respectively. No regeneration was recorded in the highly disturbed stand. Variation in species richness, distribution pattern and regeneration potential is related to human interference and the need for forest conservation is emphasized.

Arunachal Pradesh Conservation Disturbance Regeneration Tree diversity Wet tropical forest 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Putul Bhuyan
  • M.L. Khan
  • R.S. Tripathi

There are no affiliations available

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