Biodiversity conservation in sacred groves of Manipur, northeast India: population structure and regeneration status of woody species

  • Ashalata Devi Khumbongmayum
  • M. L. Khan
  • R. S. Tripathi
Part of the Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation book series (TOBC, volume 3)


Sacred groves are forest patches conserved by the local people intertwined with their socio-cultural and religious practice. These groves harbour rich biodiversity and play a significant role in the conservation of biodiversity. Population structure and regeneration status of woody species were studied during 2001–2002 in the four sacred groves of Manipur, a state in north east India. A total of 96 woody species was recorded from the four groves, the highest being Konthoujam Lairembi sacred grove (55 species) and lowest in Heingang Marjing sacred grove having 42 species. The density-diameter distribution of woody species in the four groves showed highest stand density and species richness in the lowest girth class (30–60 cm) and decreased in the succeeding girth classes. Overall population structure of the groves based on the number of tree seedlings, saplings and adults, displayed a greater proportion of seedlings followed by saplings and adults while for the selected tree species it varied seasonally and recruitment of species increased during rainy season attaining peak during June. Regeneration status of the four sacred groves based on strength of different age groups in their population showed good regeneration. High occurrence of ‘additional species’ to the groves may be due to the invasion through dispersal from other areas. Possibly, the prevailing favourable microenvironmental conditions contributed to their establishment and growth in the groves. Absence of seedlings and saplings of some of the species in the groves may be due to their poor seed germination and establishment of seedlings in the forest.

Key words

Population structure Regeneration status Sacred groves Tree diversity 


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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashalata Devi Khumbongmayum
    • 1
  • M. L. Khan
    • 1
  • R. S. Tripathi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ForestryNorth Eastern Regional Institute of Science & TechnologyArunachal PradeshIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyNorth-Eastern Hill UniversityShillong, MeghalayaIndia

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