Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2008, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 73-79.doi: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2008.01.008

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EFFECTS OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES ON STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF WOODY SPECIES OF THE NOKREK BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF MEGHALAYA, NORTHEAST INDIA

Tripathi OP1; Pandey HN2; Tripathi RS2   

  1. 1Department of Forestry, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology, Deemed University, Nirjuli-791 109, Arunachal Pradesh, India; 2 Department of Botany, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793 022, India
  • Online:2008-01-30 Published:2008-01-30
  • Contact: Tripathi OP

Abstract:

Aims Our study was conducted in the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (NBR) in the Garo hills districts of Meghalaya, Northeast India. Our aim was to assess the effects of human activities on plant diversity, population structure and regeneration. 
Methods We selected a representative 1.2 hm2 stand in both the core and buffer zones of NBR. Structure and composition were determined by randomly sampling square quadrats, population structure was assessed by determining age structure, and regeneration was assessed by measuring densities of seedling, sapling and adult trees.
Important findings More woody species were recorded from the core zone than the buffer zone (87 vs.81 species), and there were a large number of tropical, temperate, and Sino-Himalayan, Burma-Malaysian and Malayan elements, primitive families and primitive genera. The trees were distributed in three distinct strata, canopy, subcanopy and sapling. Subcanopy and sapling layers had the highest species richness (81%-88%). Lauraceae and Euphorbiaceae were the dominant families in terms of the number of species, and a large number of families were represented by single species. Most woody species (57%-79%) were contagiously distributed and had low frequency (<20%). Although stand density was high in the buffer zone, its basal area was low compared to the stand in the core zone. Low similarity and high β-diversity indicate marked differences in species composition of the stands. Shannon diversity index was high in both the stands, while Simpson dominance index was low. The diameter-class distribution for dominant species revealed that the most had a large number of young individuals in their populations. Preponderance of tree seedlings, followed by a steep decline in population density of saplings and adult trees, indicated that the seedling to sapling stage was the most critical in the life cycle of the tree populations. Most species (42%-48%) had no regeneration, 25%-35% had good/fair regeneration, and the rest had poor regeneration or reoccurred as immigrants.

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