Species diversity and composition analysis in different forest types of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand, India
Vegetation classification for any area involves analysis of trees, shrubs and ground cover. These strata are the primary features to characterize the vegetation. Species density and diversity depends on several topographic and climatic variations. Patterns of species density, richness and diversity of different vegetation types were analyzed in Bijrani, Serpdulli and Dhikala ranges of Corbett national Park, Uttarakhand, India from 24th March to 4th April, 2008. The aim of the study was to determine the vegetation composition in all three forest types of Corbett National park along with estimating respective diversity and richness values of major plant species. A total of 50 circular plots of 10 m radius each were randomly laid down in Teak Plantation, Mixed Forest and Sal Forest respectively covering a total area of 15700 m2 in each habitat. Similarly, 50 circular plots of 5 m radius and 50 circular plots of 1m radius were sampled from the same vantage points for estimating shrub and grass cover. Shannon Weiner index (H’) and Margelef‘s index (R1) were used for calculating species diversity and species richness respectively. Important value index was calculated for the tree species to find out the dominant species in the sampled habitat types. The observed mean tree density (350.32 ±2.12/ha) in teak plantation was found to be highest followed by sal (256.05±8.11/ha) and mixed forest (218.48±3.14/ha). However, mean shrub density was recorded to be highest in mixed forest (487±23.2/ha). Regeneration rate of the trees could not be estimated due to managed forest fire performed during that time. It is recommended to conduct a long term study in the forest of Corbett national Park to better understand the species diversity and effect of increased disturbance on it (if any) in that region.
Keywords: Density; dominance; importance value index; species richness; vegetation
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