Vol. 2, Issue 6 (2017)
Effect of disturbance on the composition and diversity of Sal forests of north-eastern Uttar Pradesh
Author(s): Satish Kumar Rai, Ravindra P. Shukla, Sanjay Kumar Pandey
Abstract: The effect of disturbance was observed on the composition and species diversity of understory of the plantation forests of sal taking the least disturbed (LD), moderately disturbed (MD) and highly disturbed (HD) stands at three different sites within north-eastern Uttar Pradesh. The intensity of fuel-wood collection, the grazing and browsing by domestic animals was used to measure the disturbance levels. A total of 92 species belonging to 45 families were reported in moderately disturbed forest stands. 74 species belonging to 37 families in least disturbed forest stand and 68 species belonging to 35 families were recorded in highly disturbed forest stand. Papilionaceae was the most abundant family in both least and moderately disturbed stand whereas Poaceae at highly disturbed forest stand. The density of herbs and shrubs was also quite high within highly disturbed forest stand and vary significantly with moderately disturbed forest stand. In both sites annual and perennial herbs are dominated and distributed contagiously. The shrub layers were dominated by seedling and saplings of Shorea robusta and ramets of Clerodendron infortunatum. The common understory species, which are locally used as medicine, includes Curculigo orchioides, Elephantopus scaber and Holarrhaena antidysenterica. The value of diversity and evenness were relatively greater for moderately disturbed forest (H̅= 4.12, J = 0.90) as compared to highly disturbed (H̅= 3.19, J = 0.75) and least disturb (H̅ =3.57, J= 0.82) forest stands.