Table of Contents
ISRN Ecology
Volume 2013, Article ID 890862, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/890862
Research Article

Species Diversity and Tree Regeneration Patterns in Tropical Forests of the Western Ghats, India

1Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, School of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
2Department of Forest Botany, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala 680653, India

Received 5 February 2013; Accepted 19 April 2013

Academic Editors: C. Jarnevich and T. Karels

Copyright © 2013 R. Jayakumar and K. K. N. Nair. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Study Aim. To assess species diversity and tree regeneration patterns of different vegetation types of Western Ghats, India. Rarefaction was used to estimate species diversity of different vegetation types. One-way ANOVA was used to test for differences in tree density and basal area of different vegetation types. Sorenson index of similarity was used to calculate change in species composition between mature trees and regenerating individuals. Results showed that species diversity and regeneration pattern of trees differ in different vegetation types of the forest landscape. Species-area and species-individual accumulation curve (rarefaction) against equal-sized sampling area in different vegetation types showed that species heterogeneity was higher in vegetation types at mid elevations while their abundance was higher in vegetation types at higher elevations. All the vegetation types of the study area were heterogeneously distributed. Tree regeneration was higher in species rich vegetation type with no sign of human disturbances. Change in species composition across mature and regenerating phase was more frequent in disturbed forest as compared to undisturbed or less disturbed forests. New entry species occur in all the vegetation types.