Table of Contents
Journal of Ecosystems
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 845142, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/845142
Research Article

Trends in Tree Diversity and Stand Structure during Restoration: A Case Study in Fragmented Moist Deciduous Forest Ecosystems of Northeast India

1Plant Taxonomy and Biodiversity Laboratory, Department of Botany, Tripura University, Suryamaninagar, Tripura 799022, India
2Ecosystem Research Laboratory, Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, School of Life Science, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya 793022, India

Received 19 December 2013; Accepted 29 May 2014; Published 14 July 2014

Academic Editor: Francisco Arreguin-Sánchez

Copyright © 2014 Koushik Majumdar et al. 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

Ecological implications for the conservation of fragmented forests to managed local plant diversity have recently drawn much attention of most conservationists. Present study investigates the importance of fragmented forests using different quantitative measures of species diversity and stand structure as indicators of natural restoration from past disturbances. Eleven independent 500 m × 10 m belt transects (5.5 ha) were established within fragmented low land moist deciduous forests of Tripura. All woody plants ≥10 cm girth at breast height (GBH) were measured. A total of 7,134 individuals with mean density of 648.55 stems ha−1 and 16.36 m2 ha−1 of basal area were recorded, which represented 134 species, 93 genera, and 43 families of woody plants. Diversity-dominance curve showed that maximum number of species were ranked >10 due to low abundance value. Maximum distributions of stems (>50%) were recorded at lowest girth class (10–30 cm) as an indication of advanced regeneration and significantly declined towards upper girth ( ; ) and height ( ; ) classes, which also indicated that some plants were adopted with ongoing disturbances through both seeded and nonseeded regeneration. Species richness ( ; ), dominance ( ; ), and density ( ; ) were significantly increased at different disturbance intensities. Disturbances strongly influenced typical community association and structure by increasing diversity and population at certain magnitude and thereby showed declining trend towards maturation. Fragmented moist deciduous forests seek immediate attention as they represent spatial habitat for many economical or ecological important species, thus sustaining local biodiversity for livelihoods.