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Influence of Forest Fire on Floral Diversity of the Degraded Shola Forest Ecosystem

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Tree Breeding, Forest College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Mettupalayam - 641301, TN, INDIA
  • 2 Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Agricultural College and Research Institute, TN Agri. Uni., Coimbatore, TN, INDIA
  • 3 Dept. of Forest Ecology and Envi., Forest College & Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agri. Uni., Mettupalayam - 641301, Tamil Nadu, INDIA Renuka Forest Division, Himachal Pradesh, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 3, Issue (1), Pages 49-56, January,10 (2014)

Abstract

Forest Fire is an important component in the development and sustainability of many forest ecosystems. With regard to the environmental aspect, the fire is known to alter the soil physical, chemical and biological properties besides influencing the vegetation pattern. However, information available on the nature and magnitude of changes brought out by forest fire on vegetation under degraded shola forest ecosystem is scanty. Keeping these points in view, the present investigation was carried out in the degraded shola forest ecosystem of the Nilgiris Eastern Slope Range situated in the Nilgiris North Division, Tamil Nadu, India to evaluate the effect of fire on the plant diversity of the area at two different periods (immediately after fire and after the monsoon). The effect of forest fire on the vegetation composition was studied using quadrate method by simple random sampling. The results were analyzed for various vegetational parameters and diversity indices. The study showed that the fire had severely affected the tree components in the vegetation when compared to herbs and shrubs. The research results also revealed that regeneration of herbs and shrubs occurred in the burned area after monsoon. The vegetation was already a degraded shola, regular occurrence of the fire is seriously damaging the vegetational composition enabling the further degradation of the vegetation. A good management plan for fire management will help to regain the vegetation through retrogression.

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