PLANT DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY ATTRIBUTES OF WOODY PLANTS IN TWO CLIMAX SUBTROPICAL HUMID FORESTS OF MEGHALAYA, NORTHEAST INDIA
Applied Ecology and Environmental Research
Mishra -Jeeva: Plant diversity and community attributes of woody plants in two climax subtropical humid forests of Meghalaya -417 -APPLIED ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH 10(4): 417-436. Abstract. The present study was conducted in two sacred forests, representing subtropical humid forest of the state of Meghalaya, India. Measurement of canopy cover, light interception and disturbance index revealed that these two sacred forests are comparable with respect to plant diversity and community
... ty and community attributes. The disturbance index was slightly higher in Mairang sacred forests, which had supported high species richness, better recruitment of seedlings leading to high regeneration potential. This was due to formation of gaps within forest. On other hand, gaps facilitated expansion of crown of trees, which inhibited growth and survival of saplings, the retarded growth of saplings had resulted in low conversion of saplings to trees. This condition could also be a reason for high basal area and low tree density in Mairang sacred forest. Endemic, rare and rare endemics were also reported from both the forests. Altitude had impacted composition, and dominance of species and families. Both the forests were highly dissimilar with respect to species composition. Contagious distribution was prevalent in both the forests, clumping is a characteristic feature of natural forest in tropical and subtropical region. Wide-girth structure and log-normal dominance-distribution curves justify complexity and stability of communities that lead to climax vegetation.