Author(s): Mehta, V.K.; Sullivan, P.J.; Walter, M.T.; Krishnaswamy, L.; DeGloria, S.D
In: Ecohydrology 1:2,149-160
Type: Journal article
Link to SEI author(s):
Indian forests provide a multitude of services to vast populations. Common human activities including livestock grazing, fuelwood extraction and burning have the potential to impact forest ecosystem structure and function.
Ecosystem impacts of disturbance in a dry tropical forest in southern India
The effects of these activities on vegetation, ecology and soil properties were investigated in Bandipur National Park (BNP) in southern India. Data were collected from 200 sites in four watersheds within the park. Sample sites spanned a degradation gradient measured by a field disturbance index (FDI). This paper focuses on the impacts on vegetation structure, diversity and composition, and integrates impacts on soil.
Shrub and tree species were inventoried and evaluated in plots 10-m in diameter. Ordination analysis was used to integrate soil data with vegetation and disturbance, revealing that deciduous forest in the park is degrading to scrub forest along with negative impacts on soil characteristics. Consequences of services currently enjoyed by local populations are discussed.
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