Structure, composition and diversity of trees within the dry evergreen reserve forest of Kondapalli (Eastern Ghats, southern India)

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Abstract

The dry evergreen forest of Kondapalli (Andhra Pradesh state, India) is declared as a forest reserve, but, despite of this, it is subjected to degradation resulting in loss of biodiversity. Thus, the current study was carried out to investigate the tree diversity of Kondapalli forest. A total of 566 ±16 trees (≥10 cm) representing 46±8 species from 40 genera and 21 families were recorded from the 0.36 ha area of Kondapalli forest. Mimosaceae was the most species rich family, while Rutaceae was the most abundant family. Atalantia monophylla was most frequent and abundant species and, with respect to basal area, Melia azedarach and Syzygium cumini were the dominant taxa. The recorded stem density was 1572 stems ha−1 and the mean forest basal area was 47.17 m2 ha−1. The results of cluster analysis revealed that Atalantia monophylla, characterised by a high ecological amplitude, had a wide distribution and was associated with species forming different communities. The study showed that Kondapalli forest is characterised by a fairly high species richness, which provides the baseline data on the floristic structure and diversity of this forest for better management and conservation.

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