INDIGENOUS CONSERVATION AND PLANT DIVERSITY ANALYSES OF ARAYA KARUPPAR SACRED GROVE, PUDUKKOTTAI DISTRICT, TAMILNADU, INDIADhanasekar S. and B. Muthukumar
Biodiversity is variability among living organisms from all sources. Today biological diversity is diminishing due to natural disasters, global warming and anthropogenic disturbances. Huge forest areas reduced to small patches due to increase of human population in and near forest areas. Even though our ancient people followed traditionally to conserve biodiversity as sacred groves. It is an indigenous method of conservation followed in India and throughout the world. The present study was carried out in Araya Karruppar sacred grove present in Nartharmalai of Pudukkottai District Tamilnadu, India and is located within latitude N100 29â 00â and longitude E 780 45â00â and altitude in between 300 â 325 feet. A 0.1 ha area was randomly marked into (10 Ã 10m) workable quadrats. Within each quadrat all the individuals of trees, shrubs lianas, stragglers and climbers girth 10cm gbh (girth at breast height) were measured. Three 1 quadrats also studied randomly within each 10 Ã 10m quadrats for herbs and are documented.In the present study area, flora comprises tree species (11) belonging to genera (10) distributed among families (8), shrub species (13) belonging to genera (12) distributed among families (6) and herb species (29) belonging to genera (26) distributed among families (19) of Angiosperms. The Shannon â Weaver index (Hâ) of the study area ranged 2.02 for tree species, 2.47 for shrub species and 3.30 for herb species lies between the ranges reported for Indian Forest. The evenness index (E) of herb species 2.26 followed by shrub species 2.22 and tree species 1.94.The rarity weighted richness index (RWRI) of Albizia amara showed 60% and all other species showed above 80 percent.