MONITORING PLANT DIVERSITY OF PALANI HILLS (WESTERN GHATS) SOUTHERN INDIAG. Selvarar and K. Muthuchelian
The phytosociological studies were attempted in Palani hills in southern 'Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India.To assess the species composition, tree population and to investigate the level of disturbances in five selected regions. The regions include shola forest (study Site 1), undisturbed area (study Site II), monoculture plantation (study Site III), disturbed area (study Site IV) and tourist inflow area (study Site IV).All the five sites receive about the same rainfall within 10 km radius and these sites form a continuous stretch of tropical forests ranging from 1,900 m to 2,150 m altitude. Diversity index, dominance index, species richness and eveness index revealed a progressive reduction in diversity with increasing disturbance. A total of 66 plant species (28 trees, 19 shrubs and 19 herbs) were inventoried. A total of 48 families (20 families from trees, I 5 families from shrubs, 13 families from herbs) were observed.
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