Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.14, Issue 2-3, 2008; Page No.(269-276)

IMPACT OF PROTECTION ON DEGRADED FORESTS OF ORISSA BY VILLAGE SURAKSHA SAMITIS (VSS)

Avinash Jain and S.K. Banerjee

Abstract

Vegetation composition (trees, shrubs and herbs), important value index (IVI), diversity index (H) and the concentration of dominance (CD) in protected forests and adjoining non-protected lands at three different sites (Chandlidungri, Ainlapada and Gurupalli) of Orissa state were studied. Diospyros melanoxylon, Tectona grandis, Terminaha tontentosa, Shore(' rohusta, Hollarrhena antidysenterica and Buchnania lanzan were found dominant in the forests protected by Village Suraksha Samitis (VSS). In the adjoining non-protected lands Diospyros melanoxylon, Hyptis suaveolens, Madhuca in duo, Lagerstroenna parviflora, Hollarrhena an tidysenterica, Anogeissus latifolia and Buchanania lanzan were found as the most common species. The number of species and diversity index significantly increased in the protected forests while concentration of dominance decreased due to the protection. Organic carbon, available N, P St: K, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable cations including calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium were found significantly higher in the soil samples collected from the protected forests in comparison to adjoining open lands, which could be due to less biotic interference and addition of litter from plant species. Involvement of local people in the management of forests helped in the improvement of biodiversity, soil quality and socio-economic upliftment of forest dwellers.

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