SPECIES DIVERSITY IN FOUR CONTRASTING SITES IN A SEMIURBAN AREA OF BUNDELKHAND REGION (U.P.) A DRY TROPICSNeel Ratan and U.N. Singh
The semi-urban areas of Bundelkhand region is witnessing rapid ecological alteration due to human activities that make them highly dynamic. In the present study, plant species diversity and aboveground biomass (AGB) were investigated at four contrasting semi-urban sites namely Industrial Land (IL), grazing land, Jamuna river bank and agricultural land in a dry tropical region of Bundelkhand (U.P.) India. The species occurrences at each site were recorded at monthly intervals. Species IVI and AGB were estimated for each site seasonally. A total of 100 plant species, predominately annuals, belonging to 27 angiospermic families were recorded from these sites. Total species count at each site was highest in rainy season and lowest in summer season, where as the reverse trend observed was β-diversity. Among the sites, grazing land and Jamuna river bank showed greater diversity than IL and agricultural land. -diversity was highest at Jamuna river bank and much lower at agricultural land and IL sites. The herbaceous vegetation showed a mosaic pattern which was more pronounced in dry months than in wet months. Species dominance altered with sites and seasons with increasing tendency of exotic species like Parthenium hysterophorus. Soils of study sites were heterogeneous with lower moisture, organic carbon and C:N ratio at IL compared to other sites. The AGB at these sites (330 to 960 g m-2) showed wide spatial and temporal variations. In conclusion, the drier months after rains, soil organic C and disturbance regimes greatly influence the species composition and diversity in these semi-urban dry tropical habitats of Bundelkhand (U.P.)
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