Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Supplement Issue, Dec. 2014; Page No.(49-55)


A.J. Williams and Rashmi Agrawal


Degraded ecosystem causes an adverse ecological impact by the depletion of flora as well as faunal population, by the loss of fertile soil, by encouraging erosion of inert soil. Since the original vegetation is completely stripped off, the abandoned sites witness natural vegetational succession at a much slower rate than areas where soil layers stay in the natural sequence of their formation with a scope of secondary succession. With increasing ecological awareness, reclamation of degraded lands in our country has gained importance and some of the agencies have come forward with reclamation projects. In most cases, tree plantation is emphasized for reclamation of degraded areas and of course, success has been achieved. However, the most important task in reclamation is to improve the ecosystem as a whole. Rehabilitation of degraded land requires a fundamental understanding of ecosystem structure and function including the process of primary as well as secondary succession. With this context, the present investigation was undertaken to study the stages of natural revegetation of degraded land in Dabena, district Bilaspur (C.G.). Natural revegetation in degraded land at different land situations (low, mid and up land) in Dabena, district Bilaspur (C.G.) was studied. Degraded soils were analyzed for their physico-chemical characteristics and nutrient status. Adjacent degraded natural sal forest was also studied to have a comparative idea about the status of succession stages and soil parameters. Coarse particles (>2 mm) decreased with the land situation of degraded site while the finer fractions increased. Available N, P and K and exchangeable Ca and Mg increased with land situation of site. Plant community composition changed and species diversity increased in different land situation. In low and mid land sites some pioneering non-leguminous and leguminous species of herbs and grasses (Aristida adcensionis, Blumea lacera, Eragrostis ciliata, E. uniloides, Tridax procumbens and Argimone mexicana) and shrubs (Hyptis suaveolens, Cassia tora, Calotropis procera, Solanum nigrum, Corchorus aestuans) were identified as natural succession. For successful ecological restoration of degraded lands, it may be recommended to broadcast the seeds of such herbs and shrubs instead of going through plantation of tree species at the initial stage.

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