Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 25, Issue 3 2019; Page No.(1347-1353)

TREES AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES ACROSS FOREST AND AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE ALONG THE RIPARIAN ZONE OF RIVER CAUVERY, KARNATAKA, INDIA

N. Deepthi, C. Sunil and B. C. Nagaraja

Abstract

Ecosystem services (ES) are the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being. Tree species provide various ES such as timber, food, fuelwood, nitrogen fixation, cultural, control soil erosion and others. In riverine systems, riparian zones are interfaces between land and water systems. River Cauvery is an important lifeline to south India with huge populations depending upon it for irrigation, domestic and hydropower generation. It is associated with two types of landscapes, forest and agricultural land. The riparian zones support 177 trees species belonging to 53 families. A total of 13 ES was assessed for the dominant tree species in the two landscapes and medicinal (83%) and timber (78%) were found to be the highly available ES. Among the species, maximum services was rendered by Syzygium cumini (85%) followed by Pongamia pinnata (69%). The riparian zones are under anthropogenic pressure particularly agricultural land expansion. However, studies on riparian zones in India are limited. Thus, assessing ES of the riparian zone is very important which will influence policy makers to develop policies/guidelines for conservation and better management of the river basin.

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