ASSESSMENT OF PLANT DIVERSITY IN RESPONSE TO FOREST DEGRADATION IN A TROPICAL DRY DECIDUOUS FOREST OF EASTERN GHATS IN ORISSA
Keywords:Forest degradation, biodiversity, species composition, importance value index
A comparison has been made between a relatively undisturbed dry deciduous forest and two degraded forests in the Badrama Reserve Forest of Bamra Division in Orissa in terms of dominant tree-species associations, number of species, tree density, basal area, FVI and FVI values, undergrowth, liana and ground (herbaceous) flora. The dominant tree species association in the undisturbed natural forest was Shorea-Terminalia-Pterocarpus which changed to Shorea-Cleistanthus-Terminalia and Soymida-Semecarpus-Buchanania in the disturbed forests. Diversity indices of tree, shrub and liana were maximum in the undisturbed natural forest and disturbance led to the decline in the diversity of these life forms. Disturbance in the natural forest led to the
development of savannah with shrubby bushes and perennial grass species.