Phenology, growth and survival of Vatica lanceaefolia Bl.: A critically endangered tree species in a moist tropical forest of Northeast, India
Mrigakhi Borah and Ashalata Devi*
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Abstract: An attempt has been made to unravel the major phenophases, seedling survival and growth of Vatica lanceaefolia, a critically endangered tree species in two different micro sites of Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam. The study was carried out for a period of 24 months to investigate various phenophases with respect to seasonal variations of the year and, to understand the growth and survival of the seedlings in two micro sites (gap and understory) in relation with the prevailing meteorological parameters of the study area. Leaf flushing was observed twice in a year in the month of December and May, while flowering and fruiting occurs during pre-monsoon season (April and May). The seedlings showed better survival in gap (66.6%) compared to the understory (46.6%) and relative growth rates of the seedlings in terms of height and collar diameter varied significantly across the months and also between the micro environmental conditions of the two micro sites (P<0.05). Wet monsoon season favoured the survival and growth of seedlings. Relative humidity (P<0.05), average temperature (P<0.05) and rainfall (P<0.05) of the study area exhibited positive correlation with the growth of V. lanceaefolia seedlings in both the micro sites. This is the pioneer study on this species which will be helpful for developing proper conservation strategies and will serve as a baseline for further research on this species to improve the status, distribution and multiplication of the species.
Fig.: Figure 2. Vatica lanceaefolia Bl.: A, Adult Tree; B, Seedling; C, Flowers; D, Germinated seeds on the forest floor.