Diversity and carbon stock assessment of trees and lianas in tropical dry evergreen forest on the Coromandel Coast of India
P. Vivek and N. Parthasarathy*
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Abstract: The diversity and carbon stock of all woody plants were investigated in ten tropical dry evergreen forest (TDEF) sites on the Coromandel Coast of India. All trees ≥ 10 cm girth at breast height and all lianas ≥ 1 cm diameter, measured at 1.3 m from the rooting point were enumerated. A total of 81 tree species (26.3±6.7 species ha-1) and 52 liana species (23.4±5.7 species ha-1) that belonged respectively to 34 and 28 families were inventoried from the ten study sites. The abundance of woody plants in the ten study sites totaled 18705 individuals (9466 trees and 9239 lianas) and the average tree density was 946.6±298.9 stems ha-1 and liana density was 923.9±403.3 stems ha-1. Trees contributed 61 % and 51 % respectively to the total woody species richness and abundance. The basal area of trees in the ten study sites ranged from 8.23 m2 ha-1 to 29.48 m2 ha-1 and that of lianas ranged from 0.2 m2 ha-1 to 1.76 m2 ha-1. The aboveground biomass (AGB) of trees totaled 3025.8 Mg and ranged from 96.9 Mg ha-1 to 576.4 Mg ha-1 across the ten sites. The liana aboveground biomass ranged from 2.24 Mg ha-1 to 42.13 Mg ha-1 and totaled 153.76 Mg in the ten sites. The woody plants in the present study sites stocked 1978.24 Mg Carbon and it ranged from 62.2 Mg C ha-1 to 365.4 Mg C ha-1. Trees accounted for a maximum share of 95 % and lianas contributed just 5 % to the total woody-plant carbon stock in the study sites. The extent of woody species diversity and estimated carbon stock of the TDEF sites, underlines the need for biological conservation of this unique forest type which are fast vanishing due to anthropogenic pressure.
Fig.: Map showing ten tropical dry evergreen forest sites distributed in Cuddalore, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam districts on the Coromandel Coast of India.