2018, VOLUME 5 ISSUE 3Pages: 315-330
Habitat characterization and plant community classification of Surajpur Reserve Forest: a potential bird sanctuary in National Capital Region, India
Nasim Ahmad Ansari
Wildlife Institute of India, Post Box # 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun-248001, Uttarakhand, India
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Surajpur Reserve Forest is a prominent forested wetland site in the National Capital Region, India, known for its rich floral and faunal biodiversity. The present study was conducted to assess the habitat characteristics, vegetation composition and plant community classification from March 2010 to February 2013. Stratified random sampling techniques applied for sampling of vegetation in circular and quadrat plots and TWINSPAN analysis was used in PC-ORD Software for classification of plant communities. A total of 257 vascular plants belonging to 214 genera and 65 families were recorded, including a comprehensive herbarium of 267 plant specimens have been recorded from 3 major habitats (woodland, grassland and wetland) and 9 microhabitats. A maximum of 157 plants in woodland, 73 plants in grassland and 65 plants in wetland habitat were recorded. Flowering and fruiting plants recorded maximum in monsoon followed by summers and winters. Various life-forms include 144 herbs, 39 trees, 31 grasses, 20 climbers, 12 shrubs and 11 sedges. A total of 51% plant species as abundant and 14% plant species as rare have been recorded. Woodland habitat recorded maximum density and diversity of herbs and shrubs. Five dominant plant communities have been identified in terrestrial and 3 in wetland habitat. The results indicate that Surajpur wetland supports a mosaic of habitat which enables the conservation and protection of threatened flora and fauna in an urban environment. The conservation implications are discussed in light of the results hitherto unreported.