Vegetation diversity

FLORAL COMPOSITION

OF THE

RESERVE FORESTS

ON THE FRINGES OF

KAUNDINYA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, ANDHRA PRADESH.

By

Roopali Raghavan, Aparna G. Agnihotri, B.Krishnamurthy, Y. Chandrashekar and Sudha Premnath .

Kaigal Environment Education Programme (KEEP),

Krishnamurthy Foundation India (KFI), Baireddipalli Post, Totakanama, Kaigal 517415.

 

 

CONTENTS

S.No.

TITLE

Pg.No.

1

Introduction

1

2

Objectives of the Study

2

3

Definition of some commonly used terms

3

4

Study Area

4

4

Period of Study

7

5

Methodology

7

Vegetation plots

7

Method of laying plots

7

Enumeration within the plot

8

Regeneration plots

8

6

Analysis

9

7

Results

9

Tree and Shrub Density and Diversity

9

Seedling Density and Distribution

14

8

Discussion

15

10

Appendix 1

18

List of Figures

Fig. 1

Map of Study Area

5

Fig. 2

Orientation of plots

9

Fig. 3

Distribution of species across habitat types

11

Fig. 4

Distribution of trees and shrubs across plots

12

Fig. 5

Distribution of seedling species across habitat types

14

Fig. 6

Species Accumulation Curve

15

List of Plates

Plate 1

The two different Habitat types seen in the study area (a) Scrub Forest and (b) Riverine Habitat.

6

Plate 2

Process of laying 50 m x 50 m plots.

8

List of Tables

Table 1

List of species having low densities in the plots

11

Table 2

Densities of species in (a) Scrub Forest and (b) Riverine Habitat

13

 

AKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department, especially the Principle Chief Conservator of Forests, Hyderabad for granting permission to work in the reserve forests, and the Forest Range Officer, Palamner Range for being very forthcoming with all the help required during the course of this study.

But for the funding provided by the United Nations Development Programme under the UNDP – GEF SGP this project would not have been possible.

This study was successfully completed only due to the help provided by the local tribal communities in field. The villages we interacted with were Mugilurevu, Kalligutta and Namalavanka. The members of these villages were kind to share their immense knowledge of the forests with us. We would especially like to acknowledge Krishnappa, Ramappa and Somappa from Mugilurevu, Doraiswamy from Kalligutta and Ramappa from Namalavanka for their untiring, enthusiastic work in field.

We are thankful to Dr. Satish Inamdar for giving us the opportunity to conduct this study. Dr. Sudha Premnath and Mr. Santhosh Kumar for all the support, help and valuable suggestions that helped mould this study.

We would like thank ‘The Valley School’ for all the administrative and infrastructural support provided right through the course of the project, especially Mr. Jayaram who’s expertise around the computer room was invaluable. Mr. C. Premnath was ever willing to help us in all aspects both in field as well as back in Bangalore.

We are very thankful to Dr. Ravikumar and his team at the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore for their patient identification of our innumerable plant samples. Dr. Balakrishna Gowda and his lab, especially Mr. Srinivasalu and Dr. Haleshi, at the University of Agricultural Sciences (GKVK), Bangalore were also of great help in this end. Mr. Suresh and Dr. Harish at the Centre of Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore also helped in the initial identification of plants samples collected from field.

Ms. Vanitha for all her help while we stayed in Kaigal. All her pets provided valuable entertainment on many occasions.

This report was prepared under the Project titled ‘In-situ conservation of indigenous and rare species of plants to support the livelihood of communities in the fringes of Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Palamner, Andhra Pradesh’ funded by the UNDP -GEF/CCF Small Grants Programme – India.

FLORAL COMPOSITION OF THE RESERVE FORESTS ON THE FRINGES OF KAUNDINYA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, ANDHRA PRADESH.

Introduction

Reserve Forests in India play a very important role in our current conservation scenario. Invariably surrounding important protected areas, either in the form of national parks or sanctuaries, they serve as a buffer between these forested lands and their surroundings. Reserve forests are also of prime importance to local communities, especially to the tribal settlements that have from time immemorial been living off the forests and depending on them substantially for their livelihood. Although, having both social as well as conservation value, these areas are often forgotten when it comes to research, with the charismatic National Parks and Sanctuaries drawing all the attention.

The Eastern Ghats which runs discontinuously through the states of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu along the Eastern coast of Peninsular India, harbor a wide variety of vegetation types. With areas differing in annual rainfall, altitude, as well as other topographical features, the forest types range from tropical moist deciduous forests, tropical dry evergreen to sparsely vegetated thorn scrub forests. Although work has been done with respect to documenting and examining the vegetation of the Eastern Ghats, it is to be noted that majority of them concentrate on the Moist Deciduous or Dry Evergreen regions. Long term monitoring of ecological plots in Thorn Scrub forests in order to understand the system and help protect and conserve them is required. This project attempts take a step towards the realisation of that goal.

Conservation work in any non-protected forestland in our country can be made successful only with the involvement of the local communities. A locale such as the areas of our interest namely Totakanama, Peddanaikadurgam and Naikaneri Reserve Forests lies amidst a matrix of extensive non-forested land. They are surrounded on all sides by some sort of human presence and development either in the form of villages, small tribal settlements, roads or agricultural fields. Needless to say, human pressure on these forests is unavoidable. In fact there are also a handful of tribal communities that are dependent on these reserves for their livelihood. These people are legally permitted to extract certain non-timber forest produce in the form of fruits, leaves, resin, honey etc., that are marketed in order to earn them their living. We at the Kaigal Environmental Education Programme of the Krishnamurty Foundation India, over the last couple of years have been actively interacting with three such tribal communities. Information on species that are of economic importance to these people has been collected. Listing down the uses and understanding the value attached by these tribals to various species of herbs, shrubs and trees as well as documentation of local knowledge and to a certain extent the history of the forests has been done. An initial vegetation study has also been done earlier this year, which has put together an inventory for species and an extensive herbarium of trees, shrubs and herbs found in this region. This has served as the background to this study which in addition to determining the distribution and densities of various tree and shrub species found in this region was also looking at the same with special reference to the economically important species that are harvested by the local communities from the forest.

Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study are listed below:

  1. To document the flora of the region of interest.

  2. To determine the occurrence and distribution of different tree and shrub species in these forests.

  3. To estimate the densities of tree and shrub species so as to extract information on the presence or absence of plants that are of importance to local communities and wildlife.

  4. To use the results of this study to design afforestation projects in this region.

  5. To share the data and lessons learnt with the state forest department as well as local communities and to work in collaboration with them to undertake afforestation programmes.

Definition of some commonly used terminology

TREE: A tree as used in this study refers to woody plants that are more than1.5 m tall and have a girth of more than 30 cm at breast height.

SHRUB: A shrub refers to short and woody plants that by nature do not grow more than 1.5 m in height. They are known to start branching very close to the ground, often having a bushy appearance. These also include straggling climbers.

SCRUB FOREST: The habitat classified as Scrub Forests includes wooded areas within the study area that are found along the hill slopes and plateau tops of the hillocks. They are characterised by their vegetation which comprise of mostly shrub species with a few trees interspersed between them. This region is dry except during the rainfall season and harboured a wide range of thorn shrub species. The density of vegetation in this habitat type varies from densely populated scrub forests to very sparse and open areas.

RIVERINE FOREST: This habitat type represents the region that is found along either side of a river or stream. Areas along either bank about 20 to 30 m from the river bed are considered to fall under this habitat type. It is characterised by certain specific species of trees. The density of the vegetation found in this habitat type is relatively stable and does not vary too much.

SEEDLING RECRUITMENT: Seedling recruitment in this study refers to the density of seedlings and saplings found to occur in the forest, which are indicative of the degree of successful regeneration occurring naturally.

 

 

Study Area

The study area lies on what is designated as the Palamner plateau of the Eastern Ghats range. This area falls within the Chittor District of southern Andhra Pradesh. The closest town to the study area is Baireddipalli located at 13 05′ 27” N and 78 36′ 31” E.

This study was conducted in mainly three reserve forests that constitute part of, as well as adjoin the Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. The three reserves that were covered in this study are Totakanama Reserve Forest, Peddanaikadurgam Reserve Forest and part of Naikaneri Reserve Forest.

A total of about 50 sq. km. was covered in this study (See Fig.1. Map of study area). The road running from Baireddipalli in the east to Krishnapuram in the West formed the Northern boundary for the study area, with these two towns serving as the North-eastern and North-western corners respectively. As seen from the map, this 50 sq.km. area is inclusive of non-forested land. Sampling was performed strictly only in areas having forest cover and falling within the reserve forest boundaries. The landscape is scattered with small villages and settlements. The villages that fall within our study area include Kaigal, Gonmakanpalli, Thettu, Shyama, Nagireddipalli, Pathpeta, Kuppanpalli, Kadathatlapalli and Vengamarpalli to name a few. The tribal settlements that fall within the study area are those of Mugilurevu, Namalavanka and Kalligutta.

The Kaigal river which is a tributary to the Palar river runs in a north-west to south-east direction and divides our area of study into two, more or less, equal halves. The course of the Kaigal river runs through a valley with continuous ranges of hills lying on either side of the river. Numerous smaller streams and rivers, both perennial as well as seasonal, flow into the Kaigal River. Errapa Reddy Vanka, Shyama Vanka, Kadathatlapalli Vanka, Bhuden Seri Vanka are the major ones that crisscross the study area.

The area, as it falls within the Palamner plateau of the Eastern Ghats, has elevated regions that are relatively flat topped. The average altitude within the region is approximately 610 m above mean sea level (msl). The highest peak within the Study area is Kunchi Bunda located at the southern end of the study region at an elevation of 724 m above msl.

The terrain is also very rocky, with hills and plateaus having large continuous rock faces and huge boulders.

The vegetation within the region is mostly Thorn Scrub forest having species like Randia dumetorum, Toddalia asiatica, and Capparis spp. While some areas have Tropical Dry Evergreen type of vegetation characterised by species like Chloroxylon spp., Stereospermum spp., Dalbergia spp. and Diospyros spp. The areas along the rivers and streams hold typical riverine vegetation with very characteristic species like Treminalia arjuna, Syzygium cuminii, Pongamia pinnata and Ficus spp.

For the purpose of this study, the area was categorised into two independent habitat types. This was done due to the distinct difference in the vegetation found in these regions. These two classes are a) Scrub Forest and b) Riverine Habitat.

Plate 1: The two different Habitat types seen in the study area (a) Scrub Forest and (b) Riverine Habitat.

P

(a) Scrub Forest

eriod of Study

 

This study was conducted between September and October 2003. The entire fieldwork inclusive of the initial reconnaissance study during this period. This was followed up by indentification of species using the help of taxonomists between October and November 2003. The report was also complied during the same period.

Methodology

Vegetation plots

Vegetation plots were laid in order to estimate the distribution of trees as well as economically important shrubs within the study area. The same plots were used to obtain densities of these species in this region. 50 m x 50 m quadrats were used in this study. Quadrats were laid using a random start point in a predetermined region of choice. 15 such plots were scattered throughout the forested region of the study area. Since the study area was divided into two distinct categories, plots were laid in both these habitat types i.e. Scrub Forest as well as Riverine Habitat. The number of plots assigned to each of these habitat types was in proportion to the representation of these types within the study area. Since the area is predominantly constituted by the Scrub Forest type and the Riverine Habitat type occupying only a small portion of the study area, more number of plots were made in the former habitat type than the latter. Out of the total 15 plots that were done, 12 were located within the scrub forest type while 3 were located along riverine patches.

Method of laying plots

A compass and rope were used to ensure the accurate construction of a quadrat in the forest. The quadrat was laid in a predetermined location using a random start pointing. In the scrub forest plots, care was taken not to be biased by proximity to paths in the forest, presence of dense thorn undergrowth or topography i.e. steep inclines or presence of rock faces. In riverine areas the plot was positioned such that two sides of the plots run parallel to the two opposing banks of the river. This was done to ensure that the vegetation found within the plot is largely that of riverine type, since increasing distance from the bank can include the adjoining non- riverine vegetation within the plot.

Plate 2 a & b: Process of laying the 50 m x 50 m plots.

Enumeration within the plot

Once the quadrat was completed a total count for tree and shrub species found within the plot was done. While all tree species were enumerated only select shrubs were included. The selection of these shrub species was done prior to the start of collection of data. Only those shrub species that had been identified by local tribal communities to yield important sources of income to them in the form of non-timber produce were selected. Shrubs that were important sources of nectar for honeybees during their flowering season were also included in this list since honey also serves as a forest produce collected and sold by the tribal communities.

Regeneration plots

Nested within each of these larger (50 m x 50 m) quadrats, subplots were also laid. The size of these sub plots was 5 m x 5 m each. Two such plots were randomly located within each of the larger quadrats (Fig. 2). The purpose of these subplots was to look at seedling recruitment and natural regeneration of the forest. A total count of saplings was done in these plots. This provided information on the densities of young saplings in the area. This information is of prime importance in planning effective afforestation projects in the region.

Fig. 2: 50 m x 50 m quadrats that were used to enumerate trees and shrubs. Located within the quadrat are two 5 m x 5 m subplots that are randomly located and used to estimate regeneration in the region.

Analysis

The data collected through the 50 m x 50 m quadrats as well as that collected from the smaller 5 m x 5 m sub plots were used to calculate the density of different species.

Density of Species = Total Number of Individuals of that Species / Total area of all plots

This was done for all the plots in total as well as independently for Scrub Forest plots and Riverine Habitat plots. The densities of species in these two different classes were then compared.

Results

Tree and Shrub Density and Diversity

In the study a total of 55 tree species were found within the plots and about 53 species of shrubs were enumerated. The density of all the trees and shrubs that are found in the study area are listed in Appendix 1. The most common tree that was found within the reserves was Albizzia amara, a hardy tree that serves as the main source of fuel wood for the local population in addition to its numerous other uses. Other trees that also occurred in relatively high densities are Acacia prainiana, Chloroxylon switenia, Erythroxylon monogynum,

Fig 1: Map of the Study Area showing the boundary of the 50 sq.km. study area with a black line. The locations of each individual 50 m x 50 m sampling plot is indicated by the a red square.

Canthium dicoccum, Pongamia pinnata, Premna tomentosa, Gyrocarpus americanus, Acacia spp. and Azadirachta indica.

Similarly, Randia dumetorum the most common shrub found is also the most common species found in the area. This is a small shrub that dominated the landscape irrespective of the nature of the terrain. Other shrubs species found in high densities are Fluggea leucopyrus, Chomelia asiatica, Flacourtia indica, Rhus mysorensis, Zizyphus oenoplia, Ixora spp., Canthium parviflorum, Gmelina asiatica and Cassia auriculata.

It was interesting to look at densities of relatively rare plants as well. Table 1. provides the list of species found within the plots having low densities. Narangi crenulata, Cochlospermum religiosum, Diospyros ferrea, Decalepis hamintoni, Dalbergia latifolia, Caesalpinia bonduc, Alangium salvifolium, Sterculia urens, Zizyphus mauritiana, Dolichordrone artovirens, Diospyros embryopteris, Cocculus hirsutus and Gardenia gummifera are among the rare species found within the plots.

While comparing the plants found in the two different habitat types in our study it was found that although 49 species of plants were found to be common to both habitats, 49 species were found exclusively only in the Scrub Forest type and 15 species were found only along riverine regions and found to be completely absent in the Scrub Forest plots (Fig. 3). This indicated that certain species have adapted and become specialists requiring specific habitats for their survival. A few species that were found only in Riverine plots were Syzygium cuminii, Ficus spp., Pongamia pinnata, and Terminalia arjuna.

Table 1: List of species having low densities in the plots

SPECIES NAME

COMMON NAME

DENSITY ( / Ha.)

Un- identified species

Kalli Maanu

0.80

Morinda pubescense

Motu Manga Chettu

0.80

Ficus spp.

Saali Maanu

0.80

Gardenia gummifera

Aduvi Jam Chettu

0.80

Cocculus hirsutus

Dusara Teege

0.80

Acacia caesia

Karadi Seege

0.80

Asparagus racemosus

Neeru Gadda

0.80

Diospyros embryopteris

Erra Dima Maanu

0.80

Cansjera rheedi

Bendulu Teege

0.80

Dolichordrone artovirens

Vaddi Maanu

0.53

Sarcostemma acidica

Pullangi Teege

0.53

Cassia fistula

Raala Chettu

0.53

Zizyphus mauritiana

Reni Maanu

0.53

Un- identified species

Ulaga Sundara Teege

0.53

Sterculia urens

Erra Pollici Maanu

0.53

Gardenia latifolia

Bikki Maanu

0.53

Alangium salvifolium

Odhaga Maanu

0.53

Caesalpinia bonduc

Gasakai Chettu

0.53

Morinda tinctoria

Erra Wodhi Maanu

0.27

Un- identified species

Aduvi Vishwadhaavi

0.27

Dalbergia latifolia

Ibbileeki

0.27

Decalepis hamintoni

Maradi Gadda

0.27

Ficus virens

Konda Ragi Maanu

0.27

Diospyros spp.

Nalla Maanu

0.27

Un- identified species

Pedda Mela Chettu

0.27

Mayetenus emarginata

Tella Uppili

0.27

Un- identified species

Thella Wodhi Maanu

0.27

Cadaba fruticome

Saygutthi Aaku

0.27

Pergularia daemia

GitaVaaku

0.27

Tinospora cordifolia

Tippa Teege

0.27

Cryptologis spp.

Gorpal Teege

0.27

Curculigo spp.

Aduvi Thati Gadda

0.27

Diospyros ferrea

Ullingi Maanu

0.27

Annona squamosa

Seetha Palam Maanu

0.27

Cochlospermum religiosum

Aduvi Booraga Maanu

0.27

Viscum articulatus

Bajaneeki

0.27

Un- identified species

Kokinakiki

0.27

Narangi crenulata

Vai Kanna Maanu

0.27

Fig. 3 : The distribution of species found during this study across different habitat types

Looking at the sampled plots and the densities of plants irrespective of their species, it was interesting to note the distribution of trees and shrubs in different habitats (Fig. 4). Although the average number of individuals in the Scrub Forest and Riverine Habitat are strikingly similar (Scrub Forest plots averaging 926.33 Individuals / Hectare and Riverine Habitat plots averaging 926.67 Ind. / Ha.), it is clear that shrub density is higher in the Scrub Forests than in the Riverine region. Trees dominate the riverine plots. The density of trees found in Riverine regions is 690.67 trees / Ha., while Scrub Forest plots averaged only 424.67 trees / Ha. There is also a difference in the shrub density, with the Scrub Forest plots having a significantly higher density of 501.67 shrubs / Ha. compared to the 236 shrubs / Ha. found in riverine plots.

Fig. 4: Graphical representation of the distribution of trees and shrubs across the different plots. Plots having i.d. S 1 – 12 represent the 12 plots in the Scrub Forest and those labelled R 1 – 3 represent the three Riverine Habitat plots.

Tables 2 (a) and (b) give us the densities of the more frequently occurring tree and shrub species found in the Scrub Forest and Riverine Habitat plots separately. It is noteworthy that the species having highest density in each of these habitat types differ considerably from one another. There does seem to be an overlap of species between both habitat types. This is probably because these common species are generalists, in the sense that they are capable of adapting to a wide variety of habitat regimes. Hence they have wide-spread distribution across varying habitat types. It is important to see the difference in their densities in the two habitat types, with scrub forests having significantly higher densities for almost all species.

Table 2: Densities of the tree and shrub species occurring in (a) Scrub Forest Plots and (b) Riverine Plots.

(a)

Species Name

Common Name

Density (/ Ha.)

Randia dumetorum

Manga Chettu

116.00

Fluggea leucopyrus

Thella Pooli Chettu

72.80

Albizzia amara

Chigare Maanu

63.47

Chomelia asiatica

Kommi Chettu

36.27

Acacia prainiana

Merugu Seege

33.07

Chloroxylon switenia

Billi Maanu

32.27

Erythroxylon monogynum

Deodari

29.87

Canthium dicoccum

Nalla Bollisi

23.73

Flacourtia indica

Puli Yelaka Chettu

23.20

Premna tomentosa

Narava Maanu

22.93

Rhus mysorensis

Sundari Chettu

20.53

Zizyphus oenoplia

Parike Pada

18.67

Gyrocarpus americanus

Tanuku Maanu

17.87

Azadirachta indica

Vepa Maanu

14.13

Dichrostachys cinerea

Eduthili Maanu

10.40

Gmelina arborea

Aduvi Gummadi Chettu

10.40

Polyalthia cerasoides

Guthi Maanu

10.13

Wrightia tinctoria

Veppeli Maanu

9.87

(b)

Species Name

Common Name

DENSITY (/Ha)

Pongamia pinnata

Kaanaga Maanu

24.53

Acacia spp.

Seemannari Maanu

22.40

Polyalthia cerasoides

Guthi Maanu

8.00

Acacia prainiana

Merugu Seege

7.20

Dichrostachys cinerea

Eduthili Maanu

6.67

Fluggea leucopyrus

Thella Pooli Chettu

6.40

Chomelia asiatica

Kommi Chettu

6.40

Gyrocarpus americanus

Tanuku Maanu

5.60

Citrus spp.

Aduvi Nimma Chettu

5.60

Strychnos potatorum

Chilla Maanu

5.33

Canthium dicoccum

Nalla Bollisi

5.33

Syzygium cumini

Neradi Maanu

5.33

Combretum ovalifolium

Yaada Teege

5.07

Suregada lanceolata

Pesulu Chettu

5.07

Seedling density and distribution

In the 30 subplots that were laid to estimate seedling densities in the sampled area, a total of 73 species of saplings were found. Similar to the tree or shrub distribution a divide was seen in the distribution of plants across the different habitat types (Fig. 5). Scrub Forest regions harboured 52 species of seedlings and Riverine areas 41. Out of these, 20 species were common to both and the remaining 32 and 21 species are found exclusively only in Scrub Forest or Riverine Habitat plots respectively. Species such as Acacia praniana, Ixora spp., Chomelia asiatica, Carissa carandas, Jasminum spp. and Acacia spp. are found to occur in comparable frequencies in both regions. Seedlings of Chloroxylon switenia, Strychnos potatorum, Randia dumetorum, Flacourtia indica, Dichrostachys cinerea, and Strychnos nux-vomica although among the more common species found in Scrub Forest areas were completely absent from the seedling plots in riverine regions. Similarly seedlings of Combretum ovalifolium, Azadirachta indica, Terminalia arjuna, Pongamia pinnata that were found in high densities in riverine plots were absent from the plots laid in the scrub regions.

Fig. 5: Distribution of seedling species across the two different habitat types

Discussion

The results of this study gives us a broad idea on the presence / absence of tree and shrub species in the forest, in addition to giving us information about their densities and distribution. The area sampled totally was 3.75 Ha. Additional sampling will probably give us more rigorous data. The species accumulation curve (Fig. 6) does not indicate a clear flattening out although does definitely show a reduction in the rate of accumulation in the later plots. Hence, continuation of this study by sampling more within the study area is recommended and will definitely be followed up on.

Fig. 6: Species Accumulation Curve showing the change in the number of species with increasing area sampled.

The important finding of this study is that species like Cochlospermum religiosum, Decalepis hamintonii, Sterculia urens, Caesalpinia bonduc, and Strychnos nux-vomica which are major non-timber forest produce that are harvested and marketed by local communities in this region, are found in very low densities.Narangi crenulata, Diospyros ferrea, Dalbergia latifolia, Gardenia gummifera, Zizyphus mauritiana, Diospyros embryopteris, and Cocculus hirsutuswhich although not marketed in the region are very valuable to the local communities. These are used in local medicinal preparations, the fruits are edible and hence consumed as part of their diet, or used by them for miscellaneous purposes around their household. The densities of these as well were very low in the plots. The densities of species like Boswellia serrata, Pterocarpus santalinus, Terminalia chebula, Buchanania lanzan, Shorea thumbuggaia, Santalum album, Aegle marmelos to name a few, are abysmally low in these regions. They are so rare that, although present in the region, they are not even represented within the sample plots. It is important to note that many of these species are recognised to be highly endangered by the IUCN. Interviews with local people having knowledge of the study area and its history suggest that the densities of these currently rare species were higher. This indicates that there has been a steady decline in the population of these plants. The reason for this decline could be due to disregard and carelessness during the time of collection of produce from the plant hence damaging it. Another reason could be that a continuous history of extraction could have led to the decimation of numbers in the population or could even be due to natural reasons such as disease and damage by wildlife.

It is important to take immediate action in this regard. Afforestation projects should be carried out with special focus on these species. Although these species may not be considered rare or endangered while looking at their global or country-wide distribution, they are definitely locally endangered. Hence they require human intervention for the restoration of their numbers by planting them within the forests. It is customary while planning afforestation programmes to focus on fast growing and hardy species that do not require too much effort to be grown, hence restricting the programme to only a few more commonly grown tree species. In regions such as that of our interest, it is essential to break free of this notion. Importance should be given to the species that have been identified as rare in this study while planning afforestation work. These species should be planted in mixed groups so as to retain the natural structure of the forest and large scale monoculture should be avoided. The Forest Department as well as individual non-governmental organizations should work towards restoring these species that are valuable to all.

While planning afforestation projects, the data available from the seedling densities and regeneration should be used to plan effective programmes. These plots give us an idea of those habitats and conditions that are favourable for seedling survival and those that are not. Oral knowledge of the habitat types of these rare species shared by the local communities will also be of help in planning the location for afforestation. This is essential to ensure the success of afforestation projects.

This study aims to serve as a pilot study in this region. The outcome will form the foundation for similar studies of this kind as well as other studies concerning the protection, management and conservation of the forests in this region. Although the data collected in this study is restricted to the Totakanama, Peddanaikadurgam and Naikaneri Reserve Forests, it can be used as a baseline for the study of a larger landscape of reserves found in this region. Similar future studies can be planned in other reserve forests in this region which will enable us to make wise management decisions and take strong steps in ensuring the protection and conservation of these forests of the Eastern Ghats.

Appendix 1

This Table gives us the densities of all the trees and shrubs that were found within the plots during this study. The species have been arranged in decreasing order of their density, with the more commonly occurring species found on top and the rarer species found below. Although this list is extensive it is not exhaustive of all the species found in this region. A number of plants that are found in the region but occur in low densities are not represented in the plots.

S.NO.

SPECIES NAME

COMMON NAME

DENSITY (/Ha.)

1

Randia dumetorum

Manga Chettu

117.07

2

Fluggea leucopyrus

Thella Pooli Chettu

79.20

3

Albizzia amara

Chigare Maanu

67.73

4

Chomelia asiatica

Kommi Chettu

42.67

5

Acacia prainiana

Merugu Seege

40.27

6

Chloroxylon switenia

Billi Maanu

32.27

7

Erythroxylon monogynum

Deodari

31.20

8

Canthium dicoccum

Nalla Bollisi

29.07

9

Pongamia pinnata

Kaanaga Maanu

24.53

10

Flacourtia indica

Puli Yelaka Chettu

24.27

11

Premna tomentosa

Narava Maanu

23.73

12

Gyrocarpus americanus

Tanuku Maanu

23.47

13

Acacia spp.

Seemannari Maanu

22.67

14

Rhus mysorensis

Sundari Chettu

21.07

15

Zizyphus oenoplia

Parike Pada

20.80

16

Azadirachta indica

Vepa Maanu

18.40

17

Polyalthia cerasoides

Guthi Maanu

18.13

18

Dichrostachys cinerea

Eduthili Maanu

17.07

19

Lepisanthes tetraphylla

Mabbu Gotti Maanu

13.06

20

Wrightia tinctoria

Veppeli Maanu

12.27

21

Ixora spp.

Avu Goruvi

11.73

22

Strychnos potatorum

Chilla Maanu

11.47

23

Canthium parviflorum

Gaara Chettu

10.40

24

Gmelina asiatica

Aduvi Gummadi Chettu

10.40

25

Diospyros microcarpa

Pedda Ulingi

9.87

26

Capparis sepiaria

Nalla Uppili

9.87

27

Dalbergia paniculata

Pachare Maanu

8.27

28

Cassia auriculata

Thengedi Chettu

8.27

29

Combretum ovalifolium

Yaada Teege

7.20

30

Solanum indicum

Sundaikai

7.20

31

Sapindus emarginatus

Koogiti Maanu

6.93

32

Dioscorea pentaphylla

Ganusu gadda teege

6.93

33

Jasminum spp.

Aduvi Malli Teege

6.67

34

Tamarindus indica

Chinta Maanu

6.67

35

Grewia bracteata

Gerige Chettu

6.67

36

Acacia sundra

Sundara Maanu

6.40

37

Citrus spp.

Aduvi Nimma Chettu

5.87

38

Diospyros Montana

Gotta Gotta Maanu

5.60

39

Syzygium cumini

Neradi Maanu

5.33

40

Un- identified species

Nela Thengedi

5.33

41

Suregada lanceolata

Pesulu Chettu

5.07

S.NO

SPECIES NAME

COMMON NAME

DENSITY (/Ha.)

42

Diospyros sepiaria

Beera Maanu

4.80

43

Gloriosa superb

Gowramma Gadde

4.53

44

Terminalia arjuna

Maddhi Maanu

4.53

45

Diospyros spp.

Paaku Maanu

4.27

46

Commiphora caudate

Nethi Maamadi Maanu

3.47

47

Jatropha curcas

Erra Amudham

3.47

48

Ficus spp.

Joogi Maanu

3.20

49

Butea monosperma

Moduga Maanu

3.20

50

Gymnema sylvestre

Padapathri Teege

2.93

51

Ventilago madraspatana

Sorala Teege

2.93

52

Carissa carandas

Kalimi Chettu

2.40

53

Bauhinia retusa

Aari Maanu

2.13

54

Cordia monoica

Nunna Gerige

2.13

55

Secamone emetic

Paalu Teege

2.13

56

Strychnos nux-vomica

Mushti Maanu

2.13

57

Scutia myrtina

Gorati Chettu

1.87

58

Cassia Montana

Pagadu Thengedi

1.87

59

Vitex altissima

Nemmilladi Maanu

1.60

60

Cardiospermum halicacabum

Buddakakara

1.60

61

Celastrus paniculata

Ganga Teege

1.60

62

Cissus vibjinea

Dagapendra Gadda Teege

1.33

63

Santalum album

Srigandham Maanu

1.33

64

Abrus precatorius

Gulganji Teege

1.33

65

Holoptelea integrifolia

Tabbassi Maanu

1.33

66

Acacia suma

Teel Bobili Maanu

1.33

67

Toddalia asiatica

Merupugandra Teege

1.33

68

Kleinia grandiflora

Kokanaleka Chettu

1.07

69

Capparis zeylanica

Thottal Teege

1.07

70

Albizzia lebbeck

Bagi Maanu

1.07

71

Un- identified species

Kalli Maanu

0.80

72

Morinda pubescence

Motu Manga Chettu

0.80

73

Ficus spp.

Saali Maanu

0.80

74

Gardenia gummifera

Aduvi Jam Chettu

0.80

75

Cocculus hirsutus

Dusara Teege

0.80

76

Acacia spp.

Karadi Seege

0.80

77

Asparagus racemosus

Neeru Gadda

0.80

78

Diospyros embryopteris

Erra Dima Maanu

0.80

79

Cansjera rheedi

Bendulu Teege

0.80

80

Dolichandrone artovirens

Vaddi Maanu

0.53

81

Sarcostemma acidum

Pullangi Teege

0.53

82

Cassia fistula

Raala Chettu

0.53

83

Zizyphus mauritiana

Reni Maanu

0.53

84

Un- identified species

Ulaga Sundara Teege

0.53

85

Sterculia urens

Erra Pollici Maanu

0.53

86

Gardenia latifolia

Bikki Maanu

0.53

87

Alangium salvifolium

Odhaga Maanu

0.53

88

Caesalpinia bonduc

Gasakai Chettu

0.53

89

Morinda tinctoria

Erra Wodhi Maanu

0.27

90

Un- identified species

Aduvi Vishwadhaavi

0.27

91

Dalbergia latifolia

Ibbileeki

0.27

92

Decalepis hamiltonii

Maradi Gadda

0.27

93

Ficus virens

Konda Ragi Maanu

0.27

S.NO.

SPECIES NAME

COMMON NAME

DENSITY (/Ha.)

94

Diospyros spp.

Nalla Maanu

0.27

95

Un- identified species

Pedda Mela Chettu

0.27

96

Mayetenus emarginata

Tella Uppili

0.27

97

Un- identified species

Thella Wodhi Maanu

0.27

98

Cadaba fruticome

Saygutthi Aaku

0.27

99

Pergularia daemia

GitaVaaku

0.27

100

Tinospora cordifolia

Teppa Teege

0.27

101

Cryptologis spp.

Gorpal Teege

0.27

102

Curculigo spp.

Aduvi Thati Gadda

0.27

103

Diospyros ferrea

Ullingi Maanu

0.27

104

Anona squamosa

Seetha Palam Maanu

0.27

105

Cochlospermum religiosum

Aduvi Booraga Maanu

0.27

106

Viscum articulatum

Bajaneeki

0.27

107

Un- identified species

Kokinakiki

0.27

108

Narangi crenulata

Vai Kanna Maanu

0.27

REFERENCES

  1. Flora of the Presidency of Madras- Volumes I, II and III, 1997, By J.S.Gamble, Published by: Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun, India.

  1. A Text Book of Systemic Botany, 6th Edition, By R.N. Sutaria, Published by: Khadayata Book Depot, Ahmedabad, India.

  1. Field Guide to the Common Trees of India, 2nd Edition, 1988, By P.V.Bole and Yogini Vaghani Published by: World Wide Fund for nature – India, Oxford university Press, Bombay, India.

  1. Dictionary of Economic Plants in India, 2nd Edition, 1983, By Umrao Singh, A.M.Wadhwani and B.M.Johri, Published by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India.

  1. Survey of India Toposheet Number 57 K/12, Scale 1:50,000, 1st Edition,1981, Printed by Survey of India, New Delhi, India.