In this study, the impact of anthropogenic disturbances on vegetation, soil characteristics, biomass and carbon stock was studied in tropical mixed deciduous forests of Tripura, North-east India. The forests stands were selected based on the presumed disturbance index and categorized in three distinct categories viz. Least Disturbed Forests (LDF), Moderately Disturbed Forests (MDF) and Highly Disturbed Forests (HDF). The study revealed that species diversity is much higher in LDF followed by MDF and HDF sites. Few species like Anogeissus accuminata, Lannea coromandelica, Schima wallichii, and Syzygium cumini are common in all the three categories of forests. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index ranged from 1.32 to 2.51 in all the stands. The phytosociological parameters varied along the disturbance gradient in different stands. The maximum tree density was 198.57 trees ha−1 in LDF, 176.67 trees ha−1 in MDF and least in HDF (111.67 trees ha−1). Soil Organic Carbon (SOC %) recorded maximum in LDF (1.41–1.67%) and minimum in HDF (0.91–1.36%). Tree biomass showed a significant relation with soil organic carbon stock (r = 0.998, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the present study suggests the need for quantification of forest disturbance and biomass which will improve carbon budget estimates and lead to better parameterization of forest carbon cycle models.
Financial assistance to carry out this research was received from Department of Science & Technology, Government of India (GOI), New Delhi (Grant no. DST/IS-STAC/CO2-SR-230/14 (G)-AICP-AFOLU-VII).