Vegetational Structure, Diversity and Fuel Load in Fire Affected Areas of Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests in Chhattisgarh
Jhariya M K, Bargali S S1,,*, Swamy S L, Kittur B
Department of Forestry, College of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur (C.G.) 492006
1Department of Botany, DSB Campus, Kumaon University, Nainital-263001 (Uttarakhand)
*Corresponding author email: email@example.com
Forest fires are shaping forest vegetation and landscape in many parts of India and cause great loss to the forest ecosystem, diversity of flora and fauna and economic wealth. The study was conducted to analyze the structure and diversity of vegetation in different fire regimes and to assess the fuel load in tropical dry deciduous forest. Delineation and identification of fire prone areas were done on the basis of historical ground fire data in conjunction with satellite remote sensing data provided by NRSA. The composition, structure and diversity of different forest fire zones was conducted by stratified random sampling to measure trees, saplings, seedlings, shrubs, herbs and litter. The regeneration pattern of the different forest fire zones was prepared by graphical population structures. The fuel load for each fire zones was estimated. The duffs litter and wood litter of all fire zones were weighed separately. Along the fire gradients the tree species exhibited highest density of seedlings in low fire zone. The highest density of saplings and trees were present in non-fire zone whereas shrubs and herbs layer showed the highest density in medium fire zone. In this study we found that non-fire zone contained more species as compared to burnt areas. The diversity pattern showed that the medium fire zone showed maximum diversity followed by non-fire zone, whereas low fire zone had minimum Shannon index. The regeneration pattern of tree species in all the fire zones and non-fire zone generally showed five general patterns. In the high fire zone the seedlings were much affected which will result discontinuation of conversion into saplings with the progress of time and ultimately the gap in the regeneration status.