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Tropical Ecology

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 337–349 | Cite as

Effect of disturbance on population structure, regeneration and conservation of Moghania chappar in sal forests of Gorakhpur, India

  • Sanjay Kumar PandeyEmail author
  • Ravindra. P. Shukla
Research Article
  • 18 Downloads

Abstract

Non-seed regeneration is essentially a vagrant strategy of woody plants causing assemblage of homozygous populations in disturbed forests. We tried to understand how such hardy species like Moghania chappar produce close groups of individuals at different level of disturbance. The hypothesis of trade-off between ramet proliferation and disturbance level, and between growth pattern and resource conservation was tested. The three 1-ha sample plots of sal forest, facing low, moderate or high level of disturbance were observed within Sohagibarwa Wildlife Sanctuary. A total of 40 quadrats per 1-ha plot were sampled to record the age structure of genet and ramet populations of M. chappar. The architecture and foraging of the root-stock was mapped, the biomass of root and shoot was measured and the soil conserved by the root-complex was estimated at each disturbance level. The growth characteristics suggest that M. chappar conforms to Stone’s model of tree architecture. At moderate disturbance, the root-shoot junction sent many more sprouts, garnered much biomass and became flat and curved. The insurrection of ramets caused fragmentation of the root-complex. This clonal growth strategy, however, was neither clearly ‘phalanx’ nor ‘guerrilla’ type. It resulted in intermittent shallow cavities within fragmented root-stock that got filled with soil rich in organic matter. The growth strategy of the species showed potential to restore the soil system and to conserve the diversity of minor biota. In moderately disturbed sal forest, the understorey paved way to prolific non-seed regeneration of this fugitive mid-successional species. At moderate heat stress, the number of individuals as well as the proportion of seedlings per population was highest. The species rapidly increased the understorey foliage by producing a metapopulation of usable sprouts/ramets that facilitated retention of soil and nutrients within their root traps. The total extractible shoot biomass per plant was quite large as a ~ 6 year old individual weighed 473.5 ± 27.4 g. This study of clonal plant ecology may provide new impetus to the conservation of degraded forest ecosystems.

Keywords

Disturbance Genet/ramet population M. chappar Regeneration strategy Root-complex Sal forest Soil conservation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the Head, Department of Botany for providing laboratory facilities and forest officers of Gorakhpur Forest Division for their active cooperation in the field. We also thankful to Dr. Satish Kumar Rai for assisting in field observation. We express our gratitude to two anonymous referees for their critical comments and guidelines to improve the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Tropical Ecology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyD. A. V. PG CollegeGorakhpurIndia
  2. 2.Plant Ecology Laboratory, Department of BotanyDDU Gorakhpur UniversityGorakhpurIndia

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