Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1335–1344 | Cite as

Tree population changes in a tropical dry evergreen forest of south India over a decade (1992–2002)



Changes in species composition and density of trees >10 cm gbh in a tropical dry evergreen forest in Puthupet, south India are interpreted for the period between 1992 and 2002. A 1-ha plot was inventoried in 1992 and was recensused in 2002. During the 10-year interval tree taxa diversity as well as stand density increased, but the basal area value decreased. Tree species richness increased by 21% (from 24 to 29 species) by an addition of eight species and local extinction of three species. The tree density increased just by eight individuals (from 1330 stems ha−1 in 1992 to 1338 ha−1 in 2002), but the basal area decreased by 8% (from 37.5 to 34.5 m2 ha−1). Many species (11 numbers) have increased in abundance rather than decreased. Many surviving species seem to have considerable stability in abundance at the local scale. The density of smaller stems (10 29 cm gbh) increased by 15.3%, while that of the larger trees decreased drastically (81.6%). Ninety percent of the missing stems were from the middlestorey of the forest. Tree density changes among the three ecological guilds revealed a decrease in stem density and an increase in basal area in the lowerstorey; while the middlestorey exhibited a reverse trend. Family-wise, tree density changes revealed that the majority of families (67%) showed an increase in stem density. Long-term studies on tree population changes are essential to estimate tree mortality and recruitment rates, which will provide a greater insight in tropical forest dynamics.


Biodiversity monitoring Ecological guilds Forest dynamics Permanent plot Tree density 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental SciencesPondicherry UniversityPondicherryIndia

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