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Liana Diversity and Their Ecosystem Services in Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest on the Coromandel Coast of India

  • N. ParthasarathyEmail author
  • P. Vivek
  • K. Anil
Chapter
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 5)

Abstract

Lianas constitute one of the most important components and play a vital role in structural and functional aspects of tropical forests. Few studies have reported the ecosystem services offered by lianas. This chapter presents the research conducted in eighteen tropical dry evergreen forest (TDEF) sites on the Coromandel Coast of India to investigate various ecosystem services rendered by the liana life-form. Lianas in the studied sites contributed a total of 56 species to forest plant biodiversity and added 15,224 individuals to forest stand. At individual sites, liana species richness ranged from 11 species ha−1 to 31 species ha−1 and the density contribution ranged from 408 individuals ha−1 to 1,658 individuals ha−1. The proportion of lianas to total woody species (lianas + trees) richness ranged from 0.38 to 0.53 and the proportion of stem density varied from 0.29 to 0.62. To the total forest aboveground biomass, lianas contributed 411.26 Mg. Further, lianas in our sites provide valuable resources to various faunal groups chiefly the forest foliar herbivores, florivores and frugivores. Among the leaf-eaters, beetles and lepidopteran larvae formed the major foliar herbivores. Bees and butterflies are the major floral resource users, while birds consumed major fruit resources of TDEF ecosystem. Lianas also offer important livelihood to local people by providing various edible products and feed for cattle. Further lianas offer valuable medicinal resources, 49 species being used for the treatment of various ailments. Sustainable use of resources offered by lianas would help long-term species survival and hence, the need for conservation of liana species is emphasized useful to, forest wealth and human health.

Keywords

Aboveground biomass Biodiversity Ecosystem services Foliar herbivores Lianas Medicinal values NTFP 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the Department of Science and Technology, Indian National Science Academy and Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi, India for funding various phases of this study through project.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia

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