LIANA GROWTH, MORTALITY AND RECRUITMENT IN FOUR INLAND TROPICAL DRY EVERGREEN FOREST SITES OF PENINSULAR INDIA. Journal
PANDIAN, E., PARTHASARATHY, N., & ANBARASHAN, M.
Liana diversity re- inventoried after decade for assessing their growth, mortality and recruitment rates in four inland tropical dry evergreen forest sites, on the Coromandel Coast of south India, were investigated between 2003-2013. Four 1-ha permanent plots (100 m x 100 m) were established in four tropical dry evergreen forest sites - Araiyapatti (AP), Karisakkadu (KR), Maramadakki (MM) and Shanmuganathapuram (SP). All lianas ≥1 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) were measured at 1.3 m from the ground level. The initial inventory in 2003 yielded 35 species, whereas in 2013 a total of 37 species were recorded. Among the four studied sites, liana species richness increased by 4.6% (1 species) and 11.2% (3 species) in sites MM and SP respectively, but in sites AP and KR no change in total number of species in ten-year interval. Liana density increased in all the study sites in ten-year interval by 210, 211, 164 and 162 stems in sites AP, KR, MM and SP respectively. The mean growth rate of lianas (≥ 1 cm dbh) in four tropical dry evergreen forest sites ranged from 0.37 cm yr-1 in site KR to 0.58 cm yr-1 in site SP. The mortality rate was 3.2 and 7.1% yr-1 in highly disturbed sites SP and AP respectively, while the moderately disturbed sites showed 7.5% yr-1in site KR and 1.6% yr-1 in site MM. High recruitment rate was recorded in less disturbed sites KR (36.6% yr-1) and MM (24.4% yr-1). This result revealed forest degradation, so strengthening of conservation activities with involvement of local community.