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Status of Invasive Alien Plant Species in Community Managed Forests: A case of Sundari and Dhuseri Community Forests of Nawalparasi District, Central Nepal
Laxmi Khaniya, Bharat (Phd) Babu Shrestha

Last modified: 2017-08-29

Abstract


Biological invasion has posed serious threats upon the ecosystems all over the world. The invasive alien plant species (IAPS) have been reported to have a number of impacts in forests such as reduction in forest regeneration, change in species composition, and increased frequencies of fire. Forests are also considered to be less prone to invasion by IAPS than other ecosystems, particularly when canopy cover is high. To understand the status of IAPS in community managed sal (Shorea robusta) forests, an inventory of IAPS was undertaken in two community managed forests (Sundari and Dhusheri) of Nawalparasi districts. Sampling was conducted to list the IAPS, and their abundance in forest edge, gaps and within canopy. The study forests had 14 species of IAPS. Among them Chromolaena odorata, Ageratum houstonianum and Lantana camara were considered as problematic by local communities. Chromolaena odorata was the most frequent IAPS in both the forests; however, it was present as a minor element in the high canopy forest stands while it was a dominant component in canopy gap and forest edges. The cover of IAPS was higher at forest edge and gap than in the interior of the forest (within canopy). The IAPS richness and cover declined with increasing tree canopy cover and basal area. Therefore, improvement in the condition of forest leading to increased canopy by community management can suppress the IAPS.

Keywords:  Forest edge, Forest gap, Vegetation sampling, Circular plot, Species richness.


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