STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF VEGETATION IN THE IFS -POPHAM ARBORETUM, DAMBULLAAuthors: M.A.A.B. Dilhan,T.D.Weerasinghe,J.Amarasinghe
The Dambulla Arboretum is a unique place, where a wasteland has been converted into a sanctuary of tropical trees by using a simple silvicultural method. The Arboretum consists of 3.6 ha arboretum along with a 10.8 ha woodland. The goal of the present survey was to document the abundance of dry zone key plant species and to update the checklist of plants in terms of seasons.
The abundance of plant species, which were naturally regenerated, was enumerated in six 20 m ï‚´ 20 m experimental plots. The girth at breast height (gbh) of individuals over 10 cm was measured within main plots, while individuals below 10 cm gbh were counted in 20 m ï‚´10 m sub plots within the main plots. Five random plots 2 m ï‚´ 2 m quadrates were used to measure the cover value of ground vegetation. In addition, annuals and biannual during the wet and dry season and undocumented perennials were encountered in an ad hoc manner addition to the experimental plots.
A total of 101 plant species belonging to 91 genera and 42 families were identified. Among the taxa identified 45 had medicinal value, 14 timber value and 7 both timber and medicinal value. There were 45 tree spp., 27 shrub spp., 18 herbaceous spp. and 11 climber spp. Of them five were endemic viz., Diospyros oppositifolia, Diplodiscus verrucosus, Canarium zeylanicum, Cassine balae and Micromelum minutum. The leading dominant species and families based on important value index (IVI) were Syzygium cumini and Myrtaceae (IVI = 29 & 32), Grewia damine and Tiliaceae (IVI = 23 & 28) and Memecylon umbellatum and Rubiaceae (IVI = 16 & 25) respectively.
In the ordination diagram, the plots in the arboretum and woodland are clearly separated by four distinguishable clusters and were assigned into plant communities. The species associated with cluster A were mainly trees viz., Diplodiscus verrucosus, Diospyros ferrea, Lepisanthes tetraphylla and Sapindus emarginata along with a shrub. While Cluster C resulted in five tree species. The survey has shown that the arboretum provides refugee to many valuable timber trees, including endemic and endangered plant species.
Keywords: Vegetation, Composition, Structure, Pophan Arboretum
How to Cite: Dilhan,M.A.A.B,Weerasinghe,T.D,Amarasinghe,J, (2006). STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF VEGETATION IN THE IFS -POPHAM ARBORETUM, DAMBULLA.WILDLANKA, 1(1):Pages 033-045
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,