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Vegetative phenology of tropical montane forests in the Nilgiris, South India

Authors:

H. S. Suresh ,

Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India., IN
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R. Sukumar

Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India., IN
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Abstract

Spatial and temporal variation in foliar phenology plays a significant role in growth and reproduction of a plant species. Foliar phenology is strongly influenced by environmental factors such as rainfall. A study on phenology of tropical montane forests was undertaken in three different forest patches of the Nilgiri Mountains in peninsular India above 2000 meters ASL. Since August 2000, 500 trees belonging to 70 species of angiosperms were monitored for both vegetative and reproductive phenologies on a monthly basis. Climate data were collected from nearby weather stations. This paper reports results of the study from August 2000 – August 2003 on foliar phenology. Non-parametric correlations and multiple regressions were performed to analyse the influence of environmental factors such as rainfall, temperature and sunshine on foliar phenology. It was found that moisture related factors had a negative influence on the leaf initiation. Circular statistical analyses were performed to understand the seasonality in different phenophases of foliar phenology. Different phenophases of leafing were not significantly seasonal. Results are discussed and compared among three different forest patches on the Nilgiri plateau and also with other montane forest patches across the globe.

Keywords: Environmental factors, foliar phenology, India, Nilgiris, seasonality, tropical montane forest.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v39i4.3882

J.Natn.Sci.Foundation Sri Lanka 2011 39 (4):333-343

How to Cite: Suresh, H.S. and Sukumar, R., 2011. Vegetative phenology of tropical montane forests in the Nilgiris, South India. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 39(4), pp.333–343. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v39i4.3882
Published on 30 Dec 2011.
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