Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Kirigala forest fragments and the identity as a dipterocarp plantation or Hora Kele of Ingiriya

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Research Articles

Kirigala forest fragments and the identity as a dipterocarp plantation or Hora Kele of Ingiriya

Authors:

IADN Dilrukshi,

LK
About IADN

Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Colombo 03.

X close

SMW Ranwala

LK
About SMW

Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Colombo, Colombo 03.

X close

Abstract

Fragmentation has exposed the Kirigala forest to the influence of various neighbourhood land-use practices. The present study investigated the floristic, soil and micro-climatic conditions of the forest and demonstrated its degradation due to influences by human induced disturbances. Ten 50 m × 5 m gradsects each accommodating 3 pairs of 10 m × 5 m plots, a total of 60 soil samples and 20 seed traps provided floristic details, seedling emergence from seed bank and annual seed rain of the forest, respectively. Diversity of the edge and the forest interior were compared for the different neighbourhood land use types using the Shannon and Weiner (H) and Simpsons reciprocal (D) indices. Change in the forest structure was illustrated using profile diagrams. Differences in soil pH, soil moisture, nitrogen, available phosphorous and potassium, organic matter content, air temperature, humidity and light intensity between the forest edge and the interior were determined. Soil, microclimate and species richness were combined for clustering of similar areas. The site reported the presence of 55 tree, 12 shrub, 15 herb, 07 climber and 02 vine species including a total of 23 endemic species and 06 invasive species. A higher diversity was observed at the edge, and the highest was observed beside roads as indicated by both diversity indices H and D. Soil and microclimate of the forest varied significantly between the edge and the interior and reflected anthropogenic influences and neighbourhood land use practices. Dominance hierarchy of the trees was Dipterocarpus zeylanicus > Gaertnera vaginans > Aporusa lanceolata, while that for undergrowth/shrubs herbaceous species was Ochlandra stridula > Dracaena thwaitesii > Piper sylvestre. Annual seed rain contained propagules of 23 plant species, while invasive Alstonia macrophylla provided the highest density of seeds. Establishment of foot paths, selective removal of juveniles by root-balling technique and encroachment for crop cultivation have also facilitated the degradation process. It is vital to pay attention on maintaining the ecological stability of this forest before it loses its identity as the Hora Kele of Ingiriya.

How to Cite: Dilrukshi, I. & Ranwala, S., (2016). Kirigala forest fragments and the identity as a dipterocarp plantation or Hora Kele of Ingiriya. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 44(3), pp.313–327. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v44i3.8012
Published on 28 Sep 2016.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus