E-ISSN No: 2455 - 7218

P-ISSN No: 0019 - 4468

Listed in UGC Care

Ecological investigation on vegetation structure and soil characteristics of Prosopis juliflora – invaded and non-invaded urban ecosystems in Indian dry tropics

Neha Dua, Unnati and Rup Narayan*

Plant invasion in Indian tropics have caused alternation of vegetation structure and soil characteristics. Present study was carried out to assess vegetation structure and physico-chemical properties of soils of Prosopis juliflora-invaded and non-invaded sites in a rapidly  urbanizing dry tropical region of India. Abuandance of plant species was estimated through 120 randomly quadrats (each 1mx1m) from both sites in three seasons (n= 20x3x2). A total of 36 randomly sampled surface soil (0-10 cm) from both sites in three seasons where analyzed for soil pH, moisture content, organic carbon and total nitrogen. Diversity of the vegetation was estimated using nine alpha diversity and one beta diversity indices and dominance was assessed by plotting abundance-diversity curves. Similarity of the vegetation was estimated by Sorrenson’s modified index. A total of 98 plant species distributed over 35 families were recorded. Top dominant families included Poaceae, Malvaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. Dominants changed with site and season. Seasonal diversity varied in the order rainy>winter>summer. Diversity of P. juliflora-invaded site was lower than that at non-invaded sites. The vegetation tended to be distinct in dry months compared to rainy season. The site-soils showed considerable alteration of characteristics. Higher organic and total N were recorded at invaded sites. Soil moisture significantly changed with change of season, although there was no inter-site difference in the same season. In conclusion, the study revealed a complex interplay of soil-site conditions, season, plant invasions and disturbance in shaping the structure of vegetation in dry tropical urbanizing landscapes of India.

Keywords Dry tropics, Plant diversity, Plant invasion, Prosopis juliflora, Urban vegetation.