Forest fragmentation and its impact on species diversity: an analysis using remote sensing and GIS

C.S. Jha; Laxmi Goparaju; Anshuman Tripathi; Biswadeep Gharai; A.S. Raghubanshi; J.S. Singh
June 2005
Biodiversity & Conservation;Jun2005, Vol. 14 Issue 7, p1681
Academic Journal
Abstract The process of forest fragmentation, a common phenomenon occurring in tropical forests, not only results into continuously forest getting fragmented but also brings about several physical and biological changes in the environment of forests. Consequently, there is a loss of biodiversity due to change in habitat conditions. These remnant fragments provide the last hope for biodiversity conservation. The present study deals with the impact of decreasing patch size of a fragmented forest on the diversity of the tropical dry deciduous forests in Vindhyan highlands, India. There is considerable change in the vegetation cover of this region owing to rapid industrialization and urbanization, which has also contributed to forest fragmentation. In the present study, remotely sensed data has been used to describe the changes brought about in vegetated areas over a period of 10 years as a result of fragmentation and its impact on biodiversity was assessed. Further, in order to assess the loss of species with respect to the reduction in patch size, species area curves for various change areas were analysed. It was observed that the rate of decrease in the number of species is faster in the case of negative change areas as compared to the positive change areas of the region. Various diversity indices also support this observation. Such an analysis would help in formulating appropriate conservation measures for the region.


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