Understory vegetation serves a special role in maintaining the structure and function of forest ecosystem as they strongly influence regeneration, seedling establishment, growth, nutrient cycling and thus the dynamics of the whole forest ecosystem. The present investigation is aimed to study the composition, structure and diversity of understory vegetation in natural forests and teak plantation of Sarguja forest division of Chhattisgarh. A total of 23 species comprising 5 shrubs and 18 herbs were recorded in natural forest while in teak plantation 3 shrub and 20 herb species were found. In natural forest a total of 4500 shrubs/ha and 8,32,000 herbs/ha were recorded while in plantation site it was 5500 shrubs/ha and 6,96,000 herbs/ha, respectively. In shrub layer the value of species diversity was 1.10 for teak plantation and 2.20 for natural forest. Simpson index was 0.23 for natural forest and 0.57 for teak plantation. The Margalefâ€™s index of richness varied from 0.23-0.48, least in plantation site and peak in natural forest, Equitability index varied from 1.00 to 1.37, lowest in plantation site and higher in plantation site and Î² diversity was 1.20 in natural forest and 2.00 in plantation site. In case of herb layer the value of Shannon index, species richness and equitability values were higher in teak plantation while the Simpsons index and beta diversity were found more in natural forest.
Composition, Diversity, Herb, Structure, Shrub, Understory
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