Influence of grazing intensity on swamp plant communities in the tropical montane wetland ecosystems, Nilgiris, Southern India

Mohandass, D., Campbell, M.J., Beng, K.C., and Davidar, P. (2016) Influence of grazing intensity on swamp plant communities in the tropical montane wetland ecosystems, Nilgiris, Southern India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 14 (4). pp. 233-268.

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Abstract

Livestock grazing is a major anthropogenic impact influencing both grasslands and wetlands of the world which often results in the alteration of the structure, diversity and functioning of the plant communities. Here, we seek to understand how grazing intensity influences swamp vegetation, with an emphasis on their diversity, structure and function. Six swamps were selected, two each in high, moderate and low intensity grazing sites, from the tropical montane swamps of the Upper Nilgiri Mountains, southern India. We recorded a total of 78 species belonging to 63 genera and 31 families. Our results showed that species richness, abundance and species composition differed significantly across grazing treatments. Moreover, mean vegetation cover and mean height differed significantly across grazing treatments, indicating that grazing significantly affected the vegetation structure and growth of swamp plant communities. Species compositional patterns showed that moderately grazed plant communities were significantly different from low and high grazing sites. In summary, grazing intensity influenced swamp species richness, abundance, and swamp plant communities. Specifically, high grazing pressure reduced vegetation cover causing changes in swamp community structure leading to the gradual conversion of the swamp habitat into grasslands.

Item ID: 45674
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1785-0037
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Edhkwehlynawd Botanical Refuge Centre Trust
Projects and Grants: NSFC Grant. No. 31200173
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 01:21
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961307 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Mountain and High Country Environments @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961306 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 33%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 34%
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