Forestry and Environment Sympoisum 1998, Sri Lanka

Fourth Annual Symposium organized by Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenapura, Sri Lanka.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

REGENERATION OF TREE SPECIES IN AREAS DISTURBED BY TWO HIGH TENSION LINES AT SEETHA ELIYA PROPOSED FOREST RESERVE

D K Angammana 1, G I Seneviratne 1 and K Nanayakkara 2
1 Department of Botany, University of Colombo
2 Botanical Garden, Hakgala

Seven years ago, to erect a high tension line a strip of forest (10 to 15 m broad) from tile Seetha Eliya reserve was cut leaving stumps of about one meter height. This was abandoned and a similar strip close to the above has been cut three years ago. This project was carried out to find the plant species which can survive after such disturbance and to see the change in the free species composition with time. Seetha Eliya is a montane forest patch with undulating terrain and the altitude of the affected area ranges from 5000 to 6000 feet. After a reconnaissance survey, 36 plots of 8x25 has been demarcated at three altitudinal ranges (low, mid and high) to include three year, seven year and the adjacent natural forest (four at each site).

The percentage of trees surviving after cutting in the three year old stand from high, mid and low altitudes were 43% 51% and 52% respectively. Survival after cutting in the seven year-old stand is riot obtainable accurately due to the decomposition of stumps.

A total of 37 tree species including 26 endemic species were recorded in the areas examined. Out of this only 27 species including 16 endemic species showed the ability to produce new shoots. Higher number of such individuals were recorded from, Neolitsea fuscata, Syzygium revolutum, Actinodaphne glaauca and Cinnamomum ovalifolium. Species like Callophyllum walkeri, Vaccinium symplocifolium, Cnthium montanum did not show regeneration after cutting. Actinodaphne speciosa was found both in the natural forest and the three-year-old stand but was absent in the seven-year-old clearing, probably removed due to competition.

Higher number of seedlings and saplings were found from Symplocus cochinchinensis, Neolitsea fuscata and Actinodaphne speciosa in all the areas examined.

Further monitoring of these areas will help to identify the native species those can be used in restoration work of montane forests.

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