Department of Botany, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620 024, INDIA.
The present work mainly deals with inventory biodiversity richness and ecosystem functioning studies in the mid elevation forests of Pachamalai hills. The present study was carried out around 117.5 km2 which comes under three important hills i.e., Gangavalli, Uthambium and Manmalai. All these three hills include the 60.5 km2 reserve forest. A sub-tropical climate prevails in the study area and a maximum rainfall is received only during northeast monsoon. The surface soil is reddish brown to dark and to accommodate a wide range of plant species. A continuous inventory and monitoring studies were done during 4 years (2006- 2010). The salient observation and result are mentioned below.
Inventory Studies A total of 1041 angiospermic and 4 pteridophytic plants were identified and these were representation form 134 families. In angiosperms, the dicots and monocot contributed 856 and 185 species respectively.
The dominant angiospermic families were: Leguminosae (132 species), Graminae (69 species), Euphorbiaceae (51 species), Cyperaceae (51 species), Asteraceae (48 species), Acanthaceae (47 species), Rubiaceae (35 species), Malvaceae (27 species), Asclepiadaceae (27 species) and Convolvulaceae (26 species).