A study on the density, population structure and regeneration of Red Sanders Pterocarpus santalinus (Fabales: Fabaceae) in a protected natural habitat - Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India

Main Article Content

Chenchu Ankalaiah
Thondaladinne Mastan
Mullangi Sridhar Reddy


Pterocarpus santalinus is a highly valued medium-sized leguminous endemic tree with a restricted range in the southern Eastern Ghats deciduous forests.  The enumeration in four 1ha plots has yielded a total of 878 Red Sanders tree individuals (≥30cm girth at breast height - gbh) with a range of 165–246 individuals per ha and 9–51 individuals per 0.01ha.  The size class structure revealed that the majority of individuals occurred in lower gbh classes with 364 individuals (39.5%) in 30–50 cm gbh class and 420 individuals (45.6%) in 51–70 cm gbh class, while in the higher gbh class (71–90 cm gbh) only 129 individuals (14%) and seven individuals in >90cm gbh class were recorded.  Overall the population structure indicated a low ratio change in lower gbh classes suggesting a stable population.  A higher percentage of life stages in recruitment stage like seedlings and saplings than trees was observed and the feature of re-sprouting from roots after fire damage was also recorded.  A bottleneck progress from regenerating trees to adult trees was noticed, may be due to slow growth of the species.  High stem density and presence of individuals in all the regenerating and reproductive classes suggest that Red Sanders is tolerant to mild disturbance.  But the drastic reduction in the density in higher gbh class reflects the concern for recruitment in future as it may affect the seed output due to loss of reproductively fit mature trees.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Chenchu Ankalaiah, Department of Environmental Science, Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh 516216, India

C. Ankalaiah is presently working as junior project fellow in MOEF&CC project and he was actively involved in field work and manuscript preparation. 

Thondaladinne Mastan, Department of Environmental Science, Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh 516216, India

T. Mastan is presently working as junior project fellow in UGC project and pursuing PhD work and he has participated equally in field work and as well in manuscript preparation.

Mullangi Sridhar Reddy, Department of Environmental Science, Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh 516216, India

Dr. M. Sridhar Reddy is working as Assistant Professor. His interests are forest ecology and forest management.  He has contributed to the manuscript in the form of field work and manuscript preparation.  


Ahmedullah, M. & M.P. Nayar (1984). Red Sanders tree (Pterocarpus sanatalinus L.f.) on the verge of depletion. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 26(1–2): 142–143.

CAMP Workshops on Medicinal Plants, India (January 1997) (1998).  Pterocarpus santalinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998: e.T32104A9679328. Downloaded on 18 August 2017; http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.1998.RLTS.T32104A9679328.en

Caro, T.M., M. Sungula, M.W. Schwartz & E.T. Bella (2005). Recruitment of Pterocarpus angolensis in the wild. Forest Ecology and Management 219: 169–175.

Champion, H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India. Government of India Publications, Delhi, 625pp.

Gonzalez-Rivas, B., M. Tigabu, K. Gerhardt, G. Castro-Marı´n & N.P. Ode´ (2006). Species composition, diversity and local uses of tropical dry deciduous and gallery forests in Nicaragua. Biodiversity Conservation 15: 1509–1527.

Jadhav, D. (2008). Medicinal Plants of India: A Guide to Ayurvedic and Ethnomedicinal Uses of Plants - Vol. 2. Pawan Kumar Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur India, 417pp.

Kennard, D.K., K. Gould, F.E. Putz, T.S. Fredericksen & F. Morales. (2002). Effect of disturbance intensity on regeneration mechanisms in a tropical dry forest. Forest Ecology and Management 162: 197–208.

Khurana, E. & J.S. Singh (2001). Ecology of tree seed and seedlings: Implications for tropical forest conservation and restoration. Current Science 80(6): 748–757.

Mulliken, T.T. & P. Crofton (2008). Review of the status, harvest, trade and management of seven Asian CITES-listed medicinal and aromatic plant species. BN Federal Agency for Natural Conservation, 77–92pp.

Otterstram, S.M. & M.W. Schwartz (2006). Responses to fire in selected tropical dry forest trees. Biotropica 38(5): 592–598; http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7429.2006.00188.x

Raju, K.K. & A. Nagaraju (1998). Geobotany of Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) - a case study from the southeastern portion of Andhra Pradesh. Environmental Geology 37(4): 340–345; http://doi.org/10.1007/s002540050393

Rao, S.P. & A.J.S. Raju (2002). Pollination ecology of the Red Sanders Pterocarpus santalinus (Fabaceae), an endemic and endangered tree species. Current Science 83(9): 1144–1148.

Sagar, R., A.S. Raghubanshi & J.S. Singh (2003). Tree species composition, dispersion and diversity along a disturbance gradient in a dry tropical forest region of India. Forest Ecology and Management 186: 61–71.

Sapkota, I.P., M. Tigabu & P. Oden (2009). Species diversity and regeneration of old growth seasonally dry Shorea robusta forests following gap formation. Journal Forest Research 20: 7–14.

Schwartz, M.W., T.M. Caro & T. Banda-Sakala (2002). Assessing the sustainability of harvest of Pterocarpus angolensis in Rukwa Region, Tanzania. Forest Ecology and Management 170(1–3): 259–269; https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00774-5

Shackleton, C.M. (2002). Growth patterns of Pterocarpus angolensis in savannas of the South African lowveld. Forest Ecology and Management 166: 85–97.

Shankar, U. (2001). A case of high tree diversity in a Sal (Shorea robusta) - dominated lowland forest of eastern Himalaya: floristic composition, regeneration and conservation. Current Science 81(7): 776–786.

Vierra, D.L.M. & A. Scariot (2006). Principles of natural regeneration of tropical dry forests for restoration. Restoration Ecology 14(1): 11–20.

Yadav, A.S. & S.K. Gupta (2006). Effect of micro-environment and human disturbance on the diversity of woody species in the Sariska Tiger Project in India. Journal Forest Ecology 225(1–3): 178–189; http://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.12.058

Zar, J.H. (1999). Biostatistical Analysis - 4th Edition. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 663pp.

Most read articles by the same author(s)