Plant species diversity in a tropical semi-evergreen forest in Mizoram (northeastern India): assessing the effectiveness of community conservation

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S.T. Lalzarzovi


Community conservation of forest as a means of biodiversity conservation has gained broad acceptance in recent years. However, there are not many studies in India on how effective they really are for conservation of plants and how they compare to formal protected areas. This study was carried out in Reiek forest, a community conserved forest protected for more than a century, initially by the village Chiefs and after the abolishment of chieftainship, by the community of the nearby villages. An attempt was made to study the plant species diversity of this forest which falls under the Indo-Myanmar diversity hotspot and it was compared to two ecologically similar formal protected areas within Mizoram. A total of 265 species belonging to 213 genera and 89 families were recorded. Two vulnerable species Eleocarpus rogusus and Saraca asocas were identified. It was found that this community conserved forest contained more plant species than the two protected areas. But endemic and threatened species were found to decline in the community conserved forest. 

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