Patterns of Seed Rain and Seedling Regeneration in Abandoned Agricultural Clearings in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in India

Teegalapallia, K., A.J. Hirematha and D. Jathanna

Publication Date:

Forest recovery in abandoned pastures and agricultural fields is often impeded, therefore it is important to understand the factors limiting regeneration. Patterns of seed arrival and regeneration in five abandoned agricultural clearings nested within a seasonally dry tropical forest in India were examined along five transects radiating from the forest edge into the clearings. Although wind-dispersed seeds greatly outnumbered vertebrate-dispersed seeds, seedlings and saplings of vertebrate-dispersed species were three times more abundant than those of wind-dispersed species, indicating distinct differences in patterns of actual and effective seed dispersal. This points to recruitment limitation, and suggests that seed arrival may not be the principal barrier to regeneration in these clearings. Nonetheless, the clearings are likely to revert to forest over time.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Journal of Tropical Ecology