Biodiversity and Soil Properties of Saranda Sal Forest: Implications for Conservation and Management

Shambhu Nath Mishra

ICFRE-Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education - Lalgutwa -835303, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India and ICFRE-Forest Research Institute, Dehradun – 248 006, Uttarakhand, India.

Rahul Kumar *

ICFRE-Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education - Lalgutwa -835303, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India and ICFRE-Forest Research Institute, Dehradun – 248 006, Uttarakhand, India.

Vijender Pal Panwar

ICFRE-Forest Research Institute, Dehradun – 248 006, Uttarakhand, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aims: This study is significant as it elucidates the relationship between floristic composition and soil nutrient availability of India's Saranda Sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn.) forest.

Study Design: Vegetation sampling was done following a grid of 5 km x 5 km, and soil sampling was done in each sampling plot using a Z-pattern.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Saranda Forest of West Singhbhum district, Jharkhand, Eastern India, during 2021-2022

Methodology:  Sampling has been designed as grid methods (5 km X 5 km) following a forest survey of India, and vegetation sampling was done by quadrat method. The soil samples were collected from three depths (i.e., surface: 0–30 cm, sub-surface: 30–60 cm and inner: 60-90 cm from each selected site. ANOVAs were used to compare the chemical properties of soil samples from various forests. Pearson correlation analyses to examine the effects of climatic variables on chemical properties of the soil of selected Sal forest as well as their relation with plant diversity.

Results: A comprehensive analysis of 5432 vascular plants from 65 species and 34 families was conducted across the 17 sites. Fabaceae is the most dominant family with 07 species. The study also examined soil chemical parameters and micronutrients in different sites and established their relations with vegetation dynamics. Notably, tree density showed a significant positive correlation with soil pH (r=0.59, p<0.05), but a significant negative correlation with Shannon diversity (H') (r=-0.53, p<0.05). Similarly, there was a significant positive correlation of Organic carbon with copper (r=0.59, p<0.05) and iron (r=0.61, p<0.00); however, there was a significant negative correlation with Available Phosphorus (r=-0.52, p<0.05).

Conclusion: Research findings underscore the importance of soil nutrients in promoting forest health and growth. Importantly, they can guide the formulation of practical and effective soil-forest management strategies for S. robusta and its associated forests, directly benefiting the forestry and environmental science community.

Keywords: Saranda, Sal forests, soil chemical properties, tree diversity


How to Cite

Mishra, Shambhu Nath, Rahul Kumar, and Vijender Pal Panwar. 2024. “Biodiversity and Soil Properties of Saranda Sal Forest: Implications for Conservation and Management”. International Journal of Plant & Soil Science 36 (7):326-37. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijpss/2024/v36i74738.

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