Western Ghats : A lifescape



The patterns of distribution of biological diversity over the hill chain of Western Ghats are moulded by manifold natural factors as well as human interventions. There are many surprises in store when one looks at them in detail-for instance, the inverse correlation between bird and woody plant species diversity in the Uttara Kannada district. Humans have not only extensively transformed natural communities into plantations and put to other uses, but also have greatly depleted biomass and diversity levels in areas remaining under forest cover. The extent of such depletion of biomass may be about 50% over the last half century for Uttara Kannada. This has also led to loss of species, especially the more delicate evergreen species bicapable of coppicing.


Western Ghats; biodiversity, diversity gradients.

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