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The morphological traits variation and inter relationships of understorey species of Sal (Shorea robusta) forest of north-eastern Uttar Pradesh, India.

Satish Kumar Rai, Ravindra P. Shukla, Sanjay Kumar Pandey


Measurements of plant traits are required for evaluating community structure and its ecological responses to varying environmental conditions. The grouping on the basis of functional traits of plants has strong predictive power of important ecosystem responses to environmental perturbation. The morphological traits and their interrelationship among associated species have been analyzed to understand the quantitative variation within regional sal dominated forests. Data for five morphometric traits viz., plant height, leaf length, leaf width, flower size and fruit size, were observed for 193 woody (tree, shrub and liana) species belonging to 56 families within understorey of sal forest. Forty-one families were polytypic in nature. One-way ANOVA was used to detect how variation among all the traits was distributed among habit groups. A significant positive relationship was noticed between plant height and each of the leaf length, leaf width and fruit size. Of the different morphometric traits observed only plant height and fruit size showed wider variation among three life–form categories. Overall, our results suggest that measurement of plant morphometric characters are the major drivers of understory sal associates of the region. Hence, the morphological traits of sal associates should be carefully considered in framing the management and conservation strategy of regional sal forests.


Sal associates, Morphometric characters, Plant traits, Life form, Habit groups

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