Variation in bark thickness in a tropical forest community of Western Ghats in India

Authors

  • V. Hegde,

    1. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur Campus, Bangalore 560065, and ,
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  • M. D. S. Chandran,

    1. Dr A.V. Baliga College of Arts and Science, Kumta, 581343, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, ,
    2. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India
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  • M. Gadgil

    1. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur Campus, Bangalore 560065, and ,
    2. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India
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Abstract

1. We examined the relation between bark thickness and girth in a large sample of trees from evergreen and semi-evergreen rain forest.

2. There is a significant tendency for bark thickness to increase with tree girth. Removing this tendency, we find a significant trend for species from more disturbed habitats to possess thicker bark.

3. Species from more disturbed habitats also have a greater propensity for secreting gums and resins.

4. Nine of the 29 species occurring in more than one habitat type and with a sample size of at least 11 individuals show a tendency for possession of a thicker bark by individuals in the more disturbed habitats.

5. We conclude that bark thickness and occurrence of gums and resins are physiognomic–structural attributes of value in characterizing tree communities created by different levels of disturbance.

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