Identifying Biological Constraints in Natural Regeneration of Native Tree Species in Abandoned Tea and Coffee Plantation of the Western Ghats, India
All over India tea plantations had taken a large part of the forest area in the early 1900’s. These plantations have come up in private lands or in government lands that have been leased out. With expiry of lease, these lands go to the government who are in a dilemma of retaining tea or bring back the forest. The project aims to restore these abandoned small and large-scale tea and coffee plantations in Western Ghats with native tree species for potential ecotourism or sustainable NTFP harvesting.
GOALS & Approach
In its first phase, the project identifies biological constraints of restoration in a natural setting across a tea plantation matrix and determines the required land management efforts needed for quick restoration of native species. The project develops a model for cost effective restoration of native species that benefits forest managers with emphasis on how how best to restore native primary species in abandoned tea or coffee plantations.
The study determines that animal dispersal is critical to build a seed bank since the region has no no wind-dispersed species. It finds that the distance between abandoned tea plantations determines success of seed dispersal and species colonization. The project also finds that native species colonization is strongly influenced by elevation and rainfall with drier plantations colonized by grass and exotic weeds..
“Chetana, H.C | The Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation.” n.d. Accessed December 27, 2019.
- Ashoka Trust
- The Rufford Foundation