Riparian Forest of Western Ghats, an Endangered Ecosystem

Amitha Bachan KH, Pooja Suresh, Devika M.A.
Posted on: 2021-12-30

The tropical riparian evergreen forests in the Southern Western Ghats were mapped and described based on biodiversity and spatial distribution. The ecosystem was assessed against multiple criteria, IUCN Red List of ecosystem (Ver. 1.1.) for the first time in India. The periodic reduction of riparian vegetation revealed a loss of 83% in the past 100years due to factors such as dams, forest plantations, reservoir operation coupled with climate change induced flood. At minimum degradation rate, the collapse of the ecosystem is projected within 20?40years, indicating it as Critically Endangered (CR). Prediction of potential areas based on Niche modelling and terrain suitability provided three priority areas and policy suggestions for conservation and restoration. Keywords: Chalakudy River; Ecorestoration; Ecosystem red list; Niche modelling; Riparian; Tropical forest; Western Ghats

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