Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2020, 8(5), 199-206
DOI: 10.12691/aees-8-5-3
Open AccessArticle

Influence of Forest Canopy Gaps on Establishment of Mikania Micrantha Kunth, an Invasive Plant, in a Tropical Forest in Southern Western Ghats, India

N P Sooraj1, 2, R Jaishanker2, , C R Sajeev2, V Saroj Kumar2, D Lijimol2 and J Ammini1

1School of Environmental Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin-22, Kerala, 682022, India

2C V Raman Laboratory of Ecological Informatics, Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management- Kerala, 695581, India

Pub. Date: June 18, 2020

Cite this paper:
N P Sooraj, R Jaishanker, C R Sajeev, V Saroj Kumar, D Lijimol and J Ammini. Influence of Forest Canopy Gaps on Establishment of Mikania Micrantha Kunth, an Invasive Plant, in a Tropical Forest in Southern Western Ghats, India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2020; 8(5):199-206. doi: 10.12691/aees-8-5-3

Abstract

Tropical forests are more resistant to plant invasion. However, reports of the occurrence of invasive alien plants within tropical forests have surged in recent years. The invasibility of the tropical forest ecosystem is enhanced with the disturbance mediated environmental fluctuations. The upwelling of natural light on the forest floor and associated resource fluctuation due to canopy gaps facilitate the establishment of light tolerant, invasive plants. Here the authors report the effect of the canopy gap on the establishment of M micrantha in a protected forest in Kerala, India. A significant direct relationship between the abundance of M micrantha with canopy openness and light intensity reveals how the forest canopy gap in the study area acts as a gateway to plant invasion.

Keywords:
biological invasion invasive plants tropical forest canopy gap light intensity Mikania micrantha

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