S.K.M.Basha, E. Rajyalakshmi, K. Srilakshmi
NBKR Medicinal Plant Research Centre, Vidyanagar – 524413, SPSR, Nellore (Dt) Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org, Swathisayani@yahoo.co.in
Forests are complex ecosystems which show maximum diversity in biotic and abiotic components. A forest performs vital environmental services such as cleansing the air, moderating the climate, filtering water, cycling nutrients, providing habitat for wild life etc. Forest Resources are one of the richest Natural Resources of the Globe. They include animate resources like plant, animal and microbes and inanimate resources like timber produce and non timber produce which can affect the state, regional and national economies. Most of the resources have already been lost and the remainder is being depleted at a rapid rate. The main reasons for degradation of forest are deforestation, habitat loss, over-exploitation, invasion etc. Hence U.N.O. declared 2011 as International Year of Forests in order to draw the attention of the people in the protection and conservation of forests.
Nellore district, the southern most coastal district of Andhra Pradesh is between 13-30’ and 15-6’ of the Northern Latitude and 70-5’ and 80-15’ of the Eastern Longitude. The district extends over an area of 13076 Sq. Km accounting for 4.75% of the total area of the state. It is bounded on the North by Prakasam District, on the East by Bay of Bengal, on the South by Chittoor district and Chengalpat District of Tamilnadu and on the West by Veligonda Hills Which separates it from Cuddapah District.
The forests of Nellore District comes under Eastern Ghats which exhibit maximum biological diversity and provide centres of endemism for plants, birds and lesser forms of animal life. Forest area accounts for 18.7% of the total area of the district, extending over 2.46 Lakh Hectares in the district. This includes agro-ecological and social forests. Natural wild forests occur in Venkatagiri, Rapur and Udayagiri forest ranges covering only about 16.6% of the area. Nellore Forest division includes 6 forest ranges viz., Udayagiri, Atmakur, Kavali, Nellore, Rapur (Dachur) and Venkatagiri. Sri Peninsula Narasimha Wild Life sanctuary is the terrestrial one covering area of 1030.85 Square Km, Pulicat lake is the second largest brakish water lagoon of area 500 Sq. Km and Nelapattu is the Wet land Bird sanctuary of area .58 Square Km comes under Nellore Division. .
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Frequent visits to different localities of Nellore Forest Division by our team during 2009-2011 help in assessing the forest resources. Photographs of flora and fauna were taken and identification was done under the guidance of experts. Extensive communication was done with the local people and tribal people to know about the forest products and ethenomedicinal values of some plants also. Periodic surveys provide information needed to assess the current status and performance of resources which is useful in planning conservation methods.
Phytoresources of this forest shows diversity in many aspects like habit, habitat, life span, taxonomy, economically useful product etc. Herbs, shrubs, trees, climbers, prostrate stems of various ecological groups like hydrophytes, mesophytes, xerophytes, epiphytes, lithophytes occur here. Local tribal people use various plants and their parts to cure many diseases. 327 plant species of 82 families , 15 species of grasses and 8 species of mangroves were identified .High biological productivity occur in Pull cat lake due to the presence of brakish water.
Animal resources includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, pisces and invertebrates like prawns, crabs, insects, molluscans, echniderms . Wide range of both resident and migratory birds of both terrestrial and aquatic occur in Nelapattu and pulicat lake bird sanctuaries. The Pulicat lake...