Research Paper

Effect of associated species on distribution of Commiphora wightii in Indian Arid Zone

Suresh Kumar and Ravikiran Ningappa Kulloli

Published on: 25 January 2017

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2017.62.43

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2017 vol.62 no.1 pp.43-49

Abstract

Commiphora wightii (Arn.) Bhandari, a medicinal shrub of the family Burseraceae has been ruthlessly tapped for oleo-gum resin, thus killing its widespread populations in nature. Its regeneration being slow, the recruitment is also minimal. Consequently, existing sparse populations also face competition from its associates. Understanding vegetation composition and dynamics of associates of C. wightii are vital to arrive at clues for its ex-situ conservation and also for its in-situ populations build up. Present study carried out in 20 districts of Rajasthan at 604 sites revealed presence of C. wightii at 68 sites. Its associates were Acacia senegal, Euphorbia caducifolia, Grewia tenax, Prosopis juliflora, Acacia leucophloea and Boswellia serrata. In all the six districts, density of C. wightii varying from 1 to 20 per tenth hectare indicated its mutual co-existence with other species except P. juliflora. Regulating and controlling populations of P. juliflora emerged as a prime requirement to ensure success in both, in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Being ecologically co-dominant, it survives best in mixed plantation with suitable trees that serve as upper canopy in the plantation area. It also emerged that its optimum plantation density of 200 plants per hectare would most likely ensure its success in reintroduced paddocks.

Keyword: Burseraceae, Commiphora wightii, Density, Dominance, Piedmonts, Prosopis juliflora

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