• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Article

Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2008, Volume: 1, Issue: 3, Pages: 1-7

Original Article

Ecology of a dioecious palm Phoenix pusilla (Arecaceae), endemic to Coromandel coast of India

Abstract

The influence of light on Phoenix pusilla, in different matrices- savanna, plantation, tropical dry evergreen forest and open area was studied. Its individuals in 40, 100m² quadrats were classed into four ontogenic stages. The palm showed increasing clumping up to juvenile stage in plantation, savanna and forest, with decreasing densities in succeeding ontogenic stage, suggesting survival of Phoenix pusilla only in favorable microhabitats. In addition, Phoenix pusilla found in multi-species aggregates in open area, show decreasing clumping with decreasing densities, caused by density-dependant forces also. Sex ratio deviates only in open area from 1:1. Mantel test results indicate preference to microhabitats with higher light intensity by female but not male adults, suggesting a partial niche differentiation between sexes. Thus micro-habitat heterogeneity influences dispersion and population structure of Phoenix pusilla.
Key words: Dispersion, light gradient, microhabitat, niche differentiation, phoenix palm, population structure.

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