~By Satvik Parashar
Restoration of degraded forests and lands worldwide is given much-needed impetus within the United Nation’s decade of restoration, global agreements, and sustainable development commitments. Therefore, it is crucial to quantify the effects of such restoration efforts on biodiversity to guide restoration efforts. In Central India, many restoration initiatives involve the removal of an invasive shrub, Lantana camara (L. camara). Higher densities of lantana camara are associated with lower densities of native vegetation, often of the species necessary for wildlife and local livelihoods. In a recent study (with many NCCI members as authors), researchers used acoustic technology to examine the bird community composition and the acoustic space used (ASU) across restored, unrestored and naturally low lantana density sites.
The study was conducted in tropical dry forests of the Bicchhiya subdistrict in Madhya Pradesh. There were 55 study sites divided into three broad categories: a) Restored sites - Sites where restoration by way of Lantana camara removal has taken place in the last five years; b) Unrestored Sites - Sites with a high density of L. camara where no restoration has taken place in the last five years; and c) Low Lantana Density (LLD) Sites - Sites which naturally have very few L. camara plants or no L. camara plants in the last five years.
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