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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996
FLORISTIC DIVERSITY OF WOODY PERENNIALS IN THE HAKGALA STRICT NATURE RESERVE

M G Punyalal* and D M S H Ranasinghe**
*Divisional Forest Office, Kandy; ** University of Sri Jayawardenepura

This study focuses on the floristic diversity of woody perennials of the Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve which aims to evaluate its conservation value in terms of diversity, rarity, naturalness, size and representativeness. The vegetation was classified into three classes namely seedlings, saplings and trees. Gradsect sampling technique was adopted to sample the vegetation.

As far as floral composition is concerned, this natural reserve consisits of 88 plant species, 65 genera and 36 families.There was no evidence on single species dominance in trees. There were 3 dominant species in sapling vegetation namely Psychotria zeylanica Maesa perrottetiana and Lasianthes oliganthes. Psychotria zeylanica appeared to be the most dominant single species in seedling vegetation. Lauraceae and Myrtacea were the most dominant families in trees of this Strict Nature Reserve. Rubiaceae and Myrsinaceae families dominate the saplings. Anacardiaceae was the most dominant family for seedlings. There were no major communities observed at lower elevations. However, there was a community of Syzygium umbrosum, Eugenia mabaeoides and Calophyllum walkeri on the peak at the canopy level.

There is a high species diversity rich in endemic woody flora and endemism rises to 45% of the species enumerated. It can be considered a unique species rich Reserve. It is also an ecologically critical area due to the presence of two endangered plant species, two vulnerable species and seven rare species of woody flora. Therefore, Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve has a very high conservation value. The contribution of this vegetation to the hydrological cycle and watershed stability enhances this conservation value. However, its small size and isolation may geopardise its long term viability.

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Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.