Department of Forestry and Environmental Science
UNIVERSITY OF SRI JAYEWARDENPURA, SRI LANKA ../
FORESTRY AND ENVIRONMENT SYMPOSIUM
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|FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996|
W S K Pathirathne, D M S H K Ranasinghe and K Deheragoda
University of Sri Jayewardenapura
The floristic richness and recreational potential were evaluated in Pompekelle Forest Reserve which is an urban forest reserve located in the heart of Ratnapura town in the lowland southwestern part of Sri Lanka. Fixed area method was used for sampling. Plants more than 5 cm dbh were enumerated in 23 plots each of 400 m2. Sample plots were distributed between the hill top, mid-slope and valley to capture the variation due to terrain. Using the data collected, the species richness, diversity, evenness, dominance and Important Value Indices were calculated.
There was an unequal distribution of plant species in the forest. The number of plant species observed was 116 belonging to 38 families. The species diversity and evenness were higher in the hill top compared with the valley. However, species dominance was higher in the valley compared with the hill top and mid-slope. Trees of the families Apocynaceae, Celestraceae, Dilleniaceae, Leguminosae and Moraceae were prominent throughout the forest. Separate plant communities were identified in hill top, mid-slope and valley areas.The plant endemicity on the hill top was higher compared to the mid-slope and valley. There was an abundance of regenerating canopy species in the forest which indicates that the forest is fast recovering from past human interferences such as logging, illicit felling etc.
Using the data gathered in the floristic survey and a questionnaire survey, a recreational development plan was prepared for the forest reserve. Aerial photographs and one-inch maps were also used in this task. A working plan was drawn up which included detailed site drawings of each proposed activity.
The activities proposed in the plan include construction of more nature trails, more picnic benches, summer huts, a research centre, toilets, a car park, a guard room, camping and lodging facilities, rehabilitation of the existing reservoir, naming the trees, planting disturbed areas with native and other tree species. It was also proposed to introduce a guide service to assist visitors. Introduction of an entry fee for the effective maintenance of the forest park was also proposed.
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,