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Distribution and density of the climber, Solena amplexicaulis (Lam.) Gandhi. in certain dry deciduous forests of southern Western Ghats, India

S. Paulsamy, K. Karthika


To know the current availability status of the traditional medicinal climber, Solena amplexicaulis (Cucurbitaceae), certain ecological characters such as distribution level, density and abundance were analysed for this species in ten localities (Maruthamalai, Kurunthamalai, Palamalai, Siruvani hills, Madukkarai, Velliangiri hills, Thadagai hills, Aliyar hills, Thirumurthy hills and Amaravathy hills) at lower Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, southern India. The low level of frequency value lies between 1% and 10%, across the study areas in 1 ha plot showed its seldom occurrence. The low density ranged between 5 and 41 individuals/ha across the study areas indicates the poor population size of this species in its habitats. The abundance level of S. amplexicaulis was also not noteworthy. In general, the establishment of this species on basis of quantitative ecological attributes is determined to be poor in the study areas. In addition, in comparison to other 15 climber species available, generally the density of S. amplexicaulis was lower. High degree of host specificity of S. amplexicaulis on the shrub, Euphorbia antiquorum for infestation was also noted. Among the ten study areas, Madukkarai forest was determined to be more suitable for the perpetuation of S. amplexicaulis in terms of distribution level and density than the other areas studied. Therefore, for restoring this species, in the Western Ghats of southern India, climatically and biotically similar areas of Madukkarai scrub jungle with the dominance of Euphorbia antiquorum may be selected.


Solena amplexicaulis, medicinal climber, ecological characters, Western Ghats, India.

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