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Assessment of Forest Fragmentation and Species Diversity in North Andaman Islands (India): A Geospatial Approach

P. Rama Chandra Prasad, A.N. Sringeswara, Ch. Sudhakar Reddy, Nidhi Nagabhatla, K.S. Rajan, A. Giriraj, M.S.R. Murthy, S.H. Raza, C.B.S. Dutt

Abstract


The present study was carried out in the context of conservation biology research, focusing on the species diversity in the fragmented landscapes of island ecosystem. The study analyzed the levels of forest fragmentation and its effect on species diversity in the North Andaman Islands using satellite remote sensing data and a GIS-based fragmentation model in conjunction with phyto-sociological analysis. Results depict that the model performed well when the forest is considered as a single unit, compared to the scenario wherein the individual forest types are accounted. Additionally, the phyto-sociological data analysis results are correlated with the fragmentation model, which indicates that majority of the area is under intact category, contemplating that the process of fragmentation in these islands is in its initial phase. Taking a note of such observations, conservation measures are recommended to facilitate the sustainable management of the pristine vegetation glory of these islands.

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