A BASIC STUDY CARRIED OUT TO OBSERVE THE LAND USE AND THE VEGETATION TYPE OF FOREST RESERVE AT RITIGALA

W. W. R. Wijesinghe, C. M. Maddumabandara

Abstract


The Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve has an ideal setting for ethno botanicstudies on account of its unique features. It is a living folder of informationregarding bio diversity and is regarded as an 'oasis of vegetation'. Thereforeprotection and conservation of its flora and fauna is of vital importance.

As this area extends over 1528 hectares, observation of encroachments is adifficult task. Forest clearance can be clearly observed by using aerialphotographs of consecutive years. The aerial photographs may providesufficient data to observe the land uses and vegetation types of the StrictNature Reserve.

Aerial photographs of 1982 and 1992 were used as a tool to observe theusable pattern of the forest. The texture of the aerial photographs was studiedand qualitatively it could be divided into three categories. Textural variationswere significant. Restrictions of some textures could be observed to somespecific areas, which can be explained as an effect of the Northeast monsoonrains.

The aerial photographs show improvement of the natural habitat of the forestarea within a period of ten years from 1982 to 1992. No constructions wereseen within the limits of the Strict Nature Reserve until 1992.

The study of aerial photographs indicated different patterns in the canopycover. For instance, temporal changes observed in white canopies appearedsignificant. It is surmised that these white crowns are those of Mangiferazeylanica (Bl.) Hook.f (Etamba) in bloom.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31357/fesympo.v0i0.1271

DOI (PDF): https://doi.org/10.31357/fesympo.v0i0.1271.g448

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Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sri Lanka. Published by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura