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Introduction kithugala


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Field visit to Kithulgala Rain forest in Sri lanaka. In the forest we were able to identify canopy layers. Also the adaptations of plants to the forest environment. Its a really nice rain forest.

Field visit to Kithulgala Rain forest in Sri lanaka. In the forest we were able to identify canopy layers. Also the adaptations of plants to the forest environment. Its a really nice rain forest.

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  • 1. Date : 22/06/2013 Title : Field visit to Kithulgala rain forest. Objectives : .To identifying characteristic featuresof Wet zone forests .To identifying species distribution in Wet zone forests .To identifying the characteristics of Climate in wet zone forests INTRODUCTION The main island of Sri Lanka, formerly calledCeylon, is an island in the Indian Ocean belongs to Sri Lanka, located in Southern Asia, southeast of India, in a strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes. It has a total area of 65,610 km², with 64,740 km² of land and 870 km² of water. Its coastline is 1,340 km long. Sri Lanka's climate includes tropical monsoons: the northeast monsoon (December to March), and the southwest monsoon (June to October). TYPES OF FORESTS IN SRI LANKA The natural vegetation of Sri Lanka varies according to the climatic zone. Tropical rain forests are found in the wet zone. Sub montaneforests are found in the central high lands. Dry monsoon forests predominant in the dry zone. The types of forests are, Tropical wet evergreen forests. Dry zone forests. Montane forests.
  • 2. Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests. This type of forests located between 10°N and 10°S. Climate It has high insolation during the whole year. Monthly temperature is around 26°C – 27°C. Annual rain fall is more than 2000mm. Convection rain is common in these forests. It is hot and wet throughout the year. General characteristics of the vegetation Evergreen Dense and luxuriant Have many species Have four layers
  • 3. Tropical rain forests have distinct stratification. It comprises with four layers, Emergent layer - 50m Canopy layer - 30-40m Sub canopy - 15-30m Under storey - 5-15m Emergent layer The trees that make up this layer are the tallest trees in a rainforest. There are not many of these trees, only one or two per hectare. The trees in this level have several clear advantages: they receive the most sunlight and they have lots of room to spread out. These giants of the rainforest can grow to over 50 meters in height. The canopy This layer is the thick branches and leaves of the taller trees. These can grow to heights of 40 to 45 meters. This layer is somewhat like a roof. The coverage is so dense that it blocks out 98 percent of sunlight. It is in this layer that most of the animals of the forest make their home (approximately 90 percent). There is plenty of food in this layer, it is sheltered and the height provides protection from some predators. This layer stops 80 percent of the yearly rainfall.
  • 4. The understory This layer is between the canopy, which forms the 'roof', and the forest floor. The understory is made up of tall shrubs and smaller trees, less than 10 meters in height. Because this layer is dark and hot, many varieties of moss and algae flourish here, as they need very little sunlight and like the damp environment. Ferns, palms and climbing vines also flourish at this level. The forest floor The forest floor is a carpet of dead organic matter. Little to no sunlight reaches the forest floor. It is a perfect habitat for many insects and other organisms. The conditions are best suited to fungi, which thrives on the forest floor. This is also an ideal hunting ground for predators that can hide and await their prey. The conditions at this level allow leaves that fall from the trees to decompose rapidly. The trees then absorb the nutrients provided by the decomposed leaves. KITHULGALA The Kelani Valley Forest Reserve in Kitulgala was established to protect the watershed of the Kelani River and is home to many of Sri Lanka’s endemic fauna & flora. This area is also famous for its adventure activities including rafting on Grade 3 and 4 rapids down the Kelani River and jungle treks or mountain bike rides through jungle-clad hills and plantations growing lowcountry tea and rubber. Kitulgala forest reserve is a primeval rain forest with lush tropical flora including several species of trees and Lianas that are endemic to this area. Two main types of vegetation in forest can be recognized. Remnants of Dipterocarpus forest occur in valleys and on their lower slopes, with hora (D. zeylanicus) and bu hora(D.hispidus) present in almost pure stands. MesuaDoona (Shorea) forest, the climax
  • 5. vegetation over most of the reserve, covers the middle and upper slopes. Stratification: Lowland rain forest Size: 263ha Status: Forest Reserve Altitude: 100-820m Temperature: Average 27 °C Annual Rainfall: Average 3,500mm to 5,250mm Some canopy trees grow over to over 100 meters high. Many have fruit that provides food for animals and people. Many rainforest plants are gathered for food or medicines. This is done without harming the rainforest. Many 'every day' foods originated in rainforests, including tomatoes, peppers, corn, rice, coconut, banana, coffee, cocoa, cassava (tapioca), beans and sweet potatoes. Tropical rainforest: Plant Adaptations In order to survive in the hot, wet tropics, plants of the tropical rainforest have had to develop special features. This is called adaptation. Because the weather is hot and wet, trees do not need thick bark to slow down moisture loss and have instead thin, smooth bark. Thelayers of rainforest are connected by vines and ferns, and mosses grow on the trees. Liana is a climbing vine that grows on rainforest trees, climbing into the canopy so its leaves get more sunlight. Trees grown for shade, or as windbreaks, along roadsides and farm boundaries also provide timber and fuel wood. Trees from such non-forest areas have reduced the pressure on natural forests as sources of timber, fuel wood and other small wood requirements.
  • 6. Forests in Sri Lanka also play a pivotal role in providing supporting and regulating ecosystem services. Among these are soil conservation, reducing flood hazards, watershed functions and trapping moisture through fog interception. They also continue to provide a range of essential goods and services and support livelihoods of people, especially in the rural areas of the dry and intermediate zones. 1. Bark In drier, temperate deciduous forests a thick bark helps to limit moisture evaporation from the tree's trunk. Since this is not a concern in the high humidity of tropical rainforests, most trees have a thin, smooth bark. The smoothness of the bark may also make it difficult for other plants to grow on their surface. 2. Lianas Lianas are climbing woody vines that drape rainforest trees. They have adapted to life in the rainforest by having their roots in the ground and climbing high into the tree canopy to reach available sunlight. Many lianas start life in the rainforest canopy and send roots down to the ground. 3. Drip Tips The leaves of forest trees have adapted to cope with exceptionally high rainfall. Many tropical rainforest leaves have a drip tip. It is thought that these drip tips enable rain drops to run off quickly. Plants need to shed water to avoid growth of fungus and bacteria in the warm, wet tropical rainforest.
  • 7. 4. Buttresses Many large trees have massive ridges near the base that can rise 30 feet high before blending into the trunk. Why do they form? Buttress roots provide extra stability, especially since roots of tropical rainforest trees are not typically as deep as those of trees in temperate zones. 5. Prop and Stilt Roots Prop and stilt roots help give support and are characteristic of tropical palms growing in shallow, wet soils. Although the tree grows fairly slowly, these above-ground roots can grow 28 inches a month. 6. Epiphytes Epiphytes are plants that live on the surface of other plants, especially the trunk and branches. They grow on trees to take advantage of the sunlight in the canopy. Most are orchids, bromeliads, ferns, and Philodendron relatives. Tiny plants called epiphylls, mostly mosses, liverworts and lichens, live on the surface of leaves. The trees grow tall and straight to obtain as much sunlight as possible. Their branches are spread out as far as possible so that they can obtain as much sunlight as possible for photosynthesis to take place. And also they have broad crowns. Another special character iscauliflory. It means fruits are present in the trunk of tree. Many species have stipules for bud protection from rain drops.
  • 8. Soil conditions of wet zone forest
  • 9. Plant species in kithulgala rain forest ShoriastipularisAcrocarpuspavoni anisophylleacinnomomoidesartocarpusnobilis ArtocarpusnobilisDilleniaretusa
  • 10. mesuanagassariumshoreadistica Current status about rain forests Rainforests are also home to 50% of the world’s species, which are directly impacted by deforestation. In addition, the forests act as a major carbon sink and hold countless natural, historical and medicinal wonders. They’re also home to some of the world’s last remaining indigenous peoples who are linked to past civilizations including the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs. These cultures have learned to live with the land and therefore uniquely understand the intricacies of the rainforest and its animal and plant inhabitants. One of the main reasons rainforests continues to be destroyed comes down to basic economics: they’re worth more (monetarily) cut down than standing, at least by today’s standards. Rainforests are also predominantly located in some of the poorest regions on Earth, leaving local populations vulnerable to corruption and foreign business advancement. Palm oil production, for example, which consists of cutting down virgin rainforest in order to plant a mono-crop of oil palm trees, trees that can only grow in tropical climates, is just one example of rainforest development. Use lipstick or eat ice cream? Chances are palm oil is listed as one of the ingredients. What are the conservation methods Ecotourism is one possibility as are bio-prospecting fees and carbon credits. Nevertheless, economic demand for palm oil is strong and financial incentives simply aren’t enough given rampant corruption. Cultural barriers also play a
  • 11. significant role, creating rifts between developed nation priorities and developing nation priorities. In light of all the challenges, however, five basic steps we can each take every day to save rainforests have been broken down into the acronym TREES, which stands for: Teach others about the importance of the environment and how they can help save rainforests. Restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees on land where forests have been cut down. Encourage people to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. Establish parks to protect rainforests and wildlife. Support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment. For many, Teach, Encourage and Support will likely make the most practical sense, although if you’re able to donate to a worthy and credible conservation organization, plant a tree, or do even more, then Conclusion:Forests are very essential to humans for their existence. So we have to get maximum benefits from forests and have to protect them for your future generations. So it should be needed to conserve our forests. Reference (30/06/2013)
  • 12. BOTA 31022 Ecology and Environmental Resources Management Field survey to Kithulgala rain forest W.D.M.S.THILAKARATHNE BS/2009/257 22/06/2013
  • 13. AKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to express my sincere thankfulness to our lecture Prof. Mala Amarasinghe and Dr.MrRathnayake for conducting lecture series. Understanding and cheerful encourage not even throughout this work, but all over our courseunit All the same I would like to thank all demonstrators of the department of botany for their unpredictable support on this work. W.D.M.S.THILAKARATHNE
  • 14. Content Introduction Types of forests in sri lanaka General characteristics of a rain forest Kithulgala Tropical rainforest: Soil conditions of wet zone forest Plant species in kithulgala rain forest Current status about rain forests What are the conservation methods