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The northern Western Ghats (NWG) comprises of a patchy continuum of forests that have been severely fragmented mainly due to anthropogenic activities. We documented tree diversity within a representative fragmented forest patch of the NWG to study the effects of fragmentation on forest structure and composition. The floristic survey was conducted by replicated strip transect sampling method leading to a total sampling area of 0.3ha. A total of 444 individual trees (Girth>10cm) were sampled, which represented 49 tree species belonging to 42 genera and 23 families. Species richness per unit area and tree density were higher than previously reported values from similar forest type in various regions of NWG. These variations, however, could have resulted due to differences in the sampling area, sampling method, and girth classes used across different studies. Nevertheless, various diversity parameters such as N/S ratio, Simpsonâ€™s index, Shannonâ€™s index, and Fisherâ€™s Î± index were comparable with those reported in previous studies in the Western Ghats. The observed species richness was close to species richness estimates such as abundance-based coverage estimate, Chao-1, and Jackknife estimators. The present study also enumerates 108 species of understory flowering plants, which is provided as a checklist. While access restrictions are imposed in protected areas having high conservation priority, such restrictions are not imposed in non-protected areas, which make them much more vulnerable to anthropogenic activities. Hence, this study recommends that owing to their high diversity, the fragmented forest patches of NWG should also be given high conservation priority.
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