Distribution and population status of Kingiodendron pinnatum (Angiosperms: Fabaceae) an endemic and endangered legume tree in southern Western Ghats, Kerala, India

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P. A. Jose
Siju Tom Kuruvila
N. M. Binoy


An extensive survey and population analysis of the endemic and endangered tree Kingiodendron pinnatum, was carried out in the Kerala area of the Western Ghats. The aim was to assess the pattern of distribution, population size and natural regeneration of the species. The fragmented and patchy populations of the species are distributed in evergreen/semi evergreen habitats within an altitudinal range of 176-680m elevation. The tree attained a first layer/canopy species with a height range from 24–30m. Altogether 17 populations were identified and mapped in 13 forest locations in the region.  A total of 140 adult individuals of the species were enumerated within the 13 forest locations. Natural regeneration of the species recorded from three zones among the 13 forest locations covering 21,000m2 area representing the Kerala state.  The flowering trees displayed a height and dbh range of 10-30m and 85-320cm, respectively. The individuals are spatially arranged in aggregation among patchy populations. The populations are well represented by reproductive individuals with 77% and pre reproductive with 23%. Seedlings of 35.9% attained a height below 1m and 64.01% of a height above 1m. Considering the extent of distribution in the state, increase in the number of mature individuals (in addition to the enumerated area), and fair count of seedlings suggests a healthier conservation status of the species in the region. The economic and medicinal values, occurrence of isolated and fragmented populations, irregularities in the flowering and fruiting period among populations, however, extends urgent concerns over the pollination biology, detection of diverse genotypes subsequent multiplication and restoration of dwindling populations for the effective conservation and management of the species in situ.


Article Details

Short Communications
Author Biographies

P. A. Jose, Kerala Forest Research institute Peechi 680 653, Kerala, India

Principal Scientist & Head

Tree Physiology Department

Siju Tom Kuruvila, Kerala Forest Research institute Peechi 680 653, Kerala, India

Project Fellow

Tree Physiology Department

N. M. Binoy, Kerala Forest Research institute Peechi 680 653, Kerala, India

Project Assistant

Tree Physiology Department


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