Harikrishnan Venugopalan Nair Radhamoni
The Diversity and Distribution of Herbaceous Plants along a Rainfall Gradient in the Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests of the Western Ghats, India
Fields of Interest:
Tropical forest ecology, herbaceous plants, biodiversity,
Most of what ecologists know about tropical ecosystems is from studies on woody plants such as trees, whereas smaller, non-woody(herbaceous) plants or herbs have not gained much attention. My work aims to find the drivers of the diversity and functional composition of herbaceous plants in seasonally dry tropical forests. For that, I will study the variation in herb diversity along a rainfall gradient in such a forest in India's richly bio-diverse Western Ghats. My work includes plant surveys within 13 one-ha plots and collection of environmental data. This study will contribute towards filling a major gap in tropical forest ecology and help us predict vegetation changes in response to environmental changes.