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A conceptual framework to analyse the land-use/land-cover changes and its impact on phytodiversity: a case study of North Andaman Islands, India

Prasad, P. Rama Chandra, Rajan, K. S., Dutt, C. B. S., Roy, P. S.
Biodiversity and conservation 2010 v.19 no.11 pp. 3073-3087
case studies, climatic factors, disasters, ecosystems, environmental impact, extinction, herbivores, humans, indigenous species, islands, issues and policy, land cover, land use, resource management, species diversity, tsunamis, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
Phytodiversity is affected both by natural and anthropogenic factors and in Island ecosystems these impacts can devastate or reduce diversity, if the native vegetation is lost. In addition to rich species richness and diversity, Island systems are the sites of high endemism and any threat to these ecosystems will consequently lead to loss and extinction of species. To understand the dynamics including feedbacks of these changes in phytodiversity of North Andaman Islands, a conceptual framework is proposed which focuses on understanding the land-use and land-cover changes and its impact with phytodiversity. In considering land-use and land-cover changes this work highlights the direct and indirect drivers of changes—socio-economic, biophysical and climatic factors. Migration of population, their socio economic needs and government policies were identified as major driving forces threatening the phytodiversity of these Islands. Apart from human beings, natural disasters like tsunami and introduced herbivorous animals like elephants also contributed to forest destruction in these Islands. The integrated analysis based on such framework will provide insights for holistic resource management including ecological conservation.