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Microenvironmental heterogeneity caused by anthropogenic LULC foster lower plant assemblages in the riparian habitats of lentic systems in tropical floodplains

Rajbongshi, Poppy, Das, Tapati, Adhikari, Dibyendu
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.639 pp. 1254-1260
correspondence analysis, floodplains, land use, land use and land cover maps, lentic systems, plant communities, riparian areas, soil sampling, spatial variation, temporal variation, vegetation structure, watersheds, India
Anthropogenic land use and land cover (LULC) create a heterogeneous environment in the floodplains. This heterogeneity may be governing plant species assemblages, diversity, and dominance patterns in the riparian habitats of the lentic systems in tropical floodplains. We tested this hypothesis in the floodplains of Barak river basin in northeast India following standard methods of plant and soil sampling/analysis and multivariate statistical tools. Plant community studies in the riparian habitats of the selected lentic systems were done at monthly intervals for a period of one year, while soil sampling and analysis were done at bimonthly intervals. Standard data visualization plots and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) were used to assess spatiotemporal variations in species richness and diversity, environmental heterogeneity, and species-environment association. The study revealed that anthropogenic land use and land cover significantly affects species assemblage, diversity, and dominance in the riparian habitats. The variations in vegetation structure and composition with respect to the adjoining land use type plausibly have implications on the structure and functioning of the lentic systems. Thus, the study recommends that a holistic approach involving the riparian areas is required for effective management of tropical floodplains.