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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 722 - 729

Bombax ceiba Linn.: As an Umbrella Tree Species in Forests of Southern Rajasthan, India

V. Jain, S.K. Verma, S.K. Sharma and S.S. Katewa    

Abstract: Bombax ceiba Linn. (Red Silk Cotton Tree) commonly known as Semal tree; is a multipurpose tree species of tropical forests; providing food, fodder, fibre, fuel and medicine besides many ecological benefits. It is a dominant plant species of tropical dry deciduous forests of Southern Rajasthan, India. The present work is an attempt to justify the role of B. ceiba as an umbrella or life support tree for many animal species in forest areas of Southern Rajasthan. During the study period, total 43 animal species were observed who visited B. ceiba either for food, shelter or roosting purposes. Out of these, 29 species were from Avian fauna, 11 species belonged to Mammalia, two species belonged to Arthropoda and one from Reptilia. The present study confirms use of B. ceiba for balancing forest ecosystems and further recommends that this drought tolerant, easily propagable plant species should be planted in dotted fashion in forests specially in protected areas and also in home gardens as a keystone resource for many animal species.

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