Theats to Knuckles Mountain Range and its forest system

The Knuckles Mountain Range and its forest systems in Sri Lanka, which has been declared as world heritage site by UNESCO because of its rich biodiversity, has been severely impacted by economic trends over the past several decades.

In the middle of last century, some parts of the forest within the range had been cleared to cultivate coffee and subsequently to grow tea.Because the climatic condition in this forest range is favorable for cardamom plantation, several planters also engage in underplanting cardamom.

By removing one-quarter of theoverstory of the natural forest In 1960, this underplanting had become a greater threat to the forest range when the government authorized individuals and groups to grow cardamom.

With the initiation of new reforestation policies in the 1960s, severar Pinus plantations were established around the range Several attempts have been made to analyze the differences in ecological functions and diversity in these human land uses and undisturbed forest.


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