A phytosociological study of the Albizia amara Boiv. community of India
Meher-Homji, V. M.
A phytosociological analysis is given of the community of Albizia amara of the south eastern half of India. 395 species recorded in it are placed into eight groups: (1) characteristic, (2) preferential, (3) differential, (4) species common to this community (occurring physiognomically as scrub-woodland or thicket) and to the dry deciduous tropical forest, (5) species of the deciduous forest occasionally occurring in the community, (6, 7, 8) companion, accidental species and cultivated trees or shrubs occurring as escapes. The peculiar climatic and edaphic conditions governing this unique vegetation type of India are discussed. The view is expressed that the community consists mostly of "filler" species that have intruded to fill in the vacuum created by the disappearance of most of the species typical of the deciduous forests due to the ecological factors inimical to their development. It is proposed to merge Champion's (1936) "dry evergreen forest" and "thorn forest" types of southern India, as no marked floristic or physiognomic distinction exists between these two types. In fact, in both cases we are dealing with the community of Albizia amara of the status of an order in phytosociological hierarchy presenting several alliances/facies within it.