Research Scholar, Eastern Himalaya
Karthik, as part of the Eastern Himalaya Program, studied forest recovery following shifting cultivation in the Upper Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh. Besides looking at the patterns of vegetation recovery, he undertook multi-factor field experiments to understand factors that affect the recovery process. He also attempted to understand factors that affect the spread of Mikania micrantha, an invasive climber species at local and landscape scales. His research also includes documenting the shifting cultivation system of the Adi community in the Siang region in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Book Chapter2017Top-down or bottom-up: the role of the government and local institutions in regulating shifting cultivation in the Upper Siang district, Eastern Himalaya, India (in press)Pages 760-766 In: Shifting Cultivation Policies: Balancing environmental and Social sustainability, edited by Cairns, M., Routledge, UK.
- Dataset2016Data from: Field to a forest: patterns of forest recovery following shifting cultivation in the eastern Himalaya. Dryad Digital Repository.doi:10.5061/dryad.k83h6
- Journal Article2016Shifting to settled cultivation: Changing practices among the Adis in Central Arunachal Pradesh, north-east IndiaAmbio doi 10.1007/s13280-016-0765-x
In the hilly tropics, although shifting cultivation is a widespread practice, government policies have attempted to replace it with other land-uses. However, several factors determine whether farming communities can make the shift. We tried understanding the factors that facilitate or impede the shift to settled cultivation through interviews with the Adi tribe in north-east India. Although settled cultivation was initiated in the sixties, about 90 % of the families practice shifting cultivation, observing 13 festivals associated with the annual agricultural calendar. Our results indicate that the economic status of a household affected the ability to undertake settled cultivation, while labour availability is important for shifting cultivation. Often, these nuances are ignored in government policies. We conclude that future policies should be mindful of cultural and socio-economic factors that affect the community and of the social-ecological resilience of the landscapes and not use a one-size-fits-all strategy.
- Journal Article2016Field to a forest: Patterns of forest recovery following shifting cultivation in the Eastern HimalayaForest Ecology & Management http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.01.006
The patterns of vegetation recovery in shifting cultivation landscapes that undergo a cycle of clearing, cultivation and forest regeneration are not well understood in Asian tropical forests. We determined for- est recovery patterns by comparing species composition, richness and forest structure in early and late fallows formed following shifting cultivation and in an uncut forest site in a mid-elevation subtropical forest in the Indian Eastern Himalaya. We also examined changes in functional traits of tree species to understand recovery processes with succession. Tree species richness in the 12, 25 and 50-year old sites was 37%, 54% and 82% the value of the richness in uncut forest, respectively, while basal area was 33%, 25% and 41% of the value in uncut forest, respectively. Species composition recovery, however, was low; with even the oldest fallow (50-year fallow) being less than 50% similar to uncut forest in terms of composition. Successional sites that recover over long periods may differ compositionally from uncut forest within a shifting cultivation landscape as these forests are often prone to other anthropogenic dis- turbances. Functional trait analysis revealed that early fallows were colonized by tree species that are animal-dispersed, insect-pollinated with small fruits and seeds, whereas uncut forest and late succes- sional forests were dominated by species that were tall, self-dispersed, wind-pollinated and of high wood density that are dominant mature forest species in the Himalaya. These results are in contrast with the patterns in functional traits of tree species in successional sites from the Neotropics. This points to the importance of site-specificity in succession following shifting cultivation.
- Dataset2016Data from: Shifting to settled cultivation: changing practices among the Adis in Central Arunachal Pradesh, north-east IndiaDryad Digital Repository http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6mq0nDownload
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This data contains household level socio-economic information collected from five villages in the Upper Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh. The data is from the following publication:
Teegalapalli, K. & Datta, A. 2016. Shifting to settled cultivation: Changing practices among the Adis in Central Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India. Ambio doi 10.1007/s13280-016-0765-x
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