Uses and ecosystem services of trees outside forest (TOF)-a case study from Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, West Bengal, India.
Trees outside Forest (TOF) play a critical role in conservation of floristic diversity apart from being reservoirs of other ecosystem services. TOF includes all the trees, attained 10 cm or more diameters at breast height, available on lands, which is not notified as forests. The present study was conducted in the Pundibari campus of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya to document the available tree diversity and their potential uses and ecosystem services. A total of 1816 numbers of individuals with dbh ≥ 10 cm of 95 woody perennials species were inventoried belonging to 79 genera and 38 families. The contribution among number of individuals was dominated by Mangifera indica with (9.19%). The overall dominant family was Fabaceae represented by 11 species followed by Arecaceae and Meliaceae. The contribution of inventoried 95 species was dominated by forestry tree species followed by road isde plantation, fruit crops and plantation crops respectively. The highest number of individuals among forestry plantation was for Terminalia arjuna (121) followed by Gmelina arborea (114) and Tectona grandis (95). The documented species were dominated by endemic flora (66.31%) and exotic flora (33.68%). Majority of the species (54) were of timber value, followed by food (50), fodder (36) and ethno-medicine (39). Based on the contribution to ecosystem services all the 95 species have the potential to sequest carbon followed by 46 species to provide beautification in the form of avenue/ornamental/roadside. The tree species richness and their potential ecosystem services documented in the present study can be a baseline study for further assessment of such landscapes and their significance under threatning environmental conditions.