Shola tree regeneration is lower under Lantana camara L. thickets in the upper Nilgiris Plateau, India.
Lantana camara is a dominant invasive shrub in many protected areas of India including the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR). We conducted a study to assess the regeneration potential of endemic native (shola) trees under different levels of Lantana infestation in the upper plateau of NBR. A total of 61 plots in a total area of 0.73ha were sampled, out of which 0.57ha was in Lantana dominated sites and 0.16ha in undisturbed shola forests. The plots were classified as per the level of Lantana infestation (intensive, moderate, and low infestation). We found that regeneration of shola trees, including endemics decreased with increasing intensity of Lantana invasion. No regeneration occurred in the intensively infested plots whereas regeneration was high in undisturbed shola forests.