Impact of Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) on native flora in Barandabhar Forest Corridor, Nepal.
Chitwan National Park is currently under invasion by different Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) thereby increasing threat to native flora and fauna. This study was conducted in southern part of Barandabhar Forest Corridor to list out IAPS, identify the occurrence of IAPS, and calculate various ecological indices of flora and also to explore local IAPS control practices. Nine Buffer Zone Community Forests (BZCFs) of Chitwan National Park were selected for transect walk to list out IAPS. Vegetation sampling and key informant survey were conducted in two community forests that were highly influenced by invasion (realized during transect walk). A total of 14 IAPS were found invading the habitat. Highest occurrence was recorded for Chromolaena odorata which was dominant in Shorea robusta forest with open canopy cover. Vegetation analysis reveals high invasion in Milijuli BZCF than Tikauli BZCF. Simpson's diversity Index and Shannon-Wiener diversity Index for Milijuli were 0.32 and 1.51 respectively; and for Tikauli it was 0.26 and 1.75 respectively. Various local control measures were practised by each community forests such as cutting, uprooting and fire to resist the IAPS but were not effective. Early detection and uprooting of IAPS before flowering was recommended for controlling in initial stage of its invasion.