Geetha Ramaswami's research while affiliated with Nature Conservation Foundation and other places

Publications (14)

Preprint
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Large-scale and long-term understanding of the phenology of widespread tree species is lacking in the tropics, and particularly in the Indian subcontinent. In the absence of baseline information, the impacts of climate on tree phenology, and thus on trophic interactions downstream of tree phenology, are also poorly understood. Citizen scientists ca...
Article
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Mutualistic associations between frugivorous vertebrates and fleshy-fruited plants result in seed dispersal, a vital ecological process affecting plant populations and communities. Invasive fleshy-fruited plants can easily integrate into existing mutualistic networks if generalist frugivorous species start consuming invasive fruit. Additionally, th...
Article
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Dispersal is an important ecological process that affects plant population structure and community composition. Invasive plants with fleshy fruits rapidly form associations with native and invasive dispersers, and may affect existing native plant-disperser associations. We asked whether frugivore visitation rate and fruit removal was associated wit...
Article
In the past century, our understanding of the processes driving plant invasion and its consequences for natural and anthropogenic systems has increased considerably. However, the management of invasive plants remains a challenge despite ever more resources being allocated to their removal. Often invasive plants targeted for ‘eradication’ are well-e...
Article
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Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), a varied and extensive ecosystem type in the tropics, are characteristically adapted to seasonal water stress in zones of low rainfall. Land-use change, resource extraction, alien invasives, changes to the atmosphere, and changing fire and climatic regimes may have serious implications for the continued pers...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), a varied and extensive ecosystem type in the tropics, are characteristically adapted to seasonal water stress in zones of low rainfall. Land-use change, resource extraction, alien invasives, changes to the atmosphere, and changing fire and climatic regimes may have serious implications for the continued pers...
Article
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Streams are periodically disturbed due to flooding, act as edges between habitats and also facilitate the dispersal of propagules, thus being potentially more vulnerable to invasions than adjoining regions. We used a landscape-wide transect-based sampling strategy and a mixed effects modelling approach to understand the effects of distance from str...
Article
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Invasive species, local plant communities and invaded ecosystems change over space and time. Quantifying this change may lead to a better understanding of the ecology and the effective management of invasive species. We used data on density of the highly invasive shrub Lantana camara (lantana) for the period 1990-2008 from a 50 ha permanent plot in...
Article
Full-text available
Native species’ response to the presence of invasive species is context specific. This response cannot be studied in isolation from the prevailing environmental stresses in invaded habitats such as seasonal drought. We investigated the combined effects of an invasive shrub Lantana camara L. (lantana), seasonal rainfall and species’ microsite prefer...
Article
Full-text available
Lantana camara, a shrub of Central and South American origin, has become invasive across dry forests worldwide. The effect of the thicket-forming habit of L. camara as a dispersal and recruitment barrier in a community of native woody seedlings was examined in a 50-ha permanent plot located in the seasonally dry forest of Mudumalai, southern India....

Citations

... Although the need for a phenological network and the benefit of citizen scientists for phenological observations has long been recognised in Australia [76][77][78], it was not until the establishment of ClimateWatch in 2009 that this occurred [17]. The program joined other citizen science phenology networks that are filling the void in phenological research across the globe such as the US National Phenology Network, Project Budburst, Zooniverse, Phenoclim, and SeasonWatch [79,80] to name a few. Thus far, data collection has been complex and patchy throughout the first 10 years of the Cli-mateWatch program, both due to the variation in multisector partnerships supporting the data collection and the citizen scientists´time, effort, and ongoing commitment to the program. ...
... Frugivores track fruit resources at various spatial and temporal scales, and their movements are governed by fruit availability and forest cover in the landscape (Carlo, García, Martínez, Gleditsch, & Morales, 2013;García & Ortiz-Pulido, 2004;García, Zamora, & Amico, 2011;Naniwadekar, Mishra, & Datta, 2015), which can be important drivers of frugivore visitations to fruiting trees (Blendinger & Villegas, 2011;Martínez & García, 2015). While some studies have shown that neighborhood effects play a role in governing frugivore visitations to focal trees (Blendinger, Loiselle, & Blake, 2008;Saracco, Collazo, Groom, & Carlo, 2005;Smith & McWilliams, 2014), other studies have shown that frugivore visitations are governed by the crop size of the focal tree (Blendinger & Villegas, 2011;Naniwadekar, Mishra, et al., 2015;Ramaswami, Santharam, & Quader, 2019). In addition, frugivore visitations can be potentially governed by the neighborhood effects independent of forest cover (Albrecht, Neuschulz, & Farwig, 2012). ...
... While abiotic factors like fire, rainfall and edaphic properties influence its success in different habitats (Mandal & Joshi, 2015;Ramaswami & Sukumar, 2013), the actual colonisation and spread of Lantana happen mostly through seed dispersal. The copious crops of small-seeded, sugar-rich fruits of Lantana (Bitani et al., 2020) attract a diverse array of vertebrate seed dispersers especially frugivore birds, including bulbuls, white-eyes, babblers and flowerpeckers (Mokotjomela et al., 2013;Ramaswami et al., 2016Ramaswami et al., , 2017. There is a lack of consensus on whether fruiting intensity varies across habitats varying in overstory canopy cover. ...
... While abiotic factors like fire, rainfall and edaphic properties influence its success in different habitats (Mandal & Joshi, 2015;Ramaswami & Sukumar, 2013), the actual colonisation and spread of Lantana happen mostly through seed dispersal. The copious crops of small-seeded, sugar-rich fruits of Lantana (Bitani et al., 2020) attract a diverse array of vertebrate seed dispersers especially frugivore birds, including bulbuls, white-eyes, babblers and flowerpeckers (Mokotjomela et al., 2013;Ramaswami et al., 2016Ramaswami et al., , 2017. There is a lack of consensus on whether fruiting intensity varies across habitats varying in overstory canopy cover. ...
... The nature of response also seems to be mediated by neighbourhood diversity, with greater plasticity in more diverse communities (O'Brien et al., 2017). Seedlings in tropical dry forests subject to burning show enhanced growth rates post-fire and within two years attain similar height of seedlings in unburnt areas (Pulla et al., 2015), though the environmental drivers of seedling growth post-fire are not well understood (Bhadouria et al., 2017). ...
... Esser et al. (2018) modeling distinct climate change scenarios for the Atlantic Forest also observed a spatially heterogeneous response, although with a distinct pattern where there was the occurrence of relatively stronger potential loss of suitable environment for semideciduous forest (Seasonally Dry Atlantic Forest), with semideciduous and rainforest species showing a lower degree of overlap in climate adequacy (6.7% in the current climate), which decreases with the climate change scenario (1.2% in Representative Concentration Pathway-RCP8.5/2070). Tropical dry forests are not necessarily more resilient than tropical rainforests, but they may be more resistant to specific disturbances such as fire and drought (Pulla et al. 2015). ...
... future composition of tree communities in tropical dry deciduous forests of India (Sharma and Raghubanshi 2006). The species due to its wide eco-tolerance (Negi et al. 2019) has dominated varied landscapes including disturbed areas (Richardson et al. 2004), along streams (Ramaswami and Sukumar 2014) open and disturbed forests (Raghubanshi and Tripathi 2009) and riparian vegetation (Meek et al. 2010;Dobhalet al. 2011). L. camara spread contributed to a 50% decrease in livestock forage, diminished natural resources, and obstructed human and livestock movements (Shackleton et al. 2017). ...
... Owing to its limited shade tolerance, Lantana grows best in open canopy unshaded habitats, including treefall gaps, forest edges, logging sites and degraded forests (Day et al., 2003). While abiotic factors like fire, rainfall and edaphic properties influence its success in different habitats (Mandal & Joshi, 2015;Ramaswami & Sukumar, 2013), the actual colonisation and spread of Lantana happen mostly through seed dispersal. The copious crops of small-seeded, sugar-rich fruits of Lantana (Bitani et al., 2020) attract a diverse array of vertebrate seed dispersers especially frugivore birds, including bulbuls, white-eyes, babblers and flowerpeckers (Mokotjomela et al., 2013;Ramaswami et al., 2016Ramaswami et al., , 2017. ...
... A clear pattern that could explain these different results cannot be detected initially. Under the dense shade of L. camara (Ramaswami and Sukumar, 2013b) shade-intolerant tree species would be expected to decline in abundance while shade-tolerant species would be expected to persist for some time. However, the results that we found (Table 1) do not match these assumptions fully. ...
... Specifically, mammal-dispersed dry forest species and mechanically-dispersed species were less abundant under dense Lan. camara (Ramaswami and Sukumar 2011), while dry forest species also had reduced growth under the invasive (Ramaswami and Sukumar 2013b). ...