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Phytosociological Attributes of Trees in Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated Forests of Buffer Zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India

Shaizah Tajdar , Sharad Kumar, Jamal Ahmad Khan
Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2022, 10(5), 268-272. DOI: 10.12691/aees-10-5-1
Received March 25, 2022; Revised April 29, 2022; Accepted May 08, 2022

Abstract

Phytosociological attributes viz, density, dominance, frequency, Importance Value Index (IVI) and regeneration status of tree community were assessed in Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated forests of buffer zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve during the year 2016. A total of 31 tree species belonging to 19 families were evaluated. The study area is dominated by Shorea robusta in terms of density and IVI. Regeneration of four species viz, Chloroxylon swietenia, Wrightia tinctoria, Flacourtia indica and Diospyros melanoxylon was good. The study area exhibited fair regeneration status despite of the high anthropogenic pressure on the woody species.

1. Introduction

Trees are well known to be regulating and maintaining the temperature and oxygen level of the atmosphere, preserving soil, promoting sustenance of wildlife and benefitting the human race. Upper storey (trees) plays a crucial role in the holistic health of any forested region. India contributes to 1.8% (72 million hectares) of the 4.06 billion hectares of global forests. A wide array of forest types, viz, deciduous, semi-evergreen, subtropical and thorn forests in the lower montane zone; temperate forests in higher montane zones; up to thorn and tropical dry deciduous forests in the semi-arid regions (Gujarat and Rajasthan) are characteristic of Indian forests. The tropical forests accommodate more than 50% of the global faunal as well as floral diversity 1. Moreover, tropical forests are the most complex in nature and the most exploited terrestrial ecosystems of the biosphere 2.

With the escalating development in the country, the forest cover experienced rapid decline over past decades along with associated loss of biodiversity; for the developmental activities promote increased deforestation (primarily for the purpose of agricultural expansion as well as conversion into pastures and urban land) and forest degradation (severe repercussion of unsustainable harvesting, pests, fire, pollution as well as climate change). However, due to the imposition of legislations in terms of forest conservation in the past few years, the rate of deforestation has reduced to 10 million hectares per year as compared to 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s as per the report published by FAO and UNEP in 2020 3. In order to implement such forest conservation-oriented laws/legislations, a thorough understanding of the phytosociological attributes of an area is the chief requirement.

The study area is a human-dominated landscape with associated anthropogenic pressure on its forests in terms of deforestation, non-timber forest produce (NTFP) collection, competition of food resource among wild and domestic herbivores as well as modified feeding habits of carnivores. Assemblage of such factors often results in increasing conflicts and severe retaliatory actions putting the biodiversity in adverse conditions. The aim of this paper is to assess the phytosociological attributes i.e., density, importance value index (IVI) and regeneration status of trees in the Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated forests of the study area as an attempt to facilitate preparation of further management practices and conservation efforts in the reserve.

2. Material and Methods

2.1. Study Area

The study was carried in the buffer zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR). The Reserve lies between 23° 27' 00'' to 23° 59' 50" North latitude and 80° 47' 75" to 81° 15' 45" East longitude (Figure 1). The core zone of BTR consists of Bandhavgarh National Park and Panpatha Wildlife Sanctuary covering 716 km2 and the surrounding buffer includes 820 km2, adding up to 1536 km2 as the total area of the reserve. The buffer zone has three administrative zones - Manpur, Dhamokhar, and Panpatha. The reserve falls in the districts of Umaria, Katni and Shahdol of Madhya Pradesh. The reserve comprises of five major forest types, viz, moist peninsular low-level Sal forest, northern dry mixed deciduous forest, dry deciduous scrub, dry grassland and West Gangetic moist mixed deciduous forest 4. The dominant tree species of the forest is Sal (Shorea robusta). The forested areas of the buffer zone of the reserve are interspersed with Bamboo patches, meadows as well as scrub lands with universal presence of a noxious weed viz., Lantana camara. The study area also consists of degraded forests due to the presence of human settlements as well as agricultural lands. The terrain is the mosaic of both the flat and hilly surfaces which leads to the horizontal heterogeneity in habitat features. The elevation ranges from 324-815 meters above mean sea level (MSL) with a mean elevation of 570m MSL. The reserve has two major river systems, Son and Johila. Son River flows from North to South and lies in the eastern part of the reserve. The average rainfall is 1,173 mm, most of which occurs during the monsoon.

2.2. Methodology

10 transects of two kilometre length each, were laid in four habitat types viz, mixed, Sal, Sal-miscellaneous forest and scrubland. Circular plots of radius 10 m were laid on the transects, at an equidistance of 250 m, resulting in 80 circular plots. In 10 m radius of each circular plot, tree species were recorded along with their number of individuals and girth at breast height (GBH). Plants with height of >3 m and GBH >30 cm were identified as trees. In the nested plot of radius 5 m, regenerating class was enumerated. Plants with height < 30 cm were identified as seedlings. Plants with 3 m > height > 30 cm were identified as saplings. Density of trees and regenerating class was calculated as follows:

IVI of tree species was calculated with the help of following formulae 5:

Regeneration of tree species was categorized under following categories 6:

3. Results and Discussion

Phytosociological assessment described a total of 702 individuals described among 31 tree species under 19 families. Similar species richness from another tropical dry deciduous forest of central India (29 tree species represented by 17 families with Fabaceae being the most dominant) was reported by 7. However, the species richness in the examined forest was found to be comparatively lower than the Sal-dominated forests of Gorakhpur division of eastern terai region (208 species) 8, eastern Himalayas (87 species) 9, North-east (71 species) 10 and central India (56 species) 11 as well as Nepal (68 species) 12 and Bangladesh (94 species) 13. Family Fabaceae showed dominance with highest number of tree species (five) followed by Combretaceae and Anacardiaceae with three tree species each; as well as Salicaceae, Rubiaceae, Myrtaceae and Ebenaceae with two tree species each. Abundance of the Fabaceae family attests to the old age and maturity of the surveyed forest 14. Remaining families viz, Phyllanthaceae, Rutaceae, Apocynaceae, Rhamnaceae, Lecythidaceae, Sapindaceae, Sapotaceae, Ebenaceae, Meliaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Burseraceae, Lythraceae and Malvaceae were represented by one tree species each. The result is similar to research findings 15, 16 demonstrating that although the forest consisted of several families, many of them are represented by only one tree species.

  • Table 1. Phytosociological attributes (density, importance value index and regeneration status of tree community) evaluated during 2016 in buffer zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India

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Mean density/ha along with the relative density, relative dominance, relative frequency, IVI and regeneration status of each tree species has been summarized under Table 1. The dominant tree species with highest IVI and mean density in the human-dominated buffer zone of BTR is Shorea robusta. Mean density of Shorea robusta was calculated to be 168.37 (mean density/ha). The tree species were segregated into three classes A, B and C: 3.23% (one species) had ≥100 individuals, 35.48% (11 species) had >10and <100 individuals and the rest of the 61.29% (19 species) had <10individuals respectively. Sal belonged to Group A with 328 individuals. The forested area of the buffer zone of the reserve is primarily characteristic of tropical moist deciduous forest dominated by Shorea robusta interspersed with patches of Dendrocalamus strictus, scrub land and thickets of Lantana camara. Phyllanthus emblica, Casearia elliptica, Chloroxylon swietenia, Buchanania cochinchinensis, Dalbergia lanceolaria, Syzygium cumini, Madhuca indica, Terminalia elliptica, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Diospyros melanoxylon and Lannea coromandelica described group B. Species belonging to group B are found in large numbers as they are economically important to the local people residing in the buffer zone in terms of timber, fuel wood and several NTFP purposes and are therefore, experience selective logging which stimulates their regeneration. Tree species viz, Phyllanthus emblica, Buchanania cochinchinensis, Syzygium cumini and Diospyros melanoxylon are utilized by the local people in terms of timber and fuel wood as well as for their seasonal fruits. Fruits of Buchanania cochinchinensis bear single seed which is an edible nut called Chironji. Flowers and fruits of Madhuca indica are collected by the local people as the flowers are used in liquor-making and vegetable oil extracted from the fruits is used in cooking. Group C consists of species with individuals less than 10.

Importance value index of Shorea robusta was calculated to be highest (82.73) followed by Diospyros melanoxylon (25.43). High importance value index suggests that the tree species are ecologically important in terms of better regenerating tendency as well as good adaptability. Importance value index of six tree species viz, Chloroxylon swietenia, Buchanania cochinchinensis, Lannea coromandelica, Madhuca indica, Terminalia elliptica and Lagerstroemia parviflora was calculated to be in the range of >10 and <20. Remaining 23 tree species were evaluated to have lesser importance value indices.

A total of 810 seedlings and 965 saplings have been recorded from the study area during the survey. Out of 31 tree species, 10 species showed good to fair regeneration; eight species showed poor regeneration and 41.94% (13 species) lacked regeneration. The regeneration of tree species is influenced by edaphic factors, light intensity and anthropogenic pressure of varying nature 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. Summer season of the reserve experiences significant amount of anthropogenic pressure in terms of Mahua’s flowers and fruits collection, forest fires, Tendu’s leaves harvesting along with the fuel wood collection throughout the year. However, regeneration of tree species is still sustained in the study area. 6 out of 31 species (Cassia fistula, Mitragyna parviflora, Anogeissus latifolia, Syzygium cumini, Madhuca indica and Shorea robusta) showed fair regeneration; whereas, Diospyros melanoxylon, Chloroxylon swietenia, Wrightia tinctoria and Flacourtia indica showed good regeneration. Diospyros melanoxylon showed good regeneration despite of the harvesting of its leaves from the saplings for beedi-making. In the presence of moderate human disturbance, many species tend to benefit in terms of their regeneration, as per the intermediate disturbance hypothesis. As the disturbance (selective logging and lopping) results in canopy gaps which enable increased penetration of light and elevated soil temperature along with reduced competition for nutrients and water, making the environmental conditions favorable. Moreover, the herbivores (domestic and wild) facilitate seed dispersion and germination.

Chloroxylon swietenia is categorized as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN red data list 22. Density of the tree species was calculated to be 100.38 (mean density/ha) in the study area and it showed good regeneration too. Moreover, Pterocarpus marsupium is categorized as Near Threatened (NT) by the IUCN red data list with ‘decreasing’ population trend 23. Density of the tree species was calculated to be 31.83 (mean density/ha) with no regeneration. Phyllanthus emblica and Acacia catechu had decreasing population trend according to the IUCN red data list 24, 25. Remaining tree species were either categorized as Least Concern (LC) or were not evaluated of their conservation status.

4. Conclusion

The survey covered small area of the buffer zone but the quantification of the vegetation attributes provided an insight into the better understanding of Sal-dominated forest of BTR. Despite of the anthropogenic pressure, the buffer zone of the reserve is characterized by rich floral community along with fair amount of regeneration. However, further estimation of biomass and carbon sequestration potential may facilitate supplementary understanding regarding the sustainability and productivity of the forest.

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our gratitude to The Corbett Foundation (TCF) for facilitating this study. We also wish to thank Mr. Kedar Gore, Director of TCF for his support. We are thankful to the forest department of Madhya Pradesh for providing necessary permission for data collection in the reserve. Administration body of BTR has been very helpful during the data collection period. First author wishes to extend her thanks to Department of Science and Technology (DST) for the INSPIRE Fellowship.

Statement of Competing Interests

The authors have no competing interests.

List of Abbreviations

NTFP – Non-Timber Forest Products

IVI – Importance Value Index

BTR – Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

MSL – Mean Sea Level

GBH – Girth at Breast Height

References

[1]  Wilson, E. O. (1988). The current state of biological diversity. Biodiversity, 521(1), 3-18.
In article      
 
[2]  Bahuguna, V. K. (1999). Forest fire prevention and control strategies in India. International Forest Fire News, 20, 5-9.
In article      
 
[3]  FAO and UNEP. 2020. The State of the World’s Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people. Rome.
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[4]  Champion, H. G., & Seth, S. K. (1968). A revised survey of the forest types of India. Manager of publications.
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[5]  Panwar, P., & Bhardwaj, S. D. (2005). Handbook of practical forestry. Agrobios (India).
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[6]  Shankar, U. (2001). A case of high tree diversity in a sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated lowland forest of Eastern Himalaya: Floristic composition, regeneration and conservation. Current science, 776-786.
In article      
 
[7]  Joshi, R. K., & Dhyani, S. (2019). Biomass, carbon density and diversity of tree species in tropical dry deciduous forests in Central India. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 39(4), 289-299.
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Pandey, S. K., & Shukla, R. P. (2003). Plant diversity in managed sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn.) forests of Gorakhpur, India: species composition, regeneration and conservation. Biodiversity & Conservation, 12(11), 2295-2319.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Shankar, U. (2001). A case of high tree diversity in a sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated lowland forest of Eastern Himalaya: Floristic composition, regeneration and conservation. Current science, 776-786.
In article      
 
[10]  Deka, J., Tripathi, O. P., & Khan, M. L. (2012). High dominance of Shorea robusta Gaertn. in alluvial plain Kamrup sal forest of Assam, NE India. International Journal of Ecosystem, 2(4), 67-73.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Sahu, P. K., Sagar, R., & Singh, J. S. (2008). Tropical forest structure and diversity in relation to altitude and disturbance in a Biosphere Reserve in central India. Applied Vegetation Science, 11(4), 461-470.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Panthi, M. P., Chaudhary, R. P., & Vetaas, O. R. (2007). Plant species richness and composition in a trans-Himalayan inner valley of Manang district, central Nepal. Himalayan Journal of Sciences, 4(6), 57-64.
In article      View Article
 
[13]  Malaker, J., Rahman, M., Prodhan, A., & Malaker, S. (2011). Journal of Innovation & Development Strategy (JIDS).
In article      
 
[14]  Cusset, G. (1989). La flore et la végétation du Mayombe congolais. Etat des connaissances. Revue des connaissances sur le Mayombe. Unesco, Paris, 103-136.
In article      
 
[15]  Oguntala, A. B. (1981). The dynamics of tree population in Gambari Forest Reserve, Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Forestry, 11(1), 5-9.
In article      
 
[16]  Ajayi, S., & Obi, R. L. (2016). Tree Species Composition, Structure and Importance Value Index (IVI) of Okwangwo Division, Cross River National Park, Nigeria. International Journal of Science and Research, 5(12), 85-93.
In article      
 
[17]  Teketay, D. (1997). Seedling populations and regeneration of woody species in dry Afromontane forests of Ethiopia. Forest ecology and management, 98(2), 149-165.
In article      View Article
 
[18]  Cierjacks, A., & Hensen, I. (2004). Variation of stand structure and regeneration of Mediterranean holm oak along a grazing intensity gradient. Plant ecology, 173(2), 215-223.
In article      View Article
 
[19]  Shrestha, B. B., Ghimire, B., Lekhak, H. D., & Jha, P. K. (2007). Regeneration of treeline birch (Betula utilis D. Don) forest in a trans-Himalayan dry valley in central Nepal. Mountain Research and Development, 27(3), 259-267.
In article      View Article
 
[20]  Sagar, R., & Singh, J. S. (2005). Structure, diversity, and regeneration of tropical dry deciduous forest of northern India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 14(4), 935-959.
In article      View Article
 
[21]  Mishra, B. P., Tripathi, O. P., Tripathi, R. S., & Pandey, H. N. (2004). Effects of anthropogenic disturbance on plant diversity and community structure of a sacred grove in Meghalaya, northeast India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 13(2), 421-436.
In article      View Article
 
[22]  Asian Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Viet Nam, August 1996). 1998. Chloroxylon swietenia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998: e.T33260A9765049. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 
[23]  Barstow, M. 2017. Pterocarpus marsupium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T34620A67802995. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 
[24]  Roland, C. 2020. Phyllanthus emblica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T149444430A149548926. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 
[25]  Plummer, J. 2021. Senegalia catechu. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T169300001A169300339. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2022 Shaizah Tajdar, Sharad Kumar and Jamal Ahmad Khan

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Normal Style
Shaizah Tajdar, Sharad Kumar, Jamal Ahmad Khan. Phytosociological Attributes of Trees in Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated Forests of Buffer Zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Vol. 10, No. 5, 2022, pp 268-272. http://pubs.sciepub.com/aees/10/5/1
MLA Style
Tajdar, Shaizah, Sharad Kumar, and Jamal Ahmad Khan. "Phytosociological Attributes of Trees in Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated Forests of Buffer Zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India." Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences 10.5 (2022): 268-272.
APA Style
Tajdar, S. , Kumar, S. , & Khan, J. A. (2022). Phytosociological Attributes of Trees in Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated Forests of Buffer Zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 10(5), 268-272.
Chicago Style
Tajdar, Shaizah, Sharad Kumar, and Jamal Ahmad Khan. "Phytosociological Attributes of Trees in Sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated Forests of Buffer Zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India." Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences 10, no. 5 (2022): 268-272.
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  • Table 1. Phytosociological attributes (density, importance value index and regeneration status of tree community) evaluated during 2016 in buffer zone of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India
[1]  Wilson, E. O. (1988). The current state of biological diversity. Biodiversity, 521(1), 3-18.
In article      
 
[2]  Bahuguna, V. K. (1999). Forest fire prevention and control strategies in India. International Forest Fire News, 20, 5-9.
In article      
 
[3]  FAO and UNEP. 2020. The State of the World’s Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people. Rome.
In article      
 
[4]  Champion, H. G., & Seth, S. K. (1968). A revised survey of the forest types of India. Manager of publications.
In article      
 
[5]  Panwar, P., & Bhardwaj, S. D. (2005). Handbook of practical forestry. Agrobios (India).
In article      
 
[6]  Shankar, U. (2001). A case of high tree diversity in a sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated lowland forest of Eastern Himalaya: Floristic composition, regeneration and conservation. Current science, 776-786.
In article      
 
[7]  Joshi, R. K., & Dhyani, S. (2019). Biomass, carbon density and diversity of tree species in tropical dry deciduous forests in Central India. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 39(4), 289-299.
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Pandey, S. K., & Shukla, R. P. (2003). Plant diversity in managed sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn.) forests of Gorakhpur, India: species composition, regeneration and conservation. Biodiversity & Conservation, 12(11), 2295-2319.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Shankar, U. (2001). A case of high tree diversity in a sal (Shorea robusta)-dominated lowland forest of Eastern Himalaya: Floristic composition, regeneration and conservation. Current science, 776-786.
In article      
 
[10]  Deka, J., Tripathi, O. P., & Khan, M. L. (2012). High dominance of Shorea robusta Gaertn. in alluvial plain Kamrup sal forest of Assam, NE India. International Journal of Ecosystem, 2(4), 67-73.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Sahu, P. K., Sagar, R., & Singh, J. S. (2008). Tropical forest structure and diversity in relation to altitude and disturbance in a Biosphere Reserve in central India. Applied Vegetation Science, 11(4), 461-470.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Panthi, M. P., Chaudhary, R. P., & Vetaas, O. R. (2007). Plant species richness and composition in a trans-Himalayan inner valley of Manang district, central Nepal. Himalayan Journal of Sciences, 4(6), 57-64.
In article      View Article
 
[13]  Malaker, J., Rahman, M., Prodhan, A., & Malaker, S. (2011). Journal of Innovation & Development Strategy (JIDS).
In article      
 
[14]  Cusset, G. (1989). La flore et la végétation du Mayombe congolais. Etat des connaissances. Revue des connaissances sur le Mayombe. Unesco, Paris, 103-136.
In article      
 
[15]  Oguntala, A. B. (1981). The dynamics of tree population in Gambari Forest Reserve, Nigeria. Nigeria Journal of Forestry, 11(1), 5-9.
In article      
 
[16]  Ajayi, S., & Obi, R. L. (2016). Tree Species Composition, Structure and Importance Value Index (IVI) of Okwangwo Division, Cross River National Park, Nigeria. International Journal of Science and Research, 5(12), 85-93.
In article      
 
[17]  Teketay, D. (1997). Seedling populations and regeneration of woody species in dry Afromontane forests of Ethiopia. Forest ecology and management, 98(2), 149-165.
In article      View Article
 
[18]  Cierjacks, A., & Hensen, I. (2004). Variation of stand structure and regeneration of Mediterranean holm oak along a grazing intensity gradient. Plant ecology, 173(2), 215-223.
In article      View Article
 
[19]  Shrestha, B. B., Ghimire, B., Lekhak, H. D., & Jha, P. K. (2007). Regeneration of treeline birch (Betula utilis D. Don) forest in a trans-Himalayan dry valley in central Nepal. Mountain Research and Development, 27(3), 259-267.
In article      View Article
 
[20]  Sagar, R., & Singh, J. S. (2005). Structure, diversity, and regeneration of tropical dry deciduous forest of northern India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 14(4), 935-959.
In article      View Article
 
[21]  Mishra, B. P., Tripathi, O. P., Tripathi, R. S., & Pandey, H. N. (2004). Effects of anthropogenic disturbance on plant diversity and community structure of a sacred grove in Meghalaya, northeast India. Biodiversity & Conservation, 13(2), 421-436.
In article      View Article
 
[22]  Asian Regional Workshop (Conservation & Sustainable Management of Trees, Viet Nam, August 1996). 1998. Chloroxylon swietenia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1998: e.T33260A9765049. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 
[23]  Barstow, M. 2017. Pterocarpus marsupium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T34620A67802995. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 
[24]  Roland, C. 2020. Phyllanthus emblica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T149444430A149548926. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article      
 
[25]  Plummer, J. 2021. Senegalia catechu. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T169300001A169300339. Downloaded on 06 December 2021.
In article