Structural diversity and representativeness of forest vegetation in a protected area of Kumaun Himalaya, India: implications for conservation
Authors: DHAR U.; RAWAL R.S.; SAMANT S.S.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 6, Number 8, 1997 , pp. 1045-1062(18)
Forest vegetation of a Protected Area (Askot Wildlife Sanctuary) in Kumaun (west Himalaya) was analysed for structure, composition and representativeness. A high percentage of non-natives was noticed in herbaceous flora of all representative forest types. Floristic representativeness in all growth forms (tree, shrub and herbs) increased significantly (tree, p<0.05; shrub and herbs, p<0.01) with altitude. The population structures of trees suggest, (i) expansion of riverine and Pinus roxburghii forests; (ii) compositional changes in Quercus leucotrichophora and Quercus lanuginosa forests, largely owing to preferred extraction demand of inhabitants; and (iii) infrequent regeneration and declining population of Quercus semecarpifolia and Abies pindrow forests. The possible pathways of non-native introduction in the study area were examined. Considering the existing status of forest vegetation and future trends, proliferation of non-native species in most forest types was discussed. It is suggested that the compositional changes vis-a`-vis proliferation of non-native species need priority attention while initiating conservation activities in the reserve.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 1997-01-01