Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Plant Assemblages Along an Altitudinal Gradient in Northwest Himalaya
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
 Title & Authors
Plant Assemblages Along an Altitudinal Gradient in Northwest Himalaya
Gupta, Bhupendar; Sharma, Navneet;
  PDF(new window)
The study investigates herbage communities along the altitudinal gradient in northwest Himalaya and highlights the effect of trees on its understory floristic diversity and phytosociology. The study was conducted in nine forests at three elevations viz., chir pine (Pinus roxburghii), mixed and khair (Acacia catechu) forests at elevation (850-1150 m), chir pine, mixed and ban oak (Quercus leucotrichophora) forests at elevation (1151-1600 m) and ban oak, mixed and chir pine forests at elevation (>1600 m) in a sub-watershed located in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, India. These were compared grasslands located adjacent to forests. In all, 20 grass, 3 sedge, 2 forb and 4 legume species were recorded in study sites. Jaccard`s coefficient of herbage vegetation was highest between chir pine forests and grasslands, and lowest in khair and ban oak forests. TWINSPAN dendrogram of herbage composition exhibited three subtypes with Apluda mutica, Arundinella nepalensis and Dichanthium annulatum as indicator species. Three groups of plant communities were identified on the basis of their moisture requirement. Peak density and basal area of herbage in forests and grasslands occurred by September. Density and basal area of herbage in grasslands at different elevations ranged from 649.6 to and 30.0 to , respectively, while, in forests it varied from 351.2 to and 14.9 to , respectively. Density and basal area of the herbage in plant communities decreased along the elevation. Under trees in forests the density of herbage decreased up to 77% and basal area up to 62% of their respective values in grasslands.
ban oak;chir pine;forbs;khair;sedges;
 Cited by
Vegetation dynamics in Bishrampur collieries of northern Chhattisgarh, India: eco-restoration and management perspectives, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2017, 189, 8  crossref(new windwow)
Adhikari BS, Joshi M, Rikhari HC, Rawat YS. 1992. Cluster analysis (dendrogram) of high altitude (2150-2500 m) forest vegetation around Pindari glacier in Kumaun Himalaya. Journal of Environmental Biology 13: 101-105.

Anderson RC, Loucks OL, Swain AM. 1968. Herbaceous response to canopy cover, light intensity and through fall precipitation in coniferous forests. Ecology 50: 255-263.

Anonymous. 1990. Watershed Atlas of India. Central Ground Water Board, Govt. of India. New Delhi.

Bahera MD, Kushwaha SPS. 2007. An analysis of altitudinal behaviour of tree species in Subansisri district, Eastern Himalaya. Biodiversity Conservation 16: 1851-1865. crossref(new window)

Bhat AF. 2012. Plant assemblages and their functional attributes along the altitude in sub humid sub temperate Himalaya. MSc thesis. Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni-Solan (HP), India, pp 112.

Calcerrada JR, Mutke SJ, Alonso Gil L, Pardos JA, Aranda I. 2008. Influence of overstory density on understory light, soil moisture, and survival of two underplanted oak species in a Mediterranean montane Scots pine forest. Investigacion Agraria - Sistemas y Recursos Forestales 17: 31-38. crossref(new window)

Chapin FS 3rd, Zavaleta ES, Eviner VT, Naylor RL, Vitousek PM, Reynolds HL, Hooper DU, Lavorel S, Sala OE, Hobbie SE, Mack MC, Diaz S. 2000. Consequences of changing biodiversity. Nature 405: 234-242. crossref(new window)

Chaudhary RP. 1999. Vegetation Pattern. In: Majpuria RK and Majpuria TC (eds). Nepal natuer's paradise. M. Devi, Gwalior, India. pp 105-111

Chawla A, Rajkumar S, Singh KN, Lal B, Singh RD. 2008. Plant species diversity along an altitudinal gradient of Bhabha valley in Western Himalaya. Journal of Mountain Science 5: 157-177. crossref(new window)

Currie DJ, Francis AP. 2004. Regional versus climate effect on taxon richness in angiosperms: reply to qian and ricklefs. The American Naturalist 163: 780-785. crossref(new window)

Ferraz EMN, Rodal MJN, Sampaio EVSB. 2003. Physiognomy and structure of vegetation along an altitudinal gradient in the semi-arid region of north eastern Brazil. Phytocoenologia 33: 71-92. crossref(new window)

Gaston KJ. 2000. Global patterns in biodiversity. Nature 405: 220-227. crossref(new window)

Gentry AH. 1993. Pattern and floristic composition in neotropical montane forests. In: Proceedings of Neotropical Montane Ecosystem Symposium, New York.

Gilliam FS. 2007. The ecological significance of the herbaceous layer in temperate forest ecosystems. Bioscience 57: 845-858. crossref(new window)

Givnish TJ. 1999. On the causes of gradients in tropical tree diversity. Journal of Ecology 87: 193-210. crossref(new window)

Goodall DW. 1979. Arid-land ecosystems: structure, functioning and management. International Biological Programme (Series) 16. In: Goodall D W and Perry R A (eds.), Cambridge University Press U K, vol-I, p.319.

Gratini L. 1997. Canopy structure, vertical radiation profile and photosynthetic function in a Quercus ilex evergreen forest. Photosynthetica 33: 139-149. crossref(new window)

Gupta B, Bandhna C. 2011. Herbage dynamics under Acacia mollissima plantations in sub-tropical grasslands of north-west Himalaya. Indian Journal of Forestry 34: 289-296.

Gupta B, Gupta NK, Sharma KR. 2002. Herbage production under Pinus roxburghii Sargent: A silvipastural system in mid hills of Himachal Pradesh, India. Indian Journal of Forestry 25: 424-427.

Gupta B, Mehta R, Mishra VK. 2009. Fire ecology of ground vegetation in Pinus roxburghii Sargent plantations in north-west Himalaya: floristic composition and species diversity. Caspian J Env Sci 7: 71-78.

Gupta B, Thakur NS, Dass B. 2007. Allelopathic effect of leaf leachates of Pinus roxburghii Sargent on seeds of some grasses. Indian Forester 133: 997-1000.

Hazra CR, Patil BD. 1986. Forage production under silvipastoral system, light and temperature interaction. Indian Journal of Range Management 7: 33-86.

Hill MO. 1979. TWINSPAN-A FORTRAN program for arranging multivariate data in an ordered two-way table by classification of the individuals and attributes. Ecology and Systematics. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Huston M, DeAngelis DL. 1994. Competition and coexistence: the effects of resource transport and supply rates. American Naturalist 144: 954-977. crossref(new window)

Jaccard P. 1912. The distribution of the flora in the alpine zone. New Phytologist 11: 37-50. crossref(new window)

Jackson LE, Strauss RB, Firestone MK, Bartolome JW. 1990. Influence of tree canopies on grassland productivity and nitrogen dynamics in deciduous oak savanna. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 32: 89-105. crossref(new window)

Jacob M, Weland N, Platner C, Schaefer M, Leuschner C, Thomas FM. 2009. Nutrient release from decomposing leaf litter of temperate deciduous forest trees along a gradient of increasing tree species diversity. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41: 2122-2130. crossref(new window)

Jamwal P, Uniyal SK. 2008. Vegetation characteristics and under - canopy assemblages of subtropical chir pine forests at two sites in western Himalaya. Indian Journal of Forestry 31: 29-36.

Jelaska S D, Antoni O, Bozic M, Krizan J, Kusana V. 2006. Responses of forest herbs to available understory light measured with hemispherical photographs in silver fir-beech forest in Croatia. Ecological Modelling 194: 209-218. crossref(new window)

Khan SM, Sue Page, Ahmad H, Shaheen H, Harper D. 2012. Vegetation dynamics in western Himalayas, diversity indices and climate change. Science Technology and Development 31: 232-243.

Kharkwal G, Mehrotra P, Pangtey YS. 2005. Comparative studies on species richness, diversity and composition of oak forest in Nainital district, Uttaranchal. Current Science 89: 668-672.

Kharkwal G, Rawat YS. 2010. Structure and composition of vegetation in subtropical forest of Kumaun Himalaya. African Journal of Plant Science 4: 116-121.

Kukshal S, Nautiyal BP, Anthwal A, Sharma A, Bhatt AB. 2009. Phytosociological investigation and life form pattern of grazing lands under pine canopy in temperate zone, North-West Himalaya, India. Research Journal of Botany 4: 55-69. crossref(new window)

Lan S. 2003. Plant species diversity in Wuyishan National Nature Reserve. Scientia Silvae Sinicae 29: 36-43.

Li Q, Yang L, Zhou J. 2002. Comparative analysis on species diversity of hill closed afforested plant community in Beijing Jiulong Mountain. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology 13: 1065-1068.

Lieberman D, Lieberman M, Peralta R, Hartshorn GS. 1996. Tropical forest structure and composition on a large scale altitudinal gradient in Costa Rica. Journal of Ecology 84: 137-152. crossref(new window)

Lomolino MV. 2001. Elevation gradients of species-density: historical and prospective views. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10: 3-13. crossref(new window)

Misra R. Ecological Work Book. 1968. Oxford & IBH Publishing Company, New Delhi.

Mueller-Dombois D, Ellenberg H. 1974. Aims and methods of vegetation ecology. John Wiley & Sons Inc, New York.

Muller RN. 2003. Nutrient relations of the herbaceous layer in deciduous forest ecosystems. In: The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America (Gilliam FS, Roberts MR, eds). Oxford University Press, New York, USA. pp 15-37.

Neufeld HS, Young DR. 2003. Ecophysiology of the herbaceous layer in temperate deciduous forests. In: The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America (Gilliam FS, Roberts MR, eds). Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Palmer MW. 1991. Patterns of species richness among North Carolina hardwood forests: tests of two hypotheses. Journal of Vegetation Science 2: 361-366. crossref(new window)

Pande PK, Negi JDS, Sharma SC. 2002. Plant species diversity, composition, gradient analysis and regeneration behavior of some tree species in a moist temperate western Himalayan forest ecosystem. Indian Forester 128: 869-886.

Parsons DJ. 1976. Vegetation structure in the mediterranean scrub communities of California and Chile. Journal of Ecology 64: 435-447. crossref(new window)

Peet RK. 1974. The measurement of species diversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 5: 285-307. crossref(new window)

Pickett STA, Collins SL, Armesto JJ. 1987. A hierarchical consideration of causes and mechanisms of succession. Vegetatio 69: 109-114. crossref(new window)

Pielou EC. 1969. The measurement of diversity in different types of biological collections. Journal of Theoretical Biology 13: 131-144.

Rankin WT, Tramer EJ. 2002. Understory succession and the gap regeneration cycle in a Tsuga canadensis forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32: 16-23. crossref(new window)

Rao RR, Kharkanger P. 1978. Floristic composition and seasonal pattern of vegetation in pine forests of Shillong and Meghalaya. J Bombay Natural History Society 75: 173-285.

Sawarker VB, Rodzes WA, Buerd SFRB. 1986. Fire and vegetation structure in Sal forests, Dehra Dun, India. Tropical Ecology 27: 49-61.

Schall JJ, Pianka ER. 1978. Geographical trends in numbers of species. Science 201: 679-686. crossref(new window)

Semwal S, Nautiyal BP, Bhatt AB. 2008. Dominance diversity patterns and regeneration status of moist temperate forests in Garhwal part of the north-west Himalayas, India. Taiwan Journal of Forest Science 23: 351-364.

Sevgi O, Tecimen HB. 2008. Changes in Austrian pine forest floor properties in relation with altitude in mountainous areas. J For Sci 54: 306-313.

Sharma VD, Gupta B. 2005a. Interaction between trees and ground flora in different aged Chirpine stands of sub-tropical region in India-I: density of herbage and LAI. Indian Journal of Forestry 28: 28-36.

Sharma VD, Gupta B. 2005b. Interaction between trees and ground flora in different aged Chirpine stands of sub-tropical region in India-II: basal area of herbage and LAI. Indian Journal of Forestry 28: 188-194.

Simpson EH. 1949. Measurement of diversity. Nature 163: 688. Accessed 8 Dec 2013. crossref(new window)

Singh JS, Singh SP. 1992. Forests of Himalaya. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital, India.

Singh JS, Yadava PS. 1974. Seasonal variation in composition, plant biomass and net primary productivity of a tropical grassland at Kurukshetra India. Ecological Monographs 44: 351-376. crossref(new window)

Singh SP, Adhikari BS, Zobel DB. 1994. Biomass productivity, leaf longevity and forest structure in Central Himalaya. Ecological Monographs 64: 401-421. crossref(new window)

Southwood TRE, Henderson PA. 2000. Ecological Methods. 3rd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell. John Wiley & Sons Inc. http://as. Accessed 9 Dec 2013.

Tang Z, Fang J, Zhang L. 2004. Patterns of woody plant species diversity along environmental gradients on Mt. Taibai, Qinling mountains. Biodiversity Science 12: 115-122.

Vockenhubera EA, Scherbera C, Meibnerc LM, Seideld DE, Tscharntkea T. 2011. Tree diversity and environmental context predict herb species richness and cover in Germany's largest connected deciduous forest. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 13: 111-119. crossref(new window)

Whittaker RH. 1972. Evolution and measurement of species diversity. Taxon 21: 213-251. crossref(new window)

Whittaker RH. 1975. Communities and Ecosystems. Macmillan Publisher, New York.

Willig MR, Kaufmann DM, Stevens RD. 2003. Latitudinal gradients of biodiversity: pattern, process, scale and synthesis. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 34: 273-309. crossref(new window)

Wright DH. 1983. Species--energy theory: an extension of species-- area theory. Oikos 41: 496-506. crossref(new window)

Wulf M, Naaf T. 2009. Herb layer response to broadleaf tree species with different leaf litter quality and canopy structure in temperate forests. Journal of Vegetation Science 20: 517-526. crossref(new window)

Yadav AK. 1999. Effect of spacings and fertility levels on lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) under poplar based agroforestry system. Advances in Forestry Research in India 20: 70-85.

Zobel M. 1997. The relative role of species pools in determining plants species richness: an alternative explanation of species coexistence? Trend in Ecology and Evolution 12: 266-269. crossref(new window)