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Plant Assemblages Along an Altitudinal Gradient in Northwest Himalaya
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 Title & Authors
Plant Assemblages Along an Altitudinal Gradient in Northwest Himalaya
Gupta, Bhupendar; Sharma, Navneet;
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 Abstract
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.
 Keywords
ban oak;chir pine;forbs;khair;sedges;
 Language
English
 Cited by
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