Phytosociological Analysis of Woody Species in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and Its Adjoining Areas in Western Himalaya, India

  • Malik, Zubair A. ;
  • Bhatt, A.B.
  • Received : 2014.01.17
  • Accepted : 2015.04.30
  • Published : 2015.08.31


The aim of the present study was to assess the variation in species composition and diversity of woody species at different altitudes (900 to 2600 m asl) in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) and its adjoining areas in Garhwal Himalaya, India. A total of 94 woody plant species (including 44 tree and 50 shrub species) belonging to 72 genera and 44 families were reported. Density varied from $235{\pm}9$ to $505{\pm}21trees\;ha^{-1}$ and $4,730{\pm}474$ to $9,530{\pm}700shrubs\;ha^{-1}$. Total basal cover varied from $10.49{\pm}0.66$ to $42.92{\pm}2.57m^2ha^{-1}$ (trees) and $0.36{\pm}0.024$ to $0.62{\pm}0.047m^2ha^{-1}$ (shrubs). Shannon-Wiener Index fluctuated between 2.30 to 3.53 (trees) and 2.74 to 3.78 (shrubs). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that altitude and aspect had significant effect on the distribution of woody species. Taxonomically, Rosaceae with 15 species emerged as the dominant family. Low value of maturity index and contiguous distribution of species denoted the early successional status of the studied forests. The conservation assessment based on altitudinal regimes and the information on species structure and function can provide baseline information for monitoring and sustaining the biodiversity.


Himalaya;Altitude;Vegetation;Diversity;Woody species


  1. Armesto JJ, Mitchell JD, Villagran C. 1986. A comparison of spatial patterns of trees in some tropical and temperate forests. Biotropica 18: 1-11.
  2. Baduni NP, Sharma CM. 1997. Flexibility fitness compromise in some moist temperate forests of Garhwal Himalaya. Ann For 5: 126-135.
  3. Bhat JA. 2012. Diversity of flora along an altitudinal gradient in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. PhD thesis. HNB Garhwal University Srinagar, Garhwal, India.
  4. Champion HG, Seth SK. 1968. A revised survey of the forest types of India. Manager of Publications, Delhi.
  5. Curtis JT. 1956. Plant ecology work book; laboratory field reference manual. Burgess Pub. Co., Minneapolis. pp. 193.
  6. Curtis JT, McIntosh RP. 1950. The Interrelation of certain analytic and synthetic phytosociological characters. Ecology 31: 434-455.
  7. Elouard C, Pascal JP, Pelissier R, Ramesh BR, Houllier F, Durand M, Aravjy S, Moravie MA, Gimaret-Carpentier. 1997. Monitoring the structure and dynamics of a dense moist evergreen forest in the Western Ghats (Kodagu District, Kernataka, India). Tropical Ecology 38: 193-214.
  8. Gairola S, Sharma CM, Suyal S, Ghildiyal SK. 2011. Species composition and diversity in mid-altitudinal moist temperate forests of the Western Himalaya. J For Sci 27: 1-15.
  9. Gaur RD. 1999. Flora of the district Garhwal northwest Himalaya: with ethanobotanical notes. TransMedia, Srinagar, U.P., India.
  10. Ghildiyal S, Baduni NP, Khanduri VP, Sharma CM. 1998. Community structure and composition of oak forests along altitudinal gradient in Garhwal Himalaya. Ind J For 21: 242-247.
  11. Hubbell SP, Foster RB, O'Brien ST, Harms KE, Condit R, Wechsler B, Wright SJ, de Lao SL. 1999. Light-Gap disturbances, recruitment limitation, and tree diversity in a neotropical forest. Science 283: 554-557.
  12. Jaccard P. 1912. The distribution of the flora in alpine zone. New Phytol 11: 37-50.
  13. Khan SM, Page S, Ahmad H, Shaheen H, Harper D. 2012. Vegetation dynamics in the Western Himalayas, Diversity indices and climate change. Sci Tech Dev 31: 232-243.
  14. Kharkwal G, Mehrotra P, Rawat YS, Pangtey YPS. 2005. Phytodiversity and growth form in relation to altitudinal gradient in the Central Himalayan (Kumaon) Region of India. Curr Sci 89: 873-878.
  15. Kharkwal G. 2009. Qualitative analysis of tree species in evergreen forests of Kumaun Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India. African J Plant Sci 3: 49-52.
  16. Kumar A, Ram J. 2005. Anthropogenic disturbances and plant biodiversity in forest of Uttaranchal, central Himalaya. Biodiv Cons 14: 309-331.
  17. Kumar M, Bhatt V. 2006. Plant biodiversity and conservation of forests in foot hills of Garhwal Himalaya. Lyonia 11: 43-59.
  18. Kusumlata, Bisht NS. 1991. Quantitative analysis and regeneration potential of moist temperate forest in Garhwal Himalaya. Ind J For 14: 98-106.
  19. Malik ZA, Chand D, Bhatt AB. 2014a. Community composition and tree population structure along a disturbance gradient in a protected area and its adjoining areas in Garhwal Himalaya, India. In: Change in cryosphere its impact on ecosystem services and rural livelihoods: Understanding local adaptation in the Himalayan region (Tandup C, ed). University of Jammu, Bhaderwah, Doda, J&K, India, pp 297-312.
  20. Malik ZA, Hussain A, Iqbal K, Bhatt AB. 2014b. Species richness and diversity along the disturbance gradient in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and its adjoining areas in Garhwal Himalaya, India. Int J Curr Res 6: 10918-10926.
  21. Malik ZA, Bhat JA, Bhatt AB. 2014c. Forest resource use pattern in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and its fringe areas (a case study from Western Himalaya, India). Energy Policy 67: 138-145.
  22. Malik ZA. 2014. Phytosociological behavoiur, anthropogenic disturbances and regeneration status along an altitudinal gradient in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) and its adjoining areas. PhD thesis. HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar Uttarakhand, India.
  23. Malik ZA, Bhatt AB. 2015. Regeneration status of tree species and survival of their seedlings in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and its adjoining areas in Western Himalaya, India. Tropical Ecology (In Press).
  24. Margalef DR. 1958. Information theory in ecology. General Systems Yearbook 3: 36-71.
  25. Mathur VB, Kathyat JS, Rath DP. 2000. Envis Bulletin: Wildlife and Protected Areas. 3 (1). Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
  26. Misra R. 1968. Ecology workbook. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., Calcutta, New Delhi, pp 244.
  27. Naithani BD. 1984-1985. Flora of Chamoli. Botanical Survey of India. Howrah.
  28. Nautiyal S, Kaechele H. 2007. Conserving the Himalayan forests: approaches and implications of different conservation regimes. Biodiv Cons 16: 3737-3754.
  29. Negi KS, Gaur RD. 1994. Principal wild food plants of Western Himalaya, Uttar Pradesh, India. Higher Plants of Indian Subcontinent 3: 1-147.
  30. Odum EP. 1971. Fundamentals of Ecology. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, USA.
  31. Pande PK, Negi JDS, Sharma SC. 2002. Plant species diversity, composition, gradient analysis and regeneration behaviour of some tree species in a moist temperate western Himalayan forest ecosystem. Ind For 128: 869-886
  32. Pande PK. 2001. Quantitative vegetation analysis as per aspect and altitude, and regeneration behaviour of tree species in Garhwal Himalayan forest. Ann For 9: 39-52.
  33. Pant S, Samant SS. 2012. Diversity and regeneration status of tree species in Khokhan Wildlife Sanctuary, north-western Himalaya. Tropical Ecology 53: 317-331.
  34. Pant S, Samant SS. 2007. Assessment of plant diversity and prioritization of communities for conservation in Mornaula Reserve Forest. App Eco Env Res 5: 123-138.
  35. Phillips EA. 1959. Methods of Vegetation study. Henry Holt and Co. Inc., New York, 107 pp.
  36. Pichi-Sermolli RE. 1948. An index for establishing the degree of maturity in plant communities. J Eco 36: 85-90.
  37. Pielou EC. 1975. Ecological Diversity. Wiley, New York.
  38. Prakash C, Uniyal VK. 1999. Structure of forest vegetation along an altitudinal gradient in the Valley of Flowers National Park and its vicinity, Western Himalaya. Ann For 7: 60-69.
  39. Puri GS. 1960. Indian Forest Ecology Vol. 2. Oxford Book & Sty. Co., New Delhi.
  40. Putman RJ. 1994. Community Ecology. Chapman & Hall, London.
  41. Raturi GP. 2012. Forest community structure along an altitudinal gradient of district Rudraprayag of Garhwal Himalaya, India. Ecologia 2: 76-84.
  42. Rawat VS, Chandra J. 2013. Human impact on diversity gradient around govind Pashu Vihar national park of Uttarakhand. Int J Advan Biosci 1: 10-16.
  43. Rawat YS, Rawat VS. 2010. Van Panchayats as an effective tool in conserving biodiversity at local level. J Env Pro 1: 278-283.
  44. Richards PW. 1996. The tropical rainforest. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  45. Rikhari HC, Chandra R, Singh SP. 1989. Pattern of species distribution and community characters along a moisture gradient within an oak zone of Kumaun Himalaya. Proc Ind Nat Acad 55: 431-438.
  46. Sagar R, Raghubanshi AS, Singh, JS. 2003. Tree species composition, dispersion and diversity along a disturbance gradient in a dry tropical forest region of India. For Eco Manage 186: 61-71.
  47. Sanjeev, Gera M, Sankhayan PL. 2006. Phytosociological analysis of Arnigad micro-watershed in Mussorie hills of Garhwal Himalayas. Ind For 132: 19-29.
  48. Saxena AK, Singh JS. 1982. A Phytosociological analysis of woody species in forest communities of a part of the Kumaun Himalaya. Vegetatio 50: 3-22.
  49. Semwal DP, Uniyal PL, Bhatt AB. 2010. Structure, Composition and Dominance - Diversity relations in three forest types of a part of kedarnath wildlife sanctuary, central Himalaya, India. Not Sci Biol 2: 128-132.
  50. Shaheen H, Ullah Z, Khan SM, Harper DM. 2012. Species composition and community structure of western Himalayan moist temperate forests in Kashmir. For Eco Manage 278: 138-145.
  51. Shannon CE, Weaver W. 1963. The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, USA, pp 117.
  52. Sharma CM, Khanduri VP, Goshwami S. 2001. Community composition and population structure in temperate mixed broad-leaved and coniferous forest along an altitudinal gradient in a part of Garhwal Himalaya. J Hill Res 14: 32-43.
  53. Sharma CM, Kohli S, Khanduri VP. 1999. Structural composition of mixed broadleaved-coniferous forest along an altitudinal gradient in Trikuta hills of Jammu province of the Western Himalaya. J Hill Res 12: 107-113.
  54. Sharma CM, Suyal S, Gairola S, Ghildiyal SK. 2010. Role of physiographic factors in distribution of Abies pindrow (Silver Fir) along an altitudinal gradient in Himalayan temperate forests. Environmentalist 30: 76-84.
  55. Simpson EH. 1949. Measurement of Diversity. Nature 163: 688-690.
  56. Singh D. 2013. Forest structure, diversity, growing stock variation and regeneration status of different forest cover types in Dudatoli area of Garhwal Himalaya. PhD thesis. HNB Garhwal University Srinagar Garhwal, India.
  57. Singh G. 2008. Diversity of vascular plants in some parts of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (Western Himalaya). Ph.D. thesis. Kumaun University, Nainital, India.
  58. Singh JS, Singh SP. 1986. Structure and function of central Himalaya oak forests. Proc Ind Nat Acad 96: 159-189.
  59. Singh JS. 2002. The biodiversity crisis: a multifaceted review. Curr Sci 82: 638-647.
  60. Singh SP, Adhikari BS, Zobel DB. 1994. Biomass productivity, leaf longevity and forest structure in the Central Himalaya. Ecol Monogr 64: 401-421.
  61. Slobodkin LB, Sanders HL. 1969. On the contribution of environmental predictability to species diversity. Brookhaven Symp Biol 22: 82-95.
  62. Sorensen T. 1948. A method of establishing groups of equal amplitude in plant sociology based on similarity of species content and its application to analyses of the vegetation on Danish commons. Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Biologiske Skrifter 5: 1-34.
  63. Srivastava RK, Khanduri VP, Sharma CM, Kumar P. 2005. Structure, diversity and regeneration potential of Oak dominant conifer mixed forest along an altitudinal gradient in Garhwal Himalaya. Ind For 131: 1537-1553.
  64. Uniyal P, Pokhriyal P, Dasgupta S, Bhatt D, Todaria NP. 2010. Plant diversity in two forest types along the disturbance gradient in Dewalgarh Watershed, Garhwal Himalaya. Curr Sci 98: 938-943.
  65. Wikum DA, Wali MK. 1974. Analysis of North Dakota Gallery forest vegetation in relation to topographic and soil gradients. Ecol Monogr 44: 441-464.
  66. Whitford PB. 1949. Distribution of woodland plants in relation to succession and clonal growth. Ecology 30: 199-208.
  67. Whittaker RH. 1972. Evolution and measurement of species diversity. Taxon 21: 213-215.
  68. Zhang JT, Xu B, Li M. 2013. Vegetation patterns and species diversity along elevational and disturbance gradients in the Baihua Mountain Reserve, Beijing, China. Mt Res Dev 33: 170-178.
  69. Zobel DB, Mckee A, Hawk GM, Dyrness CT. 1976. Relationships of environment to the composition, structure and diversity of forest communities of the central western cascades of Oregon. Ecol Monogr 46: 135-156.