Abundance, frequency and distribution pattern of tree species in recorded forest area of Western Himalaya
The forest in India have a long history of human induced modifications through intensive forest management that began in the colonial period but continued afterwards to meet the wood-based demand until the forestry goals shifted towards conservation efforts. All this greatly influenced the plant community structure. We attempt to describe the abundance and distribution pattern of trees in recorded forestland of Western Himalaya using the National Forest Inventory database. A total of 3549 sample plots laid across different forest types were analyzed to reveal the abundance, frequency and distribution pattern of 226 tree species/genus using various indices i.e. abundance by frequency ratio, Morisita index and variance mean ratio. Twelve tree species and Eucalyptus genus were found to be most abundantly found tree species in recorded forest area of Western Himalaya. Ten tree species were found to have regular distribution pattern, one hundred ninety-two were contagiously distributed while twenty-five were randomly distributed. Results derived from huge datasets helps in establishing firm statements with quoted significance value. Myrica esculenta and Aegle marmelos were found among the most abundantly occurring tree species whereas Myrica esculenta, Syzygium cumini and Pyrus pashia, were among the most relatively frequently occurring wild fruit yielding tree species. These species (apart from fodder tree species) can be considered in social forest and joint forest management programs in forest fringe villages/areas to enhance and sustain the provisional ecosystem services in Western Himalaya.
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