Structure, Composition and Dominance – Diversity Relations in Three Forest Types of a Part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Himalaya, India
Plant diversity assessment was carried out on the basis of species richness, tree crown cover and dominance-diversity pattern in different forests of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS), Central Himalaya, India during 2006-2009. The maximum tree species richness (10 spp.) was observed in Rhododendron arboreum Sm. dominated mixed forest and minimum in Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus. forest (8 spp.). Maximum tree density (170 trees/ha) and high importance value index (89.68) was found in Q. semecarpifolia Sm. forest. Mixed Rhododendron arboreum Sm. forest showed high tree diversity (H=0.96), while shrub were found highest in Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus forest (H=0.62) and herb diversity in Q. semecarpifolia Sm.forest (H=0.73) respectively Maximum tree crown cover (82%) was observed in Rhododendron arboreum Sm. dominated mixed forest while minimum tree crown cover (58%) was observed in Q. semecarpifolia Sm. forest. In general random distribution pattern (A/F ratio) was observed in all three types of forest. Alterations of land use pattern and population pressure are found to be main cause of increase in resources exploitation and that ultimately decreases species richness and diversity. Agro-forestry, alternate use of sites for resources and providing a recovery period to the forests are some of the strategies suggested for forest conservation, management and sustainable utilization of resources by the local people.
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