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Community organization, ecological distributionand diversity of trees and shrubs in selected areas of Branwar Forest of Kashmir Himalaya

Abstract

Idrees Yousuf Dar, G. A. Bhat and A. K. Raina

Periodic studies were conducted in four selected sites of Branwar foresfiet area of Kashmir Himalaya in the year 2010 to 2011 for assessing ecological distribution and diversity of trees and shrubs. The Plant Community Organizational features, ecological distribution and diversity of different study sites in the Branwar Forest during 2010 to 2011 are markedly variable with regard to the life-forms namely, trees and shrubs. A total of five tree species belonging to four families were recorded at the different study sites. Near village (NS) site (I) had five species and riparian forest (RS) site (II) had three tree species, while dam forest (DS) site (III) and protected forest (PS) site (IV) had two species each. Among the trees Abies pindrow and Pinus wallichiana were present at all the study sites. The shrub species present at the study sites ranged from 03 for protected forest (PS) site and 06 for near village (NS) site. The number of shrub species present at near village (NS) site was 06, at riparian forest (RS) site, 05 species were present; while, at dam forest (DS) site and protected forest (PS) site, 04 and 03 species of shrubs were present, respectively. Among the shrub species Indigofera heterantha was present at all the study sites. In the present study, low tree species diversity index was found at the unprotected sites of near village site and riparian site compared to the protected sites of dam forest site and protected forest site. With increasing disturbance in the forests the plant species diversity, richness and evenness are significantly reduced. The increase in shrub diversity and evenness at near village (NS) site and riparian forest (RS) site may be due to less competition and availability of more space due to less vegetation.

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