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Plant Diversity and Floristic Composition of Three Forest Types in Mata Vaishno Devi Forest of Jammu and Kashmir, Western Himalaya, India

D. S. Chauhan, A. Koul, N. Todaria

Abstract


An investigation was carried out to study the plant diversity and floristic composition on three forest types namely, mixed - broadleaved forest (800-1000m), Pinus roxburghii forest (1400-1600m) and Quercus leucotrichophora forest (2000-2200m) in Mata Vaishno Devi forest of J and K, Western Himalaya. Total 58 families, 102 genera and 116 species were recorded in three forests along the altitudes. Mixed- broadleaved forest represented a total of 29 families with 42 genera and 48 species. Pinus roxburghii forest was comprised of 30 families with 44 genera and 45 species while Quercus leucotrichophora forest also represented 30 families with 41 genera and 42 species. It revealed almost similar number of families and genera with little variation in number of species at different forests along altitudes. Cassia fistula, Acacia catechu, Acacia modesta, Bauhinia variegata, and Dalbergia sissoo were the dominant tree species in mixed- broadleaved forest at lower altitude, Pinus roxburghii and Bauhinia variegata were dominant in Pinus roxburghii forest at middle altitude and Quercus leucotrichophora, and Rhododendron arboreum were the dominant tree species in Quercus leucotrichophora forest at upper altitude. Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Poaceae, Acanthaceae, Lamiacaea, Mimosaceae, Rosaceae, Urticaceae were the dominant families which were present in all the forest types along altitudes. Maximum numbers of species were characterized by clumped distribution. Stand density was higher in Pinus roxburghii forest whereas richness and diversity were higher in the mixed-broadleaf forests.

Keywords


Altitudes, density, plant diversity, mixed- broadleaved forest, Pinus roxburghii forest, Quercus leucotrichophora forest

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