Natural regeneration dynamics of dominant tree species along an altitudinal gradient in three different forest covers of Darhal watershed in north western Himalaya (Kashmir), India
M. Hanief*, A. Bidalia, A. Meena and K.S. Rao
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Abstract: Regeneration is a cost effective natural process by which plants re-establish themselves and this strategy help the plants to maintain their diversity and genetic identity. This study was undertaken in three different forest cover types which were dominated by Quercus incana, Persea duthiei and Abies pindrow respectively. The aim of the present study was to investigate the regeneration pattern of dominant tree species along the altitudinal gradient in Darhal watershed, situated in the Pir Panjal mountain region of Jammu and Kashmir State. A total of 14 tree species were recorded. The tree density varied between 492 to 1325 individuals/ ha whereas the total basal area ranged between 25.88 to 188.90 m2 ha-1. In general the density of seedlings saplings and trees increased with increase in elevation. All the three forest types have poor regeneration. The recruitment of Q. incana seedlings and the rate of conversion of A. pindrow seedlings to saplings and then saplings to young trees were very low. Proper care needed to prevent excessive exploitation of these forests and livestock grazing should be controlled in all these forest types to conserve these forests. Our study results could help for better management plans for sustainable management and conservation of Himalayan mountain forests, especially in Pir Panjal mountain region.
Fig.: Classification of Tree Species on the basis of TWISNPAN.