Vegetation structure, floristic composition and species diversity of woody plant communities in sub-tropical Kandi Siwaliks of Jammu, J & K, India
The study was conducted on sub-tropical forest of districts Jammu and Samba of Jammu province of Jammu and Kashmir state, India with the objective of determining floristic composition, species diversity and structure of woody vegetation in drier Kandi Siwaliks. The forests of Kandi belt represent typical subtropical vegetation with distinct vertical zonation of three forest types i.e., Northern dry mixed deciduous forests (5B/C2), Himalayan subtropical scrub (9/C1/DSI) and Himalayan subtropical Pine forest (9/C1a) in an altitudinal range of 300 m asl to 990 m asl. The community analysis was performed using stratified random sampling involving 0.01 % of the total area for each community. Accordingly, 750 quadrats of 400 m2 and 100 m2 were laid for trees and shrubs respectively after attaining their species area curve. Various phytosociological parameters and diversity indices have been used to reveal the community structure, species richness, diversity and evenness for the phanerophytes in different forest types. A total of 112 species comprising 65 trees and 47 shrubs belonging to 92 genera and 48 families were recorded from the forest. The vegetation analysis revealed the dominance of Mallotus philippensis (SIV %, 6.4), Acacia modesta (10.44 %) and Pinus roxburghii (24.27%) as over storey elements in northern dry mixed deciduous forests, Himalayan subtropical scrub and Himalayan subtropical Pine forest respectively. The northern dry mixed deciduous forests occupying 27.3 % of the study area revealed maximum species richness and diversity as indicated by the higher values obtained for Shannon-Wienner’s index and Simpson’s index of dominance. Most of the forest landscapes are influenced by human disturbances and thus necessitates the need for immediate conservation action plan to ensure sustainable utilization and better management of forest.
Keywords: Community Analysis; Subtropical Vegetation; Phanerophytes; Deciduous Forests; Species Area Curve; Phytosociological Parameters; Human Disturbances.
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