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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Rawat, Balwant S [1], Rawal, R S [2].

Assessment and future implications of changes in vegetation patterns in and around Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR), west Himalaya, India.

Among Himalayan Biosphere Reserves, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) in Uttarakhand (west Himalaya), India is located between 30005’-31002’ N Latitudes and 79012’-80019’ E Longitudes, NDBR is one among natural World Heritage sites. As elsewhere, biodiversity is changing at an unprecedented rate in the Himalayan ecosystems as a complex response to several human and climate induced changes in environment which make them important candidate for immediate action. However, very few attempts have been made to detect such changes in conservation areas of the Himalaya. Also, there has been no effort to utilize change datasets for developing prediction scenarios, which may act as base line for developing alternative strategies for long term management. Realizing this gap, repeat studies were conducted in NDBR for generating dataset on community assemblages, regeneration behavior and plant species responses. The use of phytosociological datasets of two time period, i.e. 1988 and 2008, facilitated analysis of trends of changes in forest communities. Within a representative watershed of NDBR, Pindari, 30 forest stands in 11 different communities were identified. The analysis revealed considerable changes in compositional features, particularly in sapling and seedling layers.Β In most of the communities the datasets for richness, density and diversity reflects a positive response in terms of increase. Seedling richness and density which showed significant decrease (p<0.05) with increase in altitude in 1988, now exhibits non significant changes. In case of sapling and tree layer, changes in all three parameters are non significant with altitude. Most of the changes observed in communities located between 2300-2600m altitudinal zones where the impact of anthropogenic pressure and natural hazard is maximum. The data generated through present study are likely to provide evidences for possible predictions on future compositional changes in the reserve. The datasets, indicating the changing pattern of vegetation, have been interpreted to reflect possible change scenarios in near future and likely implication of such changes for long term management of the reserve.

Broader Impacts:
The change assessment studies would be helpful to generate the prediction maps and future scenarios for long term management.

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1 - GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Env. & Dev., Biodiversity Conservation and Management, BCM Lab, GBPIHED, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand, 263 643, India
2 - GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Env. & Dev., BCM & BTA Group, BCM & BTA Group, GBPIHED, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand, 263 643, India

Mountain ecosystems
Biosphere Reserve
Vegetation pattern.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: 552A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: 21001
Abstract ID:496

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