A numerical analysis of understory plant associations in a Pinus wallichiana forest, Pakistan

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Research Paper 01/05/2021
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A numerical analysis of understory plant associations in a Pinus wallichiana forest, Pakistan

Salma Noor, Muhammad Hashim, Adeela Altaf, Eamon Bushra, Asia Bibi, Nazir Ahmad, Shaheen Qadir, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Altaf Ahmad Dasti
J. Bio. Env. Sci.18( 5), 19-34, May 2021.
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The present investigation describes the structure and vegetation composition of the forest located in Murree Hills, Punjab, Pakistan. The study area is a part of Himalayans moist temperate forest. The vegetation zone entirely consists of shrubs or medium size trees. The plants give the appearance of a vast flower bed, composed principally of herbaceous species. These species are adapted to withstand the extremes of cold and desiccation. Study area range in altitude from 2100m-2300 m (A.S.L.). A total of 65 species, belonging to 62 genera and 39 families were recorded from 40 stands. Angiosperms contributed a major share while Pteridophytes contributed little to the floristic richness of the area. Data were analyzed by multivariate statistics including Cluster Analysis, Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and correlation co-efficient to detect the relations between altitudinal and some environmental factors with composition and structure of the plant communities. DCA axis 1 and axis 2 were used to interpret the data. Four vegetation types were delineated by Cluster Analysis which was then plotted on the first two axes a scattered diagram. The outcome of the cluster was confirmed by using DCA. There were significant differences in the flora composition as well as the edaphic factors along the altitudinal gradient. The results of the present investigation suggest a direct altitudinal and soil chemical factors pH, EC, cations and anions on the vegetation variation. Topography predicts species composition of the study area.


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