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Altitudinal variation in plant species richness and diversity at Thandiani sub forests division, Abbottabad, Pakistan

Waqas Khan, Shujaul Mulk Khan, Habib Ahmad

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(1), 46-53, July 2015

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Abstract

The present study reveals species diversity and its components along the altitudinal gradient ranged from 1290m to 2626m at Thandiani sub Forests Division. A Thandiani sub Forests division including the forests of Mandroach, Neelor, Kakul, Qalandarabad, Kala pani, Larri, Riala and Sikher, was explored to assess the vegetation structure and conservation status of economically important species. The vegetation was studied by the Shannon – Weaver index method during 2012-13. A total of 252 species belonging to 97 families were recorded from the area. Species diversity and its component values were high in the tree layer (Pinus communities) in the middle and upper regions of the altitudinal gradient. It decreases both towards the upper and lower altitude, which was due to different environmental and anthropogenic factors such as deforestation, human interaction, encroachment pressure, low number of species and soil erosion. There is great need of reforestation in the area. Alternate sources of fuel must be provided to local inhabitants to minimize the pressure on wealth of wild plants.

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Altitudinal variation in plant species richness and diversity at Thandiani sub forests division, Abbottabad, Pakistan

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