Assessment of the effect of major anthropogenic factors and current conservation status of indigenous vegetation in degraded rangeland of Cholistan desert, Pakistan

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Research Paper 01/11/2017
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Assessment of the effect of major anthropogenic factors and current conservation status of indigenous vegetation in degraded rangeland of Cholistan desert, Pakistan

Sohail Akram, Tanveer Hussain, Muhammad Safeer, Muhammad Abdullah, Rashid Iqbal, Muhammad Saqlain Zaheer, Muhammad Waseem
J. Bio. Env. Sci.11( 5), 237-250, November 2017.
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Assessment of Anthropogenic factors and current conservation status of indigenous flora of Cholistan desert is the main aim of this study. Questionnaire based survey; key informant interviews, direct observation and group discussion were used for data collection from ten range sites. 62 range species which belongs to 47 genera and 24 families were identified which includes 06 species of trees, 14 species of shrubs, 3 species of subshrubs, 20 species of herbs,1 species of sedge and 18 species of grasses. Family importance index showed that Poaceae is most dominant family with 18 species followed by Aizoaceae, Chenopodiaceae, and Mimosaceae having 4 species each. By Raunkiaerian life form, recognized species were found as therophytes (37%), phanerophytes (26%), chamaephytes (19%), hemicryptophyte (16%) and cryptophyte (2%) respectively. Anthropogenic factors showed that 07 species (11.29%) were exploited by all four factors (TW, FW, M, F), 13 species (20.91%) were exploited by three factors (FW, M, F), 18 species (29.03%) were exploited by two factors (M,F) and 24 species (38.7%) were exploited by single factor (F). Grazing is main cause of floral degradation. Conservation status of indigenous vegetation in current findings revealed that 11 species (17.74%) were found as “Least Concern”, 22 species (35.48%) were found as “Near Threatened” 20 species (32.48%) were found as “Vulnerable”, 7 species (11.29%) were found as “Endangered” and 2 species (3.22%) were found as “Critically Endangered”. It is concluded that the vegetation of Cholistan is in pressure due to deforestation, removal of medicinal plants and overgrazing. The vegetation cover is at edge of extinct from the whole rangeland. Conservation of Cholistan flora is highly recommended for future generations.


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