Classification and ordination of upland vegetation in a temperate forest at Mukeshpuri Hills, Pakistan

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/09/2020
Views (481) Download (33)

Classification and ordination of upland vegetation in a temperate forest at Mukeshpuri Hills, Pakistan

Asia BiBi, Eamon Bushra, Muhammad Hashim, Adeela Altaf, Shaheen Qadir, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Nazir Ahmad, Shaukat Hussain, Altaf Ahmad Dasti
Int. J. Biosci.17( 3), 206-229, September 2020.
Certificate: IJB 2020 [Generate Certificate]


The Himalayas in Pakistan are the mountains, possessing diverse ground and forest vegetation and hence are considered an important site for research in vegetation ecology and biodiversity management. The study was conducted on Mukeshpuri Hills in the Abbottabad District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in the north of Pakistan. The present research work was conducted from July-August 2017. All the vascular plants present along the transect lying across the altitudinal ranges from 2500 – 2800 m, between 34°03’34.2 N to 34°03’88.9 N and 073°24’ 82.5 E to 073°24’92.3 E. During the field survey, a total of 82 species representing 72 genera belonging to 46 families were recorded. The major family was Lamiaceae, followed by Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Fabaceae. The other families contribute a little share in flora. Vegetation data were analyzed by multivariate statistics including cluster analysis, Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and correlation. The application of classification and the ordination suggested that the altitudinal edaphic factors play an important role in determining the boundaries of the plant communities. From the present study, we can conclude that altitude and soil pH is significantly driving the distribution patterns of vegetation.


Abadi GA, El–Sheikh MA. 2002. Vegetation analysis of Failaka Island (Kuwait). Journal of Arid Environments 50, 153-165.

Abbasi AM, Khan SM, Ahmad M, Khan MA, Quave CL, Pieroni A. 2013. Botanical ethno-veterinary therapies in three districts of the Lesser Himalayas of Pakistan. Journal of Ethnology & Ethno-botany 9, 84.

Ahmad KS, Hameed M, Ahmad F, Sadia B. 2016. Edaphic factors as major determinants of plant distribution of temperate Himalayan grasses. Pakistan Journal of Botany 48(2), 567-573.

Ahmad SS. 2012. Species response to environmental variables in Ayubia National Park, Pakistan using multivariate analysis.Pakistan Journal of Botany 44(4), 1225-1228.

Ahmad SS, Murtaza R, Shabir R, Ahmad MN. 2014. Environmental diversification and spatial variations in riparian vegetation: A case study of Korang River, Islamabad. Pakistan Journal of Botany 46(4), 1203-1210.

Ahmad SS, Quratulann. 2011. Vegetation classification in Ayubia National Park, Pakistan using ordination methods. Pakistan journal of Botany 43(5), 2315-2321.

Ahmed M, Husain T, Heikh AHS, Hussain SS, Siddiqui M. 2006. Phytosociology and structure of Himalayan forests from different climatic zones of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 38(2), 361-383.

Aiba S, Kitayama K. 2002. Effects of the 1997 – 1998 El Nino drought on rain forests of Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Journal of Tropical Ecology 18, 215-230.

Akhlaq R, Amjad MS, Qaseem MF, Fatima S, Chaudhari SK, Khan AM, Khan S, Malik NZ, Gardazi SMH, Bibi A, Sabaoon. 2018. Species diversity and vegetation structure from different climatic zones of Tehsil Harighel, Bagh, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan analysed through multivariate techniques. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 16(4), 5193-5211.

Amjad MS, Arshad M, Rashid A, Chaudhari SK, Malik NZ, Fatima S. 2014. Examining relationship between environmental gradients and Lesser Himalyan forest vegetation of Nikyal valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir using ordination analysis. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine 7(1), 610-616.

Anderson MJ, Ellingsen KE, McArdle BH. 2006. Multivariate dispersion as a measure of beta diversity. Ecology Letters 9, 683-693.

Austin MP, Pausas JG, Nicholls AO. 1996. Patterns of tree species richness in relation to environment in southeastern New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology 21, 154–164.

Bano S, Khan S M, Alam J, Alqarawi AA, Abd_Allah EF, Ahmad Z, RahmanIU, Ahmad H, Aldubise A, Hashem A. 2017. Eco-floristic studies of the Beer Hills along the Indus River in the districts Haripur and Abbottabad, Pakistan. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences

Barbacka M, Popa ME, Mitka J, Bodor E, Pacyna G. 2015. Relationships between ecosystems and plant assemblages as responses to environmental conditions in the lower Jurassic of Hungary and Romania. Acta Palaeobotanica 55(1), 3-17.

Bashir H, Ahmad SS. 2017. Exploring Geospatial techniques for spatio-temporal change detection in land cover dynamics along Soan River, Pakistan. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 189(5), 222.

Bashir H, Ahmad SS, Nawaz M, Shahzad S, Gishkori R, Jawad Y. 2018.Ordinal Quantification of Weed Status at Khanpur Dam, Pakistan.Pakistan Journal of Life and Social Sciences 16(1), 35-41.

Bashir H, Ahmad SS. 2018. Ordination classification of relationship of vegetation and soil’s edaphic factors along the roadsides of Wahcantt, Pakistan. Journal of King Saud University – Science, xxx, xxx–xxx.

Basnou C, Pino J, Smilauer P. 2009. Effect of grazing on grasslands in the Western Romanian Carpathians depends on the bedrock type. Preslia 81(2), 91-104.

Begon M, Harper JL, Townsend CR. 1990. Ecology: Individuals, Populations, and Communities. 2nd ed. Blackwell Scientific, Boston, MA.

Bhattarai P, Bhatta KP, Chhetri R, Chaudhary RP. 2014. Vascular plant species richness along a elevation gradient of the Karnali River Valley, Nepal Himalaya. International Journal of Plant Animal and Environmental Sciences 4(3), 109-114.

Bremner JM. 1965. Inorganic forms of nitrogen in methods of soil analysis (ed. C. A. Bloch) American Society of Agranomy Madison, 1179-1727.

Brown JH, Lomolino MV. 1998. Biogeography.2d ed. Sinauer, Sunderland, Mass.

Butt A, Shabbir R, Ahmad SS, Aziz N. 2015. Land use change mapping and analysis using remote sensing and GIS: a case study of Simly watershed, Islamabad, Pakistan.  The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Sciences 18, 251-259.

Champion HG, Seth SK, Khattak GM. 1965. Forest types Pakistan. Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar.

Chawla A, Rajkumar S, Singh KN, Lal B, Singh RD, Thukral AK. 2008. Plant species diversity along an altitudinal gradient of Bhabha Valley in western Himalaya. Journal of Mountain Science 5(2), 157-177.

Currie DJ. 1991. Energy and large-scale patterns of animal-and plant-species richness. The American Naturalist 137, 27-49.

Currie DJ, Francis AP. 2004.Regional versus climate effect on taxon richness in angiosperms; Reply to Qian and Ricklefs. The American Naturalist 163, 780-785.

Dasti AA, Malik SA. 1998. A transect of vegetation and soils on the indus valley scarp slope, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Plant Sciences 4(2), 73-84.

Dasti AA, Saima S, Mahmood Z, Athar M, Malik SA. 2007. Botanical composition and multivariate analysis of vegetation on Pothowar Plateau, Pakistan. Journal of Botanical Research Institute of Texas 1(1), 557-568.

Dhar U. 2000. Prioritization of conservation sites in the timberline zone of west Himalaya. Setting Biodiversity Conservation Priorities for India 1, 193-211.

El Moujahid L, Le Roux X, Michalet S, Bellvert F, Weigelt A, Poly F. 2017.  Effect of plant diversity on the diversity of soil organic compounds.Journal of pone 12(2), e0170494.

Fan K, Weisenhorn C, Jack G, Shi Y. 2018. Soil pH correlates with the co-occurrence and assemblage process of diazotrophic communities in rhizosphere and bulk soils of wheat fields. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 121, 85-192.

Gentry AH. 1988. Pattern and floristic composition in neotropicalmontane forests. Proceedings of neotropicalmontane ecosystem symposium, New York. Evolutionary Biology 15, 1-84.

Greig-Smith P. 2010. Quantitative plant Ecology. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.

Hamilton AC. 1975.A quantitative analysis of altitudinal zonation in Uganda forests. Vegetation 30(2), 99-106.

Haq F, Ahmad H, Iqbal Z. 2015a. Vegetation composition and ecological gradients of subtropical-moist temperate ecotonal forests of NandiarKhuwar catchment, Pakistan. Bangladesh Journal of Botany 44(2), 267-276.

Haq F, Ahmad H, Iqbal Z, Alam M, Aksoy A. 2017. Multivariate approach to the classification and ordination of the forest ecosystem of Nandiar valley western Himalayas. Ecological Indicators 80, 32-241.

Hashim M, Dasti AA. 2019. Himalayan temperate forest composition and canopy attributes. International Journal of Biosciences 14(4), 317-337

He MZ, Zheng JG, Li XR, Qian YL. 2007. Environmental factors affecting vegetation composition in the Alxa Plateau, China. Journal of Arid Environments 69(3), 473-489.

Hemp A. 2002.Ecology of the Pteridophytes on the southern slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro I. Altitudinal distribution. Plant Ecology 159, 211-239.

Henrik BH, Jon M, Risto V, John-Arvid G, Lauri O, Anders A. 2006. Effects of altitude and topography on species richness of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens in alpine communities. Journal of Vegetation Science 17, 37-46.

Hussain M, Khan SM, Abdullah EF, Haq Z, Alshahrani TS, Alqarawi TS, Rahman I, Iqbal M, Abdullah, Ahmad H. 2019.Assessment of plant communities and identification of indicator species of an ecotonal forest zone at Durand Line, District Kurram, Pakistan. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 17(3), 6375-6396.

Ijaz F. 2014. Biodiversity and traditional uses of plants of Sarban Hills, Abbottabad.  M. Phil. Thesis, Hazara University Mansehra, KPK, Pakistan.

Ilyas M, Shinwari ZK, Qureshi R. 2012. Vegetation composition and threats to the montane temperate forest ecosystem of Qalagai hills, Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 44, 113-122.

Ismail I, Sohail M, Gilani H, Ali A, Hussain K, Karky B, Qamer F, Qazi W, Ning W, Kotru R. 2018. Forest inventory and analysis in Gilgit-Baltistan. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 10(4), 616-631.

Jackson ML. 1958.Soil Chemical Analysis. Prentice Hall, Inc., Engle Wood Cliffs, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Jafari M, Zare-Chahouki MA, Tavili A, Azarnivand H, Zahedi A, Amiri GH. 2004.  Effective environmental factors in the distribution of vegetation types in Poshtkouh rangelands of Yazd Province (Iran). Journal of Arid Environments 56, 627-641.

Karami R, Mehrabi HR, Ariapoor A. 2015. The effect of altitude and slope in the species diversity of herbaceous plants (Case Study: Watershed Miandar Qarootag – Gilangharb). Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences 5(7), 197- 204. Corpus ID: 212483738

Kessler M. 2000. Elevational gradients in species richness and endemism of selected plant groups in the central Bolivian Andes.Plant Ecology 149, 181-193.

Kessler M. 2002. Range size and its ecological correlates among the Pteridophytes of Carrasco National Park, Bolivia. Global Ecology and Biogeography 11, 89-102.

Khan KR, Ishtiaq M, Iqbal Z, Alam J, Bhatti KH, Shah AH, Farooq M, Ali N, Mushtaq W, Mehmood A, Majid A. 2018. Effects of edaphic and physiognomic factors on species diversity, distribution and composition in reserved forest of SathanGali (Mansehra), Pakistan. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 16(2), 1085-1100.

Khan M, Hussain F, Mushara S. 2015. a.Classification and ordination of vegetation in ShahbazGari, District Mardan. Global Journal of Science Frontier Research 15(2), 1-12.

Khan N, Ali F, Ali K, Shaukat S. 2015. Composition, structure and regeneration dynamics of Oleaferruginea Royle forests from Hindukush range of Pakistan Journal of Mountain Sciences 12, 647-658.

Khan SM, Page S, Ahmad H, Harper D. 2011a. Residual value analyses of the medicinal flora of the Western Himalayas: the Naran Valley, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 43, 97-104.

Khan SM, Page S, Ahmad H, Harper DM. 2013.Identifying plant species and communities across environmental gradients in western Himalayas: method development and conservation use. Journal of Ecological information 14, 99-103.

Khan SM, Page S, Ahmad H, Shaheen H, Harper DM. 2012. Vegetation dynamics in the western Himalayas, diversity indices and climate change. Journal of Science, Technology and Development 31, 232-243.

Khan W, Khan SM, Ahmad H, Ahmad Z, Page S. 2016. Vegetation mapping and multivariate approach to indicator species of a forest ecosystem: A case study from the Thandiani sub forests Division (TsFD) in the Western Himalayas. Ecological Indicators 71, 336-351.

Khan M, Khan SM, Ilyas M, Al-Qarawi AA, Ahmad Z, Abd-Allah EF. 2017. Plant species and communities assessment in interaction with edaphic and topographic factors; an ecological study of the mount Eelum District Swat, Pakistan. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 24, 778-786.

Khattak NS, Nouroz F, Rahman IU, Noreen S. 2005. Ethnoveterinary uses of medicinal plants of district Karak, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Ethno-pharmacology 171, 273-279.

Lal R. 2005. Forest soils and carbon sequestration. Journal of Ecological Management 220, 242-258.

Lal R. 2009. Challenges and opportunities in soil organic matter research. European Journal of Soil Science 60(2), 158-169.

Malik RN, Hussain SZ. 2006. Classification and ordination of vegetation communities of the Lohibehr reserve forest and its surrounding areas, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 38(3), 543-558.

Malik RN, Hussain SZ. 2008. Linking remote sensing and ecological vegetation communities: A multivariate approach. Pakistan Journal of Botany 40(1), 337-349.

Malik ZA, Nautiyal MC. 2016. Species richness and diversity along the altitudinal gradient in Tungnath, the Himalayan benchmark site of HIMADRI. Tropical Plant Research 3(2), 396–407.

Moser G, Roderstein M, Soethe N, Hertel D, Leuschner C. 2008. Altitudinal changes in stand structure and biomass allocation of tropical mountain forests in relation to microclimate and soil chemistry.  Ecological Studies 198, 229-242.

Nizami SM, Mirza SN, Livesley S, Arndt S, Fox JC, Khan IA, Mahmood T. 2009. Estimating carbon stocks in sub-tropical pine (Pinus roxburghii) forests of Pakistan.Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Science 46(4), 266-270.

Noor A, Khatoon S. 2013. Analysis of vegetation pattern and soil characteristics of Astore valley Gilgit-Baltistan.Pakistan Journal of Botany 45(5), 163-1667.

Ohlemuller R, Wilson JB. 2000. Vascular plant species richness along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients: a contribution from New Zealand temperate rainforests. Ecology Letters 3, 262-266.

Olsen SR, Cole CV, Watanabe FS, Dean LA. 1954. Estimation of available phosphorus in soils by extraction with sodium carbonate. USDA Circular 939, 1-19.

Ping CL, Michaelson GJ, Stiles CA, Gonzalez G. 2013. Soil characteristics, carbon stores, and nutrient distribution in eight forest types along an elevation gradient, eastern Puerto Rico. Ecological Bulletins 54, 67-86.

Qasba S, Masoodi TH, Bhat SJA, Paray PA, Bhat A, Khanday MUD. 2017. Effect of altitude and aspect on soil physico-chemical characteristics in Shankaracharya reserved forest. International Journal of Pure & Applied Bioscience 5, 585-96

Qureshi R, Dasti AA, Rasheed A, Raja R. 2016. Change in forest attributes, ground vegetation and soil factors along altitudinal gradient in coniferous mixed forest, Pakistan. IOSR-Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science 9(1), 64-71.

Rahman IU, Ijaz F, Afzal A, Iqbal Z, Ali N, Khan SM. 2016a. Contributions to the phytotherapies of digestive disorders.Traditional knowledge and cultural drivers of Manoor Valley, Northern Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Ethno-pharmacology 192, 30-52.

Rahman IU, Ijaz F, Afzal A, Iqbal Z, Ali N., Afzal M, Khan MA, Muhammad S, Qadir G, Asif M. 2016b. A novel survey of the ethno medicinal knowledge of dental problems in Manoor Valley (Northern Himalaya). Pakistan Journal of Ethno-pharmacology 194, 877-894.

Rahman IU, Khan N, Ali K. 2017. Classification and ordination of understory vegetation using multivariate techniques in the Pinuswallichiana forests of Swat Valley, northern Pakistan. Science Nature 104, 104-240.

Raja R, Bokhari TZ, Younis U, Dasti AA. 2014. Multivariate analysis of vegetation in wet temperate forests of Pakistan. IOSR-Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences 9, 54-59.

Richards LA. 1954. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. Agricultural hand-book No. 60: U. S. Dept. Of Agriculture and J. B. H Publishing, Bombay, 230.

Sanchez-Cordero V. 2001.  Elevation gradients of diversity for rodent and bats in Oaxaca, Mexico. Global Ecology and Biogeography 10, 63-76.

Saima S, Altaf A, Faiz MH, Shahnaz F, Wu G. 2018. Vegetation patterns and composition of mixed coniferous forests along an altitudinal gradient in the Western Himalayas of Pakistan. Austrian Journal of Forest Science 135(2), 159-180.

Saima S, Dasti AA, Hussain F, Wazir SM, Malik SA. 2009. Floristic compositions along an 18 – km long transect in Ayubia National Park district Abbottabad, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 41(5), 2115-2127.

Shah AH, Khan SM, Shah AH, Mehmood A, Rahman IU, Ahmad H. 2015.Cultural uses of plants among Basikhel Tribe of District Tor Ghar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Pakistan journal of Botany 47(SI), 23-41.

Shahbaz B, Ali T, Suleri AQ. 2007. A critical analysis of forest policies of Pakistan: implications for sustainable livelihoods. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 12(4), 441-453.

Shaheen H, Khan SM, Harper DM, Ullah Z, Qureshi RA. 2011. Species diversity, community structure, and distribution patterns in western Himalayan alpine pastures of Kashmir, Pakistan. Mountain Research and Development 31(2), 153-159.

Shaheen H, Shinwari ZK. 2012. Phytodiversity and endemic richness of Karambar lake vegetation from Chitral valley, Hindukush-Himalayas. Pakistan journal of Botany 44(1), 15-20.

Shaheen S, Iqbal Z, Ijaz F, Alam J, RahmanIU. 2016. Floristic composition, biological spectrum and phenology of Tehsil Havelian, District Abbottabad, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 48(5), 1849-1859.

Sharma CM, Suyal S, Gairola S, Ghildiyal SK. 2009.Species richness and diversity along an altitudinal gradient in moist temperate forest of Garhwal Himalaya. Journal of American Science 5(5), 119-128.

Shaukat SS, Khairi A, Khan D, Afzal M. 1981. On the applicability of Mclntoshs diversity measures. Journal of Tropical Ecology 22, 54-81.

Shinwari ZK, Qaisar M. 2011. Efforts on conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 43(SI), 5-10.

Siddiqui K, Mohammad I, Ayaz M. 1999. Forest ecosystem climate change impact assessment and adaptation strategies for Pakistan. Climate Research 12(2/3), 195-203.

Soethe N, Lehmann J, Engels C. 2008. Nutrient availability at different altitudes in a tropical montane forest in Ecuador. Journal of Tropical Ecology 24(4), 397-406.

Sultan B, Roudier P, Quirion P, Alhassane A, Muller B, Dingkuhn M. 2013. Assessing climate change impacts on sorghum and millet yields in the Sudanian and Sahelian savannas of West Africa. Environmental Research Letters, 8, 014040.

Taghizadeh-Mehrjardi R, Minasny B, Sarmadian F, Malone BP. 2014.Digital mapping of soil salinity in Ardakan region, central Iran. Geoderma 213, 15-28.

TerBraak CJF. 1987. CANOCO- a FORTRAN program for (Canonical) correspondence analysis, Principle components analysis and redundancy analysis (version 2.1). ITO- TNO, Wageningen.

Urooj R, Ahmad SS, Ahmad MN, Ahmad H, Nawaz M. 2016. Ordination study of vegetation analysis around wetland area: a case study of Mangla Dam, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 48(1), 115-119.

Urooj R, Ahmad SS, Ahmad MN, Khan S. 2015.Ordinal classification of vegetation along Mangla Dam, Mirpur, AJK. Pakistan Journal of Botany 47(4), 1423-1428.

Vetaas OR, Grytnes J. 2002.Distribution of vascular plant sp. Richness and endemic richness along the Himalayan elevation gradient in Nepal. Global ecology Biogeography 11(4), 291-301.

Von Humboldt A. 1855. Geographie Botaniqueraisonee; ou, Exposition desfaitsprincipauxet des loisconcernant la distribution geographique des plantes de l’epoqueactuelle. V. Massion, Paris.

Wallace AR. 1878. Tropical Nature and Other Essays.Macmillan, London, New York, 356 p.

Wana D. 2002. Plant Communities and Diversity along Altitudinal Gradients from Lake Abaya to Chencha Highlands MA Thesis.AAU. 786 M.

Wazir SM, Dasti AA, Saima S, Shah J, Hussain F. 2008. Multivariate analysis of vegetation of Chapursan valley: An alpine meadow in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany 40, 615-626.

Wright DH, Currie DJ, Maurer BA. 1993. Energy supply and patterns of species richness on local and regional scales in Ricklefs, R.E. and Schluter, D. eds. Species diversity in ecological communities: historical and geographical perspectives. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 66-74.

Yoda K. 1967. A preliminary survey of the forest vegetation of eastern Nepal. II. General description, structure and floristic composition of sample plots chosen from different vegetation zones. Journal of the College of Arts and Sciences, Chiba University National Science Series 5, 99-140.

Zhang C, Li X, Chen L, Xie G, Liu C, Pei S. 2016. Effects of topographical and edaphic factors on tree community structure and diversity of subtropical mountain forests in the lower Lancang River basin. Forests 7, 1-17.

Zhang JT. 2004. Quantitative Ecology. Science Press, Beijing. (In Chinese). The contribution of traditional Chinese medicine to modern pharmacology 10, 86-93.