Distribution of roadside plant communities along the altitudinal gradient in pine forests, Pakistan

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Research Paper 01/11/2020
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Distribution of roadside plant communities along the altitudinal gradient in pine forests, Pakistan

Shaheen Qadir, Adeela Altaf, Muhammad Hashim, Eamon Bushra, Asia BiBi, Nazir Ahmad, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Kaneez Fatima, Altaf Ahmad Dasti
Int. J. Biosci.17( 5), 96-115, November 2020.
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In mountainous areas, road construction is accompanied by large‐scale physical disturbance that drastically modify the landscape. Road construction and cutting process of mountains removes soil and rock from the hillside above the proposed road, while soil and rock are deposited on the down‐slope area. The resultant roadsides are highly disturbed habitats characterized by plant communities maintained at an early successional stage. The present research was conducted along the roadside, consisting of Nathia Gali (Temperate forest), Abbottabad (Tropical forest) and Thandiani Valley (Sub alpine forest) to determine the associations and relationships between the plant communities and soil, grouping and quantification of plant communities using multivariate ordination techniques. The study area ranges in altitude from 2400 to 2700 m, a.s.l. A total 74 genera having 82 species belonging to 44 families were recorded during the field survey. The major families were Rosaceae (30%), Lamiaceae (23%) and Asteraceae (17%). Other families also contributed a good share in flora. Herbs contributed the more share followed by shrubs and trees. Presence/absence data were used to classify and ordinate for both sites and species. DCA axes 1 and 2 were used for data interpretation. The relationships between soil characters and DCA axes 1 and 2 were determined using Spearman Rank correlation. Cluster analysis identified 3 vegetation types. These vegetation types have been discussed in the context of topographic and edaphic heterogeneity.


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