Gradient analysis and classification of vegetation pattern in himalayan moist deodar forest, Pakistan

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/02/2021
Views (413) Download (40)

Gradient analysis and classification of vegetation pattern in himalayan moist deodar forest, Pakistan

Nazir Ahmad, Muhammad Hashim, Allah Bakhsh Gulshon, Eamon Bushra, Asia BiBi, Shaheen Qadir, AdeelaAltaf, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Altaf Ahmad Dasti
Int. J. Biosci.18( 2), 114-129, February 2021.
Certificate: IJB 2021 [Generate Certificate]


The present investigation describes the structure and vegetation composition of the forest of Kaghan valley, Pakistan. The study area is a part of the Himalayans moist temperate forest. The vegetation zone entirely consists of Herbs, shrubs and tall trees. The plant gives 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 1800m- 2200 m (a.s.l). A total of 86 plant species belonging to 84 genera and 50 families were identified from the study 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 the 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 chemistry effect on the vegetation variation. Topography predicts the species composition of the study area.


Ashton PS.1969. Speciation among tropical forest trees: Some deductions in the light of recent evidence. Biological Journal of Linnaean Society 1, 155-196.

Becker P, Rabenold PE, Idol JR, Smith AP.1988. Water potential gradients for gaps and slopes in a Panamanian tropical moist forest dry season. Journal of Tropical Ecology 4, 173-184.

BiBi A, Bushra E. Hashim M, Altaf A, Qadir S, Ahmad I, Ahmad N, Hussain S, Dasti AA. 2020. Classification and ordination of upland vegetation of temperate forest at Mukeshpuri Hills, Pakistan. International Journal of Biosciences 17(3), 206-229.

Braak CJF, Gremmen NJM. 1987. Ecological amplitudes of plant species and the internal Consistency of Ellenberg’s indicator Values for moisture. Vegetation 69, 79-87.

Causton DR. 1988. Introduction to vegetation analysis. London Allen and Unwin p 432.

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

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.

Cooper PJM, Gregory PJ, Tully D, Harris HC. 1987. Improving water use efficiency of annual crops in the rain fed farming systems of west Asia and North Africa. Experimental Agriculture 23, 113-158.

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.

Davis MA, Wrage KJ, Reich PB. 1998. Competition between tree seedlings and herbaceous vegetation: Support for a theory of resource supply and demand. Journal of Ecology 86, 652-661.

Fitter AH. 1982. Influence of soil heterogeneity on the coexistence of grassland species. Journal of Ecology 70,139-148.

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, 232-241.

Hill MO, Gouch HG. 1980. Deterended correspondence analysis; an improve ordination technique. Vegetation 42, 47-48.

Hill MO. 1979. Decorana-a fortran program for Deterended correspondence Analysis and reciprocal averaging. Ecol and sys. Ithaca, NY: cornell, univ, p 52.

Hooker ID.1990. Flora of British India. Vol.5 M.S Bishen Singh, Deru. Dun India Curtis, J.T. (1959) The Vegetation of Wisconsin. An ordination of plant communities. University of Wisconsin press.

Hussain F, llahi I. 1991. Ecology and Vegetation of Lessar Himalayas Pakistan. Jadoon Printing Press Peshawar.

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 Sathan Gali (Mansehra), Pakistan. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 16(2), 1085-1100.

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.

Kharkwal G, Mehrotra P, Rawat YS, Pangtey YPS, 2005. Phytodiversity and growth form in relation to altitudinal gradient in the Central Himalayan (Kumaun) region of India. Curr. Sci. 89 (5), 873- 878.

Kovach WL. 1999. MVSP-A Multivariate Statistical Package for Windows, Version 3.1.Kovach Computing Service, Pentraeth. Wales, UK.

Latrou M, Papadopoulos A, Papadopoulos F, Dichala O, Psoma P, Bountla A. 2014. Determination of soil available phosphorus using the Olsen and Mehlich 3 methods for Greek soils having variable amounts of calcium carbonate. Communications in soil science and plant analysis 45(16), 2207-2214.

Lawrence GHA. 1967. Taxanomy of vascular plants. The Macmillan Company U.S.A.

Liberman M, Liberman D, Peltera R, Hartsshorn GS. 1985. Small scale altitudinal variation in lowland tropical wet forest vegetation. Journal of Ecology 73, 505-516.

Nasir E, Ali SI. 1972. Flora of Pakistan. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad.

Pagnotta MA, Snaydon RW, Cocks PS. 1997.The effects of environmental gactors on components and attributes of a Mediterranean grass lands Journal of Applied Ecology 34, 29-42.

Peer T, Millingard A, Gruber JP, Hussain F. 2001. Vegetation and altitudinal zonation in relation to the impact of grazing in steppe lands of Hindukush range, Pakistan. Phytocoenologia 31, 477-498.

Peer T, Millingard A, Gruber JP, Hussain F. 2007. Photobiology, structure and diversity of the steppes vegetations in the mountains of Northern, Pakistan. Phytocoenologia 37, 1-65.

Poorter L, Jans L, Bongers F, VenRompaey RSAR. 1994. Spatil distribution of gaps along three catenas in the moist forest of Tai National Pard, Ivory Coast. Journal of Tropical Ecology 10, 385-398.

Rassam A, Tully D. 1986. Annual Report 1985. International Centre for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas, Aleppo, Syria.

Reid WV. 1998. Biodiversity Hotspots. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13, 275-280.

Richards LA. 1954. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. Agricultural hand-book No. 60: U.S Deptt. Of Agriculture and JBH Publishing, Bombay. P 230.

Richards PW. 1996. The tropical Rain Forest: an Ecological study 2nd edition.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge U.K.

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, 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.

Silver WL, Scanta FN, Jhonson AM, Siccama TG, Sanchez MJ. 1994. Nutrient availability in a montane wet tropical forests: spatial pattern and methodological considerations. Plant and Soil 164, 129-145.

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.

Sterling A, Peco B, Casado MA, Galliano EF, Pineeda FD. 1984. Influence of micro-topography on floristic variation in ecological succession in grassland. Oikos 42, 334-342.

Tanner EVJ, Vitousek PM, Cuevas E. 1998. Experimental investigation of nutrient limitation of forest growth on wet tropical mountains. Ecology 79, 10-22.

Walker LR, Shiels AB, Bellingham PJ. 2013. Changes in abiotic influences on seed plants and ferns during 18 years of primary succession on Puerto Rican landslides. Journal of Ecology 101, 650-661.

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(2), 615-626.