Forest structure and regeneration were studied along the altitudinal gradient in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttarakhand Himalaya in India. Stratified random sampling of tree species was done by placing minimum 15 quadrats of 10 × 10 m at each aspect and altitude. The results reveal that along the altitudinal gradient there were three types of forest communities in the Sanctuary viz., chir pine (Pinus roxburghii), oakchir pine (Quercus leucotrichophora and Pinus roxburghii) and oak (Quercus floribunda and Quercus leucotrichophora). Rhododendron arboreum, Cornus macrophylla and Lyonia ovalifolia were main associates of these forest communities. The oak forests had larger shrub population as compared to chir pine. Myrsine africana was the most dominant shrub across the altitudinal gradient, whereas few shrub species were restricted to a certain altitudinal range. The regeneration of chir pine was best at lower altitude on south and east aspects, which indicates that it mostly regenerates on warm and dry slopes. In general, the regeneration potential in most of the tree species declines with the altitude. The density of saplings and seedlings also represented the dominant species at each altitudinal range, which indicates the cyclic regeneration of forests in the Sanctuary area.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 3, 2010
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