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Publication Type J
Authors Abbas, Z., S. M. Khan, J. Alam, T. Peer, Z. Abideen, R. W. Bussmann and S. Muhammad
Title VEGETATION DYNAMICS ALONG ALTITUDINAL GRADIENTS IN SHIGAR VALLEY (CENTRAL KARAKORUM) PAKISTAN: ZONATION, PHYSIOGNOMY, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
Source Pakistan Journal of Botany
Language English
Author Keywords Vegetation belts Plant diversity Plant adaption Ecosystem services Environmental risks species-richness medicinal-plants vascular plants life-forms mountains range baltistan diversity biodiversity skardu Plant Sciences
Abstract This paper provides the first insight into the altitudinal zonation of vegetation of Shigar valley, Central Karakorum Mountains, Pakistan. The study was conducted in the period of 2013-2016 and focused on floristic and structural differentiation of vegetation; ethnobotany, and environmental impacts in the region. Based on altitude, climate, and indicator species, four vegetation zones were recognized including sub-montane, montane, sub-alpine, and alpine belt. From these belts, a total of 345 plant taxa were collected. The sub-montane belt presented the highest species richness. Perennials prevailed in all vegetation types. Annuals drastically decreased with altitude. Hemicryptophytes occurred in all zones, and chamaephytes only at lower, dry and rocky sites. Phanerophytes (shrubs, trees) decreased with altitude and were almost absent in the alpine belt. Microphylls and nanophylls had an abrupt decline with altitude. Plant functional effects related to ecosystem services were sixteen and the maximum services were found in the sub-alpine (13) belt, followed by the sub-montane (12), the montane (9) and the alpine belt (4). All vegetation types were used by the local people, and twenty use categories with 83 species were found, including medicinal, beverages, edible, fuel, fence sources etc. Edible wild plants (fruits, vegetables), fuel wood, thatching, and fencing materials were provided by all vegetation belts except the alpine belt. The use of plants impaired plant functional effects in the ecosystem. Eight types of natural and human caused degradation processes were recognized, most common in the sub-montane and montane belt. The sustainable use of the resources requires appropriate monitoring activities, and regulation for conservation and management of this vulnerable mountain ecosystem.
Author Address [Abbas, Zaheer] Univ Educ, Dept Bot, Lahore, Pakistan. [Khan, Shujaul Mulk] Quaid I Azam Univ, Dept Plant Sci, Islamabad, Pakistan. [Alam, Jan; Muhammad, Said] Hazara Univ, Dept Bot, Mansehra, Pakistan. [Peer, Thomas] Univ Salzburg, Dept Organism Biol, Salzburg, Austria. [Abideen, Zainul] Univ Karachi, Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan Inst Sustainable Halophyte, Karachi, Pakistan. [Bussmann, Rainer W.] Ilia State Univ, Inst Bot, Dept Ethnobot, Tbilisi, Georgia. Abbas, Z (corresponding author), Univ Educ, Dept Bot, Lahore, Pakistan. zaheer.abbas@ue.edu.pk; shujaqau@gmail.com
ISSN 0556-3321
ISBN 0556-3321
29-Character Source Abbreviation Pak. J. Bot.
Publication Date Oct
Year Published 2021
Volume 53
Issue 5
Beginning Page 1865-1874
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.30848/pjb2021-5(43)
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000663420900039

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