Vol15 No.9: 1936-1949
【Title】Vascular plants distribution in relation to topography and environmental variables in alpine zone of Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary, West Himalaya
【Author】CHANDRA Sudeep1*; SINGH Ankit1;SINGH C. P.2; NAUTIYAL M. C.1; RAWAT L. S
【Addresses】1 High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Centre (HAPPRC) H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal – 246174, Uttarakhand, India; 2 Space Applications Centre, (Indian Space Research Organization) Ahmedabad 380015, India; 3 Govind Ballabh Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment & Sustainable Development, Garhwal Unit Srinagar Garhwal – 246174, Uttarakhand, India
【Corresponding author】CHANDRA Sudeep
【Citation】Chandra S, Singh A, Singh CP, et al. (2018) Vascular plants distribution in relation to topography and environmental variables in alpine zone of Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary, West Himalaya, India. Journal of Mountain Science 15(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4738-8
【Abstract】The present study was carried out in Tungnath alpine meadows of Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary, Western Himalaya from subalpine to upper alpine zone. A total of four summits were selected along an altitudinal gradient and sampled for detailed vegetation analysis using multi summit approach as per Global observation research initiative in alpine environments (GLORIA). Species richness, diversity, and evenness among four summits as well as the interaction between environmental variables with plant communities were assessed. Monthly mean soil temperature was calculated using data retrieved from geo-precision temperature logger in order to identify the trend of soil temperature among different season and altitudinal gradient and its implications to plant communities. Soil samples were analyzed from each summit by collecting randomized composite soil samples. The indirect non-metricmultidimensional scaling (NMDS) and direct canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) tools of ordination techniques to determine the linkage between plant species from various sample summits and biotic/abiotic environmental gradients were used in the present study. The results of the study demonstrated increase in species richness as soil temperature increases, the ecotone representing summits were found most warm summits followed by highest species richness. Annual soil temperature increased by 1.43°C at timberline ecotone. Whereas, at upper alpine zone the soil temperature increased by 0.810C from year 2015 to 2016. Sørensen's similarity index was found to be increased between subalpine and upper alpine zone with increase in the presence of subalpine plant species at upper alpine zone. Both the ordination tools separate the subalpine summit and their respective vegetation from summits representing timberline ecotone and upper alpine zone. Soil pH, altitude, soil cation exchange capacity were found as the key abiotic drivers for distribution of plant species.
【Keywords】GLORIA; Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS); Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA); Ecotone; West Himalaya.