Vol17 No.8: 1989-2000
【Title】Vegetation-environment relationship in conifer dominating forests of the mountainous range of Indus Kohistan in northern Pakistan
【Author】Adam KHAN1*; Moinuddin AHMED2; Muhammad Faheem SIDDIQI3; Mohib SHAH4;Eduardo Soares CALIXTO5; Afsheen KHAN1; Paras SHAH6; Javed IQBAL2; Muhammad AZEEM3
【Addresses】1 Department of Botany, University of Buner, Swari 19290, Pakistan; 2 Dr. Moinuddin Ahmed Research Laboratory of Dendrochronology and Plant Ecology Department of Botany, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus Karachi, Karachi 75300, Pakistan; 3 Department of Botany University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan.; 4 Department of Botany, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Mardan 23200, Pakistan; 5 Department of Entomology, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto 14040-900, Brazil; 6 Dr. Abdul Ghaffar laboratory of Plant Pathology and Aerobiology, Department of Botany, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus Karachi, Karachi 75300, Pakistan
【Corresponding author】Adam KHAN
【Citation】Khan A, Ahmed M, Siddiqi MF, et al. (2020) Vegetation-environment relationship in conifer dominating forests of the mountainous range of Indus Kohistan in northern Pakistan. Journal of Mountain Science 17(8). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5562-0
【Abstract】Environmental variables play a crucial role in shaping vegetation structure, mainly in mountainous ecosystems. Different studies have attempted to identify the environment-vegetation relationship of Conifer Dominating Forests (CDF) worldwide. However, due to differences in local climate and soil composition, different environmental drivers can be found. By applying multivariate analysis techniques, this study investigated the vegetation-environment relationship of CDF of Indus Kohistan in northern Pakistan. Our results showed that CDF of Indus Kohistan are distributed in five distinct ecological groups, which are dominated by different trees and understory species. A total of 7trees and 71 understory species were recorded from the sampling sites. Cedrus deodara was the leading species among fourgroups, having the highest importance value (IV), density and basal area. Group I was dominated by Pinus wallichiana with the second highest importance value, density and basal area. In addition, elevation, slope, maximum water holding capacity (MWHC), soil moisture (SM), total organic matter (TOM), sodium, phosphorus and nickel showed highly significant influence on composition and distribution pattern of Indus Kohistan vegetation. Therefore, this study shows a new evidence of vegetation-environment relationship, pointing out specific drivers of vegetation structure in CDF of Indus Kohistan region in northern Pakistan.
【Keywords】Conifer forests; Understory species; Environmental variables; Multivariate analysis; Indus Kohistan; Northern Pakistan