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Tree Species Richness, Diversity, and Regeneration Status in Different Oak (Quercus Spp.) Dominated Forests of Garhwal Himalaya, India

  • Sharma, C. M.
  • Malik, Z. A.
  • Singh, S.

Himalayan forests are dominated by different species of oaks (Quercus spp.) at different altitudes. These oaks are intimately linked with hill agriculture as they protect soil fertility, watershed, and local biodiversity. They also play an important role in maintaining ecosystem stability. This work was carried out to study the diversity and regeneration status of some oak forests in Garhwal Himalaya, India. A total of 18 tree species belonging to 16 genera and 12 families were reported from the study area. Species richness varied for trees (4–7), saplings (3–10), and seedlings (2–6). Seedling and sapling densities (Ind/ha) varied between 1,376 Ind/ha and 9,600 Ind/ha and 167 Ind/ha and 1,296 Ind/ha, respectively. Species diversity varied from 1.27 to 1.86 (trees), from 0.93 to 3.18 (saplings), and from 0.68 to 2.26 (seedlings). Total basal area (m2/ha) of trees and saplings was 2.2–87.07 m2/ha and 0.20–2.24 m2/ha, respectively, whereas that of seedlings varied from 299 cm2/ha to 8,177 cm2/ha. Maximum tree species (20–80%) had “good” regeneration. Quercus floribunda, the dominant tree species in the study area, showed “poor” regeneration, which is a matter of concern, and therefore, proper management and conservation strategies need to be developed for maintenance and sustainability of this oak species along with other tree species that show poor or no regeneration.

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