• Non-ICIMOD publication


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Long-term ecological monitoring on forest ecosystems in Indian Himalayan Region: Criteria and indicator approach

  • Negi, V. S.
  • Pathak, R.
  • Rawal, R. S.
  • Bhatt, I. D.
  • Sharma, S.
  • Summary

The Himalaya, as provider of range of goods and ecosystem services, is vital for sustaining the life of billions of people. Recognition as one of the Global biodiversity hotspot implies its global significance. The forest ecosystems and plant biodiversity in the region is predicted to respond to the rapid warming and the human induced perturbations. However, documentation of these responses and likely consequences is meagre so as to provide a basis for future comparison. Realizing the importance of understanding relationships of climate change (CC) and forest biodiversity, systematic collection of data sets, covering various aspects of environment was attempted through establishing Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) and monitoring. The LTERs in general, have emerged to be important to improve our understanding on spatio-temporal variations happening in a particular ecosystem. Indian National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) sets out National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) to conserve Himalayan ecosystem from the brunt of climate vulnerabilities. Considering importance of Himalaya forests and their sensitivity to CC impacts, NMSHE has stressed on undertaking Long-Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM) and development of monitoring protocol with forest biodiversity specific parameters and indicators. In this context first of its kind attempt have been made to develop long-term ecological monitoring protocol along with suitable criteria and indicators for the Indian Himalaya, and demonstrate it through documenting base line data of established LTEM plots in diverse forest types in the Indian western Himalaya.