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Assessment of anthropogenic activities and exotic flora of Lolab valley, Kashmir, India

Fayaz Bhat, D.M. Mahajan, Asifa Bhat

Abstract


The present study is an attempt to analyze and assess the anthropogenic pressure and status of exotic species in the forests of Lolab Valley, Kashmir (India). Because of continuous and heavy grazing, and illegal encroachments, the pastures and forest-areas are deteriorated to critical levels. The pressure is also developing on the most favorite and preferred fuel wood tree species that include Cedrus deodara, Pinus excelsa, and Abies pindrow. The Kashmir Himalaya, known for its indigenous and endemic flora, also provides home to a large number of exotic plants, which exhibit a wide taxonomical and distributional stretch. The inventorization and documentation of its exotics have received a little or negligible attention. The present study has revealed that the exotic flora of Lolab valley is represented by a total of 30 species belonging to 22 families. The family Salicaceae (39%) proved to be the largest family fallowed by Rosaceae (31%), Rununculaceae (15%) and Moraceae (15%). Contribution of different geographical regions in terms of nativity shows that highest number of alien species have come from the continental Europe (42%) followed by Asia (31%) and North America (13%). In contrast, European flora contributed maximum percentage of species (42%) to the alien flora of Lolab valley.


Keywords


Anthropogenic Pressure; Exotic Flora; Kashmir Himalaya; Lolab Valley; Temperate Forests.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21746/ijbio.2015.11.009

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