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Title: Species diversity, community structure, and distribution patterns in western Himalayan alpine pastures of Kashmir, Pakistan
Authors: Shaheen, Hamayun
Khan, Shujaul Mulk
Harper, David M.
Ullah, Zahid
Allem Qureshi, Rizwana
First Published: May-2011
Publisher: International Mountain Society
Citation: Mountain Research and Development, 2011, 31 (2), pp. 153-159
Abstract: Western Himalayan alpine pastures are among the most diverse ecological locations on the globe. Four alpine pastures were investigated to study species distribution patterns, richness, similarity, and community structure in Bagh District, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Four communities, Poa–Primula–Sibbaldia, Primula–Caltha–Primula, Poa alpina–Poa pratensis–Scirpus, and Sibbaldia–Poa–Scirpus, were identified on the basis of an importance value index. The average value of species richness was 1.42; Simpson's and Shannon–Wiener's diversity values were 3.13 and 0.91, respectively; the degree of maturity index was 44.1; and species evenness was 0.901. Local alpine flora was dominated by a hemicriptophytic life form with microphyllous leaf spectra. The species–environment correlation was analyzed using canonical correspondence analysis. A negative correlation of both diversity and richness was revealed with altitudinal gradient. Anthropogenic disturbances showed a significant negative impact on distribution of medicinal and palatable species. Unpalatable species dominated the local flora, indicating the heavy grazing pressure in the area. Development and implementation of regional conservation strategies are recommended to protect the threatened Himalayan alpine biodiversity.
DOI Link: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-10-00091.1
ISSN: 0276-4741
eISSN: 1994-7151
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2011. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Biology

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