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Kala C.P.,Indian Institute of Forest Management
Journal of Sustainable Forestry | Year: 2011

This study deals with the floral diversity and distribution patterns in plant species in relation to environmental gradients in the high altitude cold desert of Ladakh, India. An extensive literature survey and field explorations were made across the different parts of Ladakh in order to create a compilation of vascular plant species. For the quantification of vegetation, a total of eight habitat types were identified and sampled using the point intercept method. In all, 647 species of vascular plants belonging to 58 families and 243 genera were documented. Asteraceae (89 species), Poaceae (66 species), Brassicaceae (54 species), and Fabaceae (43 species) were the dominant families. Astragalus was the most dominant genus as it obtained 24 species, followed by Polygonum (18 species), Artemisia (15 species), and Potentilla (14 species). Among the habitats, riverine beds contained the highest frequency of plant species, followed by narrow gorges and tablelands. The crags and ridges had the lowest frequency of plants. Relatively high water and moisture availability may be the cause of the high frequency of plant species in riverine beds and narrow gorges. The vegetation composition was influenced by elevation; however, the intensity of change reduced at >4500-m elevation. The conservation and management of high altitude cold desert vegetation are discussed based on field observations and findings. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Jha K.K.,Indian Institute of Forest Management
Journal of Forestry Research | Year: 2014

Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.) ranks among the top five tropical hardwood species and is being promoted for use in plantations in its non-native range due to its high economic value. However, there is a general lack of data on ecosystem functioning of teak plantations. We aimed at understanding storage and flux of nutrients related to young plantations of teak. Cycling of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in a chronosequence of plantations (1, 5, 11, 18, 24 and 30 years) was studied in the Moist Deciduous Forest Region of North India with the objective of investigating the nutrient cycling pattern at younger age since the current trend of harvesting age of the species in several tropical countries is being drastically reduced for quick return from this high value crop. Standing state, nutrient uptake, nutrient return and nutrient retranslocation in these plantations were estimated by tree harvesting and chemical analysis methods. The range of total standing nutrient across all these plantations was 20.3 to 586.6 kg·ha-1 for N and 5.3 to 208.8 kg·ha-1 for P. Net uptake of N ranged from 19.4 to 88.9 kg·ha-1·a-1 and P from 3.8 to 18.1 kg·ha-1·a-1. Retranslocation of N and P among all the stands ranged from 8.7 to 48.0 kg·ha-1·a-1 and 0.01 to 3.5 kg·ha-1·a-1, respectively. Range of total nutrient return was 25.8 to 91.3 kg·ha-1·a-1 for N and 2.7 to 10.1 kg·ha-1·a-1 for P. N and P use efficiency was between 107.4 and 192.5 g dry organic matter (OM) g-1 N, and 551.9 and 841.1 g OM g-1 P, respectively. The turnover time ranged from 2.04-13.17 years for N and between 2.40-22.66 years for P. Quantity of N and P in the soil nutrient pool ranged from 2566.8 to 4426.8 kg·ha-1 and 372 to 520 kg·ha-1, respectively. Storage and flux of components in different plant parts of different aged plantations were assessed and depicted in compartment models. Percentage storage in soil, litter and vegetation ranged from 82% to 99%, 0.6% to 2.4% and 0.5% to 15% for N, respectively, and from 63% to 98%, 0.5% to 2% and 1% to 35% for P, respectively. This information could be useful in managing external nutrient manipulation to crops of different ages for optimum biomass production or carbon sequestration. © 2014 Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Yadav M.,Indian Institute of Forest Management | Misra S.,California State University, Chico
Sustainable Development | Year: 2012

The extraction and exploitation of non-timber forest products (NTFP) has been one of the major causes of the degradation of forests in developing countries like India. The highly unorganized and secretive nature of intermediary operations leads to market imperfections that are usually to the disadvantage of the collectors and cultivators. This often leads to destructive and unsustainable harvesting techniques. We provide a possible solution based on a market information system (MIS) that can help to remove market imperfections by providing information related to demand and supply to collectors and cultivators. This can be helpful in promoting sustainable harvesting and also to policy-makers and implementation agencies. A conceptual framework related to an MIS for medicinal and aromatic plants, a subset of NTFPs, is presented. The development of such MISs can not only help to reduce unsustainable harvesting techniques but also to improve the economic condition of some of the poorest people. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment.

Kala C.P.,Indian Institute of Forest Management
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction | Year: 2014

The Himalaya has been venerated by communities since antiquity and hence visited by a large number of pilgrims for paying tribute, annually. Uttarakhand state in the Indian Himalaya being the place of major Hindu shrines like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri and also the place of origin of many sacred rivers including the Ganges, at present, is best known for the religious tourism. Though, the state population is about 10 million, over 25 million tourists visited here in 2011 despite the fact that the state remains under frequent natural hazards in the forms of landslides, earthquakes and flash floods mainly during monsoon. Recently, on 16 and 17 June 2013, the torrential downpour and subsequent flooding had wreaked havoc that not only swallowed vast swathes of Uttarakhand but also took life of thousands of pilgrims and tourists. The cloudburst, heavy rainfall and subsequent landslides are the natural disasters but this disaster in Uttarakhand is mainly attributed by masses as a man-made disaster due to unregulated tourism and unplanned construction. In this background, the major aim of this study is to explore and review the factors responsible for increased intensity and scale of disaster due to flash floods in the Uttarakhand state of India. The paper also reviews and discusses various options for disaster risk reductions in the sensitive ecosystem such as the Himalaya. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Basannagari B.,Indian Institute of Forest Management
PloS one | Year: 2013

Apple farming is an important activity and profession of farmer communities in the Himalayan states of India. At present, the traditional apple farming is under stress due to changes in climate. The present study was undertaken in an Indian Himalayan state, Himachal Pradesh, with the major aim of studying perceptions of farmers on the effects of climate change on apple farming along the altitudinal gradient. Through questionnaire survey, the perceptions of farmers were recorded at low hills (<2500 m), mid-hills (2500-3000 m), and upper hills (>3000 m). At all elevation range the majority of farmers reported that there was increase in atmospheric temperature, and hence at low hills 72% farmers believed that this increase in temperature was responsible for decline in fruit size and so that the quality. Thirty five percent farmers at high hills and 30% at mid hills perceived frost as a major cause for damaging apple farming whereas at low hills 24% farmers perceived hailstorm as the major deterrent for apple farming. The majority of farmers, along the altitude (92% at high hills, 79% at mid hills and 83% at low hills), reported decrease in snowfall. The majority of farmers at low altitude and mid altitude reported decline in apple farming whereas 71% farmers at high hill areas refused decline in apple farming. About 73-83% farmers admitted delay in apple's harvesting period. At mid hills apple scab and at low hills pest attack on apple crops are considered as the indicators of climate change. The change in land use practices was attributed to climate change and in many areas the land under apple farming was replaced for production of coarse grains, seasonal vegetables and other horticulture species. Scientific investigation claiming changes in Indian Himalayan climate corroborates perceptions of farmers, as examined during the present study.

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