Alien Flora of Indian Himalayan State of Himachal Pradesh
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- Jaryan, V., Uniyal, S.K., Gupta, R.C. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2013) 185: 6129. doi:10.1007/s10661-012-3013-2
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Recognizing the array of effects that invasive alien species have, documenting their status from biodiversity rich regions has been much emphasized. Lack of such studies is a major limitation that hampers proper management of alien species. The present paper, therefore, documents the alien flora of the Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh (HP) based on data obtained from literature and herbarium records. The alien flora of HP comprises of 497 species belonging to 85 families. Majority of them belong to family Asteraceae (59 species), followed by Poaceae (47 species) and Fabaceae (43 species). Amongst the genera, Ipomoea (9 species), Eucalyptus and Euphorbia (7 species each) are the most predominant. Herbs constitute the majority (i.e., 73 %) of alien species and a large percentage of them (i.e., 22.94 %) have South America as their native region. Further, of the total alien species, 248 are intentional introductions and majority (31 % species) have been introduced for ornamental purposes. It was revealed that 34 % species have naturalized while 29 % species have become invasive. Today, in addition to human-disturbed landscapes, alien species have also been reported from dense forests. Himalaya being a biodiversity hotspot and HP being a bio-rich Himalayan state, it is hoped that this inventory and assessment of alien flora will help in designing informed management and monitoring strategies against problematic plant invasions in the state.