, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 331-337
Date: 18 Aug 2010

Effects of slope aspects on forest compositions, community structures and soil properties in natural temperate forests of Garhwal Himalaya

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The present study was undertaken in seven natural forest types of temperate zone (1500 to 3100 m, a.s.l.) of Garhwal Himalaya to understand the effects of slope aspects viz., north-east (NE), north-west (NW), south-east (SE) and south-west (SW), on the forest structure, composition and soil characteristics of each selected forest type. The sample plots in each forest type were laid out by using stratified random approach. The indices i.e., the Importance Value Index, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson’s concentration of Dominance, Simpson diversity index, Pielou equitability and Margalef species richness index were calculated statistically using standard softwares to elucidate the differences in forest structure and composition of forest types on different slope aspects of the sites. The composite soil samples were taken from each forest stand and the physico-chemical properties of the soil i.e., moisture content (MC), water holding capacity (WHC), pH, organic carbon (OC), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and available nitrogen (N) were analyzed. The results show that the higher values of total basal cover (74.4 m2·ha−1 in Quercus semecarpifolia forest), Concentration of dominance (0.85 in Pinus roxburghii forest) and Tree diversity (1.81 in Quercus floribunda forest) in the forests were recorded in the northern aspects. MC (40.8% in Quercus leucotrichophora forest), WHC (48.9% in Cupressus torulosa forest), OC (3.8% in Cedrus deodara forest), P (31.9 kg·ha−1 in Quercus leucotrichophora forest) and N (1.0% in Pinus roxburghii forest) had also higher values in the soils of northern aspects. Consequently the higher productivity of the forests was also noticed on the northern aspects.