Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 255–264 | Cite as

Current vegetation pattern along glacial landscape in central (Garhwal) Himalaya, India

  • Uday N. GaurEmail author
  • G. P. Raturi
  • A. B. Bhatt


Current vegetation patterns, biodiversity and adaptation of plants were studied during 1998–2001 in glacial landscape of Chaurabari situated above Kedarnath (30° 44′ N– 79° 07′ E; 3,000– 6,000 m) in Central Himalaya. Landscape was identified into different zones on account of the vegetation status, glacial features, geomorphology and altitudes. Cold environment with heavy snowfall, frost hailstorm and dense frost characterizes the study area. Predominance of the soda rich feldspars indicates soda enrichment; orthoclase, microcline weathering and alternation would have contributed potash to the soil. The increasing severity of the environment as we ascend from timberline to snowline leads to progressive decline in the abundance and diversity of the plant species. The diversity of the higher plants decrease, while the diversity of microflora increase from alpine zone to snowline zone. Highly opulent and diverse flora with beautiful, delicate herbs occupy the alpine zone, but some specialized groups of the plants, particularly high energetic and cold resistant species reside in glacial environment. Asteraceae, Rananculaceae, Primulaceae, Rosaceae, Apiaceae and Ericaceae are the pioneer angiospermic families, whileAnaphalis triplinervis, A. royleana, Androsacce sarmentosa, Cotoneaster rotundifolius, Lonicera myrtillus, Cassiope fastigiata, Gaultheria trichophylla andErigeron multiradiatus are the pioneer species, which have invaded in glacial environment. Through its nature, alpine glacial ecotone can be seen easily due to environmental and edaphic differences.

Key words

Glacial ecosystem vegetation pattern plant diversity 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Moutain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Science Press 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyHNB Garhwal University Srinagar GarhwalUttaranchalIndia

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