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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 259–274 | Cite as

Diversity, distribution and prioritization of fodder species for conservation in Kullu District, Northwestern Himalaya, India

  • S. S. SamantEmail author
  • Man Singh
  • Manohar Lal
  • Shreekar Pant
Article

Abstract

In the Indian Himalayan Region predominantly rural in character, livestock is one of the main sources of livelihood and integral part of the economy. Livestock mostly rely on fodder from wild. The diversity, distribution, utilization pattern, nativity, endemism, rarity, seasonality of availability, nutritive values, perceived economic values and pressure use index of livestock have not been studied. The present study attempts to enumerate 150 species of fodder representing trees (51 spp.), shrubs (54 spp.) and herbs (45 spp.). Poaceae (19 spp.) and Fabaceae (13 spp.) amongst families and Salix (6 spp.), Ficus, Clematis, and Desmodium (5 spp., each) amongst genera are rich in species. Maximum species were found in the 1801–2600 m zone, and the remaining two zones showed relatively low diversity. Out of the 150 species, 109 are used in summer, 5 winter and 36 throughout year. During rainy season, mostly grasses are used as fodder. Only 83 species are native to the Himalayan region, one species, Strobilanthus atropuroureus is endemic and 35 species are near endemic. The nutritive values of the fodder species were reviewed, and economic values and status of the species were also assessed. The pressure use index of the species was calculated on the basis of cumulative values of the utilization pattern, altitudinal distribution, availability, status, nativity and endemism. Amongst the species, Grewia oppositifoilia, Morus serrata, Indigofera heterantha, Quercus leucotrichphora, Ulmus villosa, U. wallichiana and Aesculus indica showed highest PUI indicating high preference and pressure. Season wise prioritization of the species for different altitudinal zones has been done. Appropriate strategy and action plan have been suggested for the conservation and management of fodder species.

Keywords

Diversity utilization native endemic nutritive and economic value pressure use index prioritization conservation Indian Himalayan Region 

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Copyright information

© Science Press 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Samant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Man Singh
    • 1
  • Manohar Lal
    • 1
  • Shreekar Pant
    • 1
  1. 1.G.B.Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & DevelopmentHimachal PradeshIndia

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