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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 351–363 | Cite as

Plant studies in the first Himalayan Biosphere Reserve: a review

  • Amit KumarEmail author
  • Mansa Srivastav
  • Bhupendra S Adhikari
  • Gopal S Rawat
Article

Abstract

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) was declared as the first Himalayan Biosphere Reserve owing to its unique biological and cultural wealth. Its core zones, Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National Park, are a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. In spite of lying at a high altitude, interplay of factors such as unique geographical location, climate, topography and wide altitudinal variations have endowed NDBR with a rich and diverse flora. Proportionately high percentage of endemic and near endemic plants makes NDBR a very important protected area from conservation point of view. However, its floristic wealth is facing unprecedented threats in the form of climate change and growing anthropogenic pressure. Hence, a need was felt to assess the directionality, quality and sufficiency of past and ongoing research for the conservation of floral and ethnobotanical wealth of NDBR in the absence of any such previous attempt. Based on an extensive review of more than 150 plant studies on NDBR, this communication provides a detailed account of the current state of knowledge and information gaps on flora, vegetation ecology, rare, endangered, threatened (RET) and endemic plants and ethnobotany. Priority research areas and management measures are discussed for the conservation of its unique floral wealth. Incomplete floral inventorization, lack of biodiversity monitoring, meagre studies on lower plant groups, population status of medicinal plants, habitat assessment of threatened taxa and geo-spatial analysis of alpine vegetation were identified as areas of immediate concern.

Keywords

Endemism Ethnobotany Nanda Devi Himalaya Threatened taxa Valley of Flowers 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun for institutional support. We are also indebted to all the reviewers for their editorial comments.

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Institute of IndiaPost Box # 18Dehradun UttarakhandIndia
  2. 2.Forest Research InstituteP.O. New ForestDehradun UttarakhandIndia

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