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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 854–865 | Cite as

The potential contribution of wildlife sanctuary to forest conservation: A case study from binsar wildlife sanctuary

  • Balwant RawatEmail author
  • Vikram S. Negi
  • Janhvi Mishra Rawat
  • Lalit M. Tewari
  • Laxmi Rawat
Article

Abstract

Forest vegetation of a protected area (Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary) in Kumaun region (west Himalaya) was analysed for structure, composition and representativeness across three different altitudinal belts, lower (1,600–1,800 m a.s.l.), middle (1,900–2,100 m a.s.l.) and upper (2,200–2,400 m a.s.l.) during 2009–2011 using standard phytosociological methods. Four aspects (east, west, north and south) in each altitudinal belt were chosen for sampling to depict maximum representation of vegetation in the sanctuary. Population structure and regeneration behaviour was analysed seasonally for two years to show the establishment and growth of tree species. A total of 147 plant species were recorded from the entire region of which 27 tree species were selected for detailed study. Highest number was recorded at upper (18 species), and lowest at lower altitudinal belt (15 species). The relative proportion of species richness showed higher contribution of tree layer at each altitudinal belt. The population structure, based on the number of individuals, revealed a greater proportion of seedling layer at each altitudinal belt. The relative proportion of seedlings increases significantly along altitudinal belts (p<0.05) while opposite trends were observed in sapling and tree layers. The density of sapling and seedling species varied non-significantly across seasons (p>0.05). The density values decreased in summer and increased during rainy season. As far as the regeneration status is concerned, middle and upper altitudinal belts showed maximum number of species with fair regeneration as compared to lower altitudinal belt. Overall density diameter distribution of tree species showed highest species density and richness in the smallest girth class and decreased in the succeeding girth classes. This study suggests that patterns of regeneration behaviour would determine future structural and compositional changes in the forest communities. It is suggested that the compositional changes vis-à-vis role of ‘New’ and ‘Not regenerating’ species need priority attention while initiating conservation activities in the sanctuary. This study calls for exploring other less explored Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Himalaya and across the world, to achieve overall biodiversity status in these protected areas and thus to justify their role in conserving biodiversity in the region.

Keywords

Altitudinal gradient Population structure Regeneration status West Himalaya Wildlife Sanctuary 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Balwant Rawat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vikram S. Negi
    • 1
  • Janhvi Mishra Rawat
    • 2
  • Lalit M. Tewari
    • 3
  • Laxmi Rawat
    • 4
  1. 1.G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kosi-KatarmalAlmoraIndia
  2. 2.Forest Research Institute, DehradunMolecular Taxonomy, Botany DivisionDehradunIndia
  3. 3.Department of Botany, D.S.B. CampusKumaun UniversityNainitalIndia
  4. 4.Forest Research Institute, DehradunForest Ecology and Environment DivisionDehradunIndia

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