International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 5 Issue 3 2014- November 2014    Pages: 553- 579  <<Previous    Next>>

Floristic diversity in the vicinity of Srinagar hydroelectric power project in Alaknanda valley of Garhwal Himalaya, India: needs for conservation

Author Information:

Radha Ballabha, Tiwari J. K., Tiwari P.
Department of Botany and Microbiology, HNB Garhwal University
Srinagar Garhwal – 246174, Uttarakhand, India

ABSTRACT

The present study provides comprehensive information on floristic diversity (angiosperms and gymnosperms), habitat wise distribution and management plan for conservation of higher plants in the vicinity of Srinagar hydroelectric power project in Alaknanda valley of Garhwal Himalaya, India. We recorded 526 plant species belonging to 372 genera and 94 families from the study area. Out of the documented species 329 were herbs, 74 shrubs, 73 trees and the rest 50 were climbers. Gymnosperms were represented by 2 species, 2 genera and 2 families, Dicotyledons by 432 species, 306 genera and 78 families whereas Monocotyledons by 92 species, 64 genera and 14 families. Fabaceae (50 species and 32 genera), Poaceae (49 species and 35 genera), Asteraceae (44 species and 33 genera), Lamiaceae (24 species and 19 genera), Euphorbiaceae (18 species and 7 genera), Malvaceae (18 species and 10 genera), Solanaceae (18 species and 10 genera), Cucurbitaceae (13 species and 10 genera), Amaranthaceae (12 species and 8 genera) and Cyperaceae (12 species and 6 genera) were the dominant families and showed 60% similarity with the dominant families of India. Among all the reported plant species, 231 were recorded in 3 or > 3 habitats and the remaining were restricted to 1 or 2 habitats only. The representation of species was maximum on agricultural fields/margins (267 species) followed by forest/forest edges (221 species), road/way sides (217 species), whereas minimum (30 species) on river/stream banks. The construction of hydroelectric power project may lead to reduction of plant diversity from the area. Furthermore, other anthropogenic activities like construction of hill roads, forest fire, over-grazing, lopping of trees for fodder and fuel-wood, removal of leaf and wood litter from the forest floor are also affecting the plant diversity in the area. A management plan for conservation of plant species in the vicinity of hydroelectric power project area is also suggested. The scientific information obtained from the present study will strengthen the data base and will be helpful in predicting possible changes in the ecosystem properties and forest composition in near future.

Keywords: Floristic diversity, habitat, conservation, hydroelectric power project, Garhwal Himalaya.

DOI:10.6088/ijes.2014050100049

© 2014 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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