Brazilian Journal of Biological Sciences (ISSN 2358-2731)

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Vol. 2, No. 3, p. 147-154 - Jun. 30, 2015


Litter-fall production in cool-temperate forests of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

Shankar Datt Tiwari and Ritesh Joshi

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has rich biodiversity and other distinguished features from the environmental point of view. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is reputedly one of the most spectacular wilderness areas having qualitatively and quantitatively unique biota, forest type, cultural heritage, religious faiths, climate and soil type in the world. Though, the study area is completely protected but the dependency of local inhabitants on identified forests is a common practice for a varierty of resource collection. Local people were observed collecting a large amount of forest resources for their livelihoods. This article deals with annual litterfall production pattern in six representative forests (Abies pindrow (Royle ex D. Don) Royle, Betula utilis D. Don, Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don, Mixed Forest, <Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jacks. and Quercus semecarpifolia Sm. dominated forests). During the one year litterfall study, the average seasonal litter fall was highest observed in winter, which ranged from 32.74% to 47.43% while it was least observed during summer season (25.08% to 30.70%). In six studies forests of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve annual litter fall production was observed and it ranged from 5.19 t.ha-1.yr-1 (lowest) in Cedrus deodara to 7.19 t.ha-1.yr-1 (highest) in Betula utilis dominated forests. In total litter production, the major contribution (45.60% to 70.22%) was given by the senescence leaves of the plants then followed by twigs (10.92% to 18.17%), reproductive parts including seeds, fruits, flowers and floral buds (6.53% to 13.44%), miscellaneous things such as unidentified plant materials ranged from 5.93% to 15.50% and least proportion of dry barks (3.5% to 9.54%).

Litter-fall, biomass, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Uttarakhand Himalaya.

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