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Diversity  and  distribution  pattern  of  alpine  vegetation communities from Ratti Gali lake and its adjacent areas, Kashmir Himalayas, Pakistan

Muhammad Shakeel Awan, Muhammad Ejaz Ul Islam Dar, Hamayun Shaheen, Raja Waqar Ahmad Khan, Shamshad Aziz and Tariq Habib

Ratti Gali Lake area is an alpine area in district Neelum AJK located at altitudes > 3800 m and is an important repository of western Himalayan alpine floral taxa attributed to its unique geography and typical alpine climate. Current study was designed to investigate the floristic composition, community structure and distribution pattern of the alpine vegetation communities in the Ratti Gali area. Extensive vegetation sampling was carried out during June-August 2019 by quadrate based systematic sampling covering all the alpine microhabitats. Results revealed a total of 99 plant species recorded from the area belonging 36 families and 77 genera with Compositae as the most dominant family (16 species) followed by Rosaceae and Polygonaceae with 9 and 6 species respectively. Life form analysis revealed Hemicryptophytes as the dominant life form with 47 species (47.4%) followed by Therophytes whereas Leaf Size analysis showed the dominance of Microphylls with 35 species (35.4%) followed by Leptophylls. Bistorta amplexicaule was the most dominant species having an importance value of 29.0 followed by Geranium pratense and Sibbaldia cunneata. Study sites showed an average species count of 24.7; average value of Simpson’s diversity as 0.91; Shannon’s diversity as 2.88; species richness as 1.41; Evenness as 0.77 whereas average maturity index value as 33.07. Our findings revealed that the alpine vegetation of the area is seriously threatened due to immense anthropogenic pressure attributed to huge tourist influx, heavy over grazing, medicinal plant exploitation and soil erosion. We recommend immediate implementation of conservation measures in this fragile alpine habitat to protect the precious alpine floral wealth of the region

To Cite this article: Awan, M.S., M.E.I. Dar, H. Shaheen, R.W.A. Khan, S. Aziz and T. Habib. 2021. Diversity  and  distribution  pattern  of  alpine  vegetation communities from Ratti Gali lake and its adjacent areas, Kashmir Himalayas, Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot., 53(2): DOI:

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