CONSERVATION PRIORITIZATION CRITERIA TO IDENTIFY RARITY OF THE PLANT SPECIES, HABITATS AND COMMUNITIES IN THE LAHAUL VALLEY, TRANS NORTH-WESTERN HIMALAYA, INDIA
Singh A., Samant S.S., Manohar L., Sharma P. CONSERVATION PRIORITIZATION CRITERIA TO IDENTIFY RARITY OF THE PLANT SPECIES, HABITATS AND COMMUNITIES IN THE LAHAUL VALLEY, TRANS NORTH-WESTERN HIMALAYA, INDIA // Arid ecosystems. 2022. V.28. № 3 (92). P. 23-44. | PDF
The rapid increase in the rarity of species is an alarming threat that the world is facing today. Like other mountainous regions of the world, fragile mountains in the Himalayas are facing tremendous pressure for species extinction. The studied data at the locality site-specific level in comparison to the global and country-level status has realized us to analyze the extinction rate for monitoring. By realizing the importance, criteria based survey analysis of each species on various habitats, distribution range patterns, population size, use pattern, extraction trend, native and endemic species were evaluated. A total of 255 threatened species (20 critical endangered, 30 endangered, 60 vulnerable, and 144 near-threaten) were identified from the Lahaul valley in parts of the Cold desert north-western Himalaya, India. The studies themselves suggest the occurrence of maximum biotic and abiotic pressures with limited diversity. The altitudinal zone 2800-3800 m AMSL; habitats (forest, shady moist, dry, rocky, bouldery, and grassland); and communities of trees (Cedrus deodara-Acer cappadocicum mixed, Juglans regia-Ulmus wallichiana-Acer acuminatum mixed, Salix fragilis-Fraxinus xanthoxyloides mixed, Abies pindrow-Pinus wallichiana mixed and Crataegus songarica), shrubs (Juniperus indica, Juniperus communis-Rosa webbiana mixed, Spiraea canescens, Salix pycnostachya, Lonicera obovata, Cassiope fastigiata, Juniperus communis-Lonicera obovata mixed, Hippophae rhamnoides ssp. turkestanica and Rhododendron anthopogon-Salix lindleyana mixed), and herbs (Waldheimia glabra-Leontopodium himalayanum-Rhodiola heterodontata-Agrostis stolonifera mixed and Leontopodium brachyactis-Saxifraga jacquemontiana-S. brunonis mixed) showed maximum conservation prioritization index value of threatened species, which requires monitoring attention for future conservation. The information is useful for the site-specific mapping of rare plants, communities, and habitats for quick planning and implementation program.
Keywords: Rarity identification criteria, diversity, distribution, habitat-wise, community basis, conservation prioritization index value.
Acknowledgment. We acknowledge the Directors of respective Institutes like GBPNIHE Almora India and CSIR-IHBT Palampur Himachal Pradesh, India for providing us the necessary research facilities with encouragement. The fund received from MOEF&CC (New Delhi) is highly acknowledged.
Conflict of Interests. Authors of this paper declare that there is no conflict of interests for publishing the data.