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VEGETATION DESCRIPTION OF SOME PINE FORESTS OF SHANGLA DISTRICT OF KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA PAKISTAN. A PRELIMINARY STUDY.

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Abstract

The vegetation of pine forests of Shangla District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan is described. Thirty stands at different locations were selected in this study. In each stand gymnospermic species were widely distributed and dominated. Sampling was performed by Point Centered Quarter Method (PCQ). Pinus wallichiana exhibited higher density 409 ha-1 with 132.1 m2 ha-1 basal area occurring in 26 stands. Abies pindrow occurred in 7 stands with density of 384 ha-1 and 145.3 m2 ha-1 basal area, while Picea smithiana attained low frequency, recorded from 2 sites. It is shown that population of young stands exhibited higher density.
IQBAL ET AL (2014), FUUAST J. BIOL., 4(1): 83-88
VEGETATION DESCRIPTION OF SOME PINE FORESTS OF SHANGLA
DISTRICT OF KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA PAKISTAN.
A PRELIMINARY STUDY.
JAVED IQBAL1, MOINUDDIN AHMED1, ADAM KHAN1
AND MUHAMMAD FAHEEM SIDDIQUI2
1Laboratory of Dendrochronology and Plant Ecology of Pakistan, Department of Botany, Federal Urdu
University of Arts, Science and Technology Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi.
2Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Pakistan
Abstract
The vegetation of pine forests of Shangla District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan is
described. Thirty stands at different locations were selected in this study. In each stand gymnospermic species
were widely distributed and dominated. Sampling was performed by Point Centered Quarter Method (PCQ).
Pinus wallichiana exhibited higher density 409 ha-1 with 132.1 m2 ha-1 basal area occurring in 26 stands. Abies
pindrow occurred in 7 stands with density of 384 ha-1 and 145.3 m2 ha-1 basal area, while Picea smithiana
attained low frequency, recorded from 2 sites. It is shown that population of young stands exhibited higher
density.
Introduction
Shangla District is located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The district headquarter is
located at Alpurai. The total area of the district is 1,586 square kilometers. The district lies between 33.08o to
34.31o North Latitude and 72 .33o to 73.01o East Longitude. The district is bounded in the north by Kohistan
district, in the East by Battagram district and Kala Dhaka (Black mountain of Hazara), in the West by Swat
district and in the South by Buner district. Shangla district consist of small valleys, situated between the hillocks
and surrounded by high mountains covered by forests. The area situated on much height above sea level has
thick and open gymnospermic forests. The topography of Shangla district is dominated by high mountains and
narrow valleys. These mountains are the Western extremities of the great Himalaya range. The general elevation
of the district is 1300 to 3000 meters above sea level. A number of medicinal plants of economic importance are
found in the area. Some of these are Tarkha, Unab, Banafsha, Mushkibala, White Rose, Mint etc. The area has a
variety of Fauna like Markhur, Brown Bear, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Wolf, Monkeys, pigeon, Dove, Chakor
and Snakes etc.
In Pakistan, the earlier ecological studies were generally observational. However, with the passage of time
gradually quantitative methods were introduced and the vegetation description evolved quantitative description.
Various workers like Champion et al., (1965), Ahmed & Qadir (1976), Ahmed (1986, 1988, 1991), Ahmed et
al.,(1989). Ahmed et al., (1990 a & b), Ahmed et al., (2006); Khan et al., (2008) and Siddiqui et al., (2009) have
investigated the phytosociology of different mountainous areas of Pakistan, but no comprehensive study of
Shangla district has been undertaken. The present study dealt with the quantitative description of pine forests of
Shangla District.
Champion et al., (1965) described this district under the moist temperate area. Its formation extends along
the whole length of the outer ranges of the Himalaya between the subtropical pine forests and the sub-alpine
formation. Rainfall from about 25" (64cm) or 30" (76cm) to about 60" (152cm) and the altitudinal range is from
about 1372 m up to 3047 m, the limits varying markedly with aspect and configuration. According to Amjad et
al (1996) Pakistan has insufficient forest resources. The country due to its sharp climatic variations, arid
conditions lacks reasonable tree cover. There is hardly 4.28 million hectares or 4.9 percent of total area under
forest / tree cover and still it is deteorating. Out of it the productive forests are less than 2%.
Materials and Methods
Sampling was carried out in conifer dominating forests, throughout their natural limits in Shangla
Mountains. Though some forests are disturbed but mature and least disturbed forests were selected for
quantitative sampling. Point Centered Quarter (PCQ) Method of Cottam and Curtis (1956), was followed in the
whole forests for quantitative sampling. In each stand 20 points were taken at 20 meter of intervals. Ground
flora was also recorded by using circular plot of 2.5 meters at each point. Phytosociological attributes (relative
density, relative frequency and relative basal area) and absolute values (density ha-1 and basal area m2 ha-1) were
calculated by following the method of Muller- Dombois and Elenbearg (1974) and Ahmed & Shaukat (2012).
Other factors i.e (elevation, slope angle, aspects) of each stand were recorded. Slope angle was recorded by
IQBAL ET AL (2014), FUUAST J. BIOL., 4(1): 83-88 84
using slope meter. Importance Value Index (Brown and Curtis, 1952) was used to rank each plant species with
highest importance value in each stand was considered as dominant species. Each plant community was named
on the basis of dominant species. Plant species were collected from each stand and then identified with the help
of flora of Pakistan (Nasir & Ali, 1970-1989; Ali & Qaiser, 1993-2008).
Table1. Site characteristics and distribution of Pine tree species in Shangla District of
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Stand
No.
Location and sites
Elevation
(m)
Slope
(º)
Aspect
Canopy
Communities
& pure stands
1
Shangla Top Near Mangar Kot.
2120
30
NW
Open
Pw ( Pure)
2
1490
30
NE
Open
Pw (Pure)
3
1560
40
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
4
1720
30
SE
Open
Pw (Pure)
5
1780
35
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
6
1795
45
NE
Open
Pw (Pure)
7
1990
45
NW
Close
Pw (Pure)
8
1890
40
NW
Close
Pw (Pure)
9
1790
45
N
Moderate
Pw (Pure)
10
1780
50
NW
Open
Pw (Pure)
11
2690
45
SW
Close
Ap (Pure)
12
1790
40
SE
Close
Pw (Pure)
13
2810
35
S
Moderate
Ap (Pure)
14
2620
40
E
Moderate
Ap/Ps
15
2780
45
W
Close
Ap/Ps
16
2040
50
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
17
2130
30
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
18
2540
40
SW
Moderate
Pw (Pure)
19
2550
40
S
Open
Pw (Pure)
20
1650
35
NE
Open
Pw (Pure)
21
1610
30
N
Moderate
Pw (Pure)
22
2620
40
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
23
2190
30
NW
Close
Pw/Ap
24
1990
40
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
25
2000
40
SW
Close
Pw (Pure)
26
2180
45
W
Open
Pw (Pure)
27
2240
40
W
Close
Pw/Ap
28
2260
30
NE
Open
Pw (Pure)
29
2160
45
E
Open
Pw (Pure)
30
Yakh Tangay 5 Acharo
2120
40
NE
Moderate
Pw /Ap
Key to abréviations: Pw = Pinus wallichiana, Ap = Abies pindrow, Ps = Picea smithiana, Elev.= Elevation,
E = East, W = West, N = North, S = South
IQBAL ET AL (2014), FUUAST J. BIOL., 4(1): 83-88 85
Table 2. Phytosociological Attributes and absolute values of tree species in thirty stands of Pine forests of
Shangla District of KPK. Pakistan.
Main Location, Sites
and Stand No.
Species Name
Phytosociological Attributes
Absolute Values
Relative
Frequency
Relative
Basal Area
Relative
Density
IVI
D.ha-1
BA m2 ha-1
1
Mangar kot
(Shangla Top)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
55.61
14.47
2
Rehman Abad
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
353
71.04
3
Picho Banda
(Dawlat Kalay)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
242.81
64.71
4
Matta Karin
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
317.46
53.41
5
Wachobi Carrd
(Rahim Abad).
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
313.81
68.56
6
Kwaro (Alpurai)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
295.43
52.85
7
Nakhtaro Ghar
(Machaarr).
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
298.29
126.89
8
Matta Mor
(Machaarr)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
371.61
91.56
9
Kotkay 1
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
298.04
40.49
10
Kotkay 2
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
375.58
71.33
11
Kandao
1(Ajmer)
Abies pindrow
100
100
100
100
379.20
139.38
12
Kandao 2 (P.K)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
293.46
141.14
13
Bahadar Sar
Abies pindrow
100
100
100
100
383.71
145.37
14
Man sar
Abies pindrow
80
80
63.36
74.45
242.18
74.72
Picea smithiana
20
20
36.64
25.55
60.54
43.20
15
Safaray
Abies pindrow
82.5
82.5
77.21
80.74
289.86
108.94
Picea smithiana
17.5
17.5
22.79
19.26
61.49
32.16
16
Nakhter Nao
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
372.68
75.55
17
Board Kotkay
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
390.96
62.48
18
Shangla Top 1
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
345.17
103.70
19
Shangla Top 2
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
289.98
7
109.61
20
Alpurai Dipu
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
354.33
84.06
21
Lilownai (P.L)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
335.75
65.88
22
Poran Hill(Y.T)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
409.36
132.11
23
Yakh Tangay1
Pinus wallichiana
95
95
94.48
94.83
366.68
91.08
Abies pindrow
5
5
5.52
5.17
19.30
5.32
24
Chakat(Karora)
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
327.30
94.29
25
Goli butt
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
396.03
87.56
26
Yakh Tangay 2
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
346.78
158.88
27
Yakh Tangay 3
Pinus wallichiana
85
85
89.28
86.43
280.23
109.44
Abies pindrow
15
15
10.72
13.57
49.45
13.15
28
Yakh Tangay 4
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
392.12
158.83
29
Yakh Tangay 5
Pinus wallichiana
100
100
100
100
381.47
115.43
30
Acharo (Y.T) 6
Pi Pinus
wallichiana
75
75
65.47
72.07
278.97
92.60
Key to abbreviations: D ha-1 = Density ha-1, BA m2 ha-1 = Basal area m2 ha-1, IVI = Importance Value Index.
Authority of species: Pinus wallichiana A.B.Jackson, Abies pindrow Royle, Picea smithiana (Wall.)
IQBAL ET AL (2014), FUUAST J. BIOL., 4(1): 83-88 86
Table 3. Summary of Phytosociological sampling of 30 stands of District Shangla. Mean importance
value, absolute density ha-1, basal area m2ha-1 and dominant position of pine tree species are presented.
Species are ranked on the basis of importance value.
S. No
Name of Species
Presence
in # of
Stands
Mean importance
value
Mean density
ha-1
Mean
basal area
m2ha-1
Dominant
1st 2nd
1
Pinus wallichiana
26
98.205 ± 1.18
328.5 ± 15.2
88.9 ± 7.7
26
-
2
Abies pindrow
7
57.41 ± 15.41
208.1 ± 58.1
76.5 ± 21.6
4
3
3
Picea smithiana
2
22.4.5 ± 3.145
61.015 ± 0.475
37.68 ± 5.52
-
2
Results and Discussion
Conifer species are widely distributed in different parts of Pakistan depending upon elevation and climatic
conditions of the area. Summary of sites characteristics is given in (Table 1), while the phytosociological
summary with absolute values are describe in Table 2. These stands were located at the range of elevation from
1490 to 2810m above sea level. Slope was from 30o to 50o, facing N, W, E. and South aspect. In most of the
stands the canopy was open due the history of human and animal’s disturbance. A few close and moderate forest
canopies were also recorded. Most of the study area occupied monospecific stands. On the basis of
phytosociological analysis, floristic composition and IVI following two communities and two monospecific
forests were recognized in this area.
1. Pinus wallichiana pure stands
2. Abies pindrow pure stands
3. Abies Picea community
4. Pinus wallichiana - Abies community.
Ground flora or associated angiospermic shrubs, herbs and grasses will be described in next paper.
1. Pinus wallichiana pure stands: These stands were recorded from twenty six different locations of sampling
sites of Shangla shown in Table 1. At twenty three locations, Pinus wallichiana was present as a single
dominating specie however this specie is found in association with Abies pindrow in other locations. Most of the
sites were facing West steep slope and elevation ranges from 1490 to 2620m. It’s occupied highest density 409
ha-1 with 132.1m2 ha-1 basal area at stand no 22 (Table.2). The canopy was mostly open at these forests. Ahmed
et al., (2006) reported pure stands of Pinus wallichiana at Nalter (Gilgit) on south facing slopes at 2770 m
elevation and Takht-e-Sulaiman (Baluchistan) at 3100 m elevation. They recorded Pinus wallichiana-Quercus
incana community from moist temperate mixed forests i.e., Lower Topa, Jhika Gali and Murree hills at the
elevations of 1970m to 2250 m. Pinus wallichiana occurred as dominant with 72% importance value with 63%
density and 88% basal area while associated species Quercus incana attained 16%importance value. Siddiqui et
al., (2013) sampled Pinus wallichiana monospecific forests at two different locations i.e., Chikar forest, Azad
Kashmir (stand 7) and Patriata, Murree (stand 13). These stands were located at the elevation of 1930 m and
2230m with 25o to 28o moderate slopes respectively. In these monospecific stands Pinus wallichiana density
ranged from 135 to 429 ha-1with 69 to 78 m2ha-1 basal area. Seven non-Conifer understorey species with
seedlings of Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara were also recorded from these two stands. Compare to
these stands our stands are young with higher density and basal area.
2. Abies pindrow pure stands: Abies pindrow was sampled from 7 different sites of study area. In these seven
stands Abies pindrow was found as pure specie in two stands while in five stands it is found in association
with Pinus wallichiana and Picea smithiana. These sampling stands were located at the elevation of 2690m to
2810m and 35 to 45o steep slopes. The canopy of these areas was recorded as close and moderate respectively.
In these monospecific stands density ranged from 293 to 384 density ha-1 with 139.3 to 145.3 basal area m2 ha-1.
Siddiqui et al., (2013) observed pure stand of Abies pindrow at only one location at Lalazar, (Naran, Kaghan
valley) at the elevation of 3000m on North West facing aspect, with 45o steep slope. Among the communities
studied this forest prevails in the coldest area with highest annual precipitation. This stand showed a density of
189 trees ha-1 with 109 m2 ha-1 basal area. The area is extensively disturbed due to human interference, which
indicates little or no regeneration in this forest.
3. AbiesPicea community: This community was recorded from two different locations of sampling area of
Shangla shown in Table 1. Both stands were occurred on East and West facing 40o to 45o steep slopes and
elevation ranges from 2620m to 2780m above sea level. In these stands Abies pindrow was dominant species
and associated with Picea smithiana. Abies pindrow showed 63.3 to 77.2 % importance value with 242 to 290
IQBAL ET AL (2014), FUUAST J. BIOL., 4(1): 83-88 87
density ha-1 and 74.7 to 108.9 basal area m2 ha-1 while Picea smithiana showed 19.2 to 25.5 importance value
with 60.5 to 61.4 density ha-1 and 32.1 to 43.2 basal area m2 ha-1 It is suggested that these low values may be
related to the continuous cutting for decoration and fuel purposes which have been exported to the other areas.
This type of community was found by Siddiqui (2013) at two different location of Malam Jabba at 2600 m
elevation and Sri, Shogran at 2900 m elevation. Importance value of Abies pindrow in Malam Jabba was 90 %
whereas in Sri, it was 32 %. Density of trees was 288 ha-1in Malam Jabba and 138 ha-1 from Sri, with basal area
of 64 and 44 m2ha-1, respectively.
4. Pinus wallichiana - Abies community: This community was distributed in three stands of Yakh Tangay area
near sharono and Kandaow hill respectively. These stands occur in North West and West facing aspects at 30 to
40o steep slopes with elevation ranges from 2120 to 2240m. The canopy was closed in both stands. In these
stand the importance value of Pinus wallichiana was higher than Abies pindrow (72.07 to 94.83%) density 279
to 367 ha-1 with 91.08 to 109.4 m2 basal area. While Abies pindrow attained low importance value of (5.1 to
27.9) and 19 to 93 density ha-1 with 5.3 to 48.8 m2 ha1 basal area.
The vegetation observed in this study area is almost similar to that described by the other researchers, like
Champion et al., (1965); Chaghtai et al., (1989). They observed such type of vegetation in moist temperate area
of Himalayan region and Miranjani top (Galyat forest, Hazara division K.P.K.) respectively. The vegetation of
Miranjani top has considerably changed in twelve years (1974-86). Greater changes have occurred in the
vegetation on East-West, and South facing aspects. Hussain & Badshah (1998) recorded oak forest in the lower
part of Pir Garh hills of Waziristan and coniferous forest (Pinus wallichiana, Abies pindrow and Cedrus
deodara) at the upper part. Ahmed & Naqvi (2005) described the quantitative vegetation description of Picea
smithiana from Himalayan range of Pakistan. Ahmed et al., (2006) presented phytosociological and structural
description of Himalayan forest (including moist temperate forests) from different climatic zones of Pakistan.
They reported 24 different communities and 4 monospecific forests types on the basis of floristic composition
and importance values of species.
On the basis of above results and discussion it is concluded that extreme human disturbances and illegal
cutting of trees the future of these forests is at great threat. If government and local agencies, organizations do
not show concern, these forests may vanish soon.
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... Siddiqui et al. (2013) described the floristic composition and found the relationship between environmental variable with the distribution of vegetation from different moist temperate coniferous forest of Himalayan and Hindukush region of Pakistan. Recently, Iqbal et al. (2014) described quantitative vegetation analysis of some pines forest from moist temperate area at district Shangla Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. ...
... were the associated species in these stands. Similar type of community were also recorded from moist temperate areas (Sri, Shogran and Malam Jabba) by Siddiqui et al. (2013;2015) and Shangla district by Iqbal et al. (2014). They described that importance value of Abies at Malam Jabba to be 90% with the density of 288 plants ha -1 and 64 m 2 ha -1 basal area, while at Sri, Shogran the importance value was 32% with 138 plants ha -1 density and 44 m 2 ha -1 basal area. ...
... In 12 stands it occupied first dominant position second dominant in 8 stands and associated at three locations. Iqbal et al. (2014) recorded this species from 26 different stands out of 30 sites at district Shangla KPK. It occupied first dominant position in 23 stands which showed its wide abundance in Shangla district. ...
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... The vegetation of the ecoregion belongs to the Western Himalayan Subalpine Conifer category (Dinerstein et al., 2017), with a subtropical humid climate and annual rainfall of 300-1400 mm. The temperature reaches up to 30°C in June-July but generally remains below freezing in the months of January-February (Razaq et al., 2010;Iqbal et al., 2014). ...
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The standard textbook of Vegetation Ecology. A reprint (2002) is available from The Blackburn Press, Caldwell, New Jersey.
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