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The timberline in the Himalayas forms the upper limit of sub-alpine forest and represent most prominent ecological boundary.
During the present investigations, six major communities have been found along the timberline ecotone within an altitudinal
range of 3400 m asl to 3550 m asl in upper Bhaderwah valley of northwestern Himalayas. The Fir-Spruce community along the
northern gentle aspect is moderately degraded having sharp timberline owing to its vicinity to temporary pilgrim camping sites
and nomadic hutments; whereas those located opposite on moderately steeper slopes are virtually rich in species composition
and diversity thus exhibiting a broader transition. The tree density, basal area and species richness was found highest in conifer
- broadleaved mixed community. The IVI and TIV for woody species have been found above 200 and 75 respectively.
have been found the most gregarious of all woody species among the tree
and shrub layers, while distribution of other species vary gently with the forest types. The herbaceous layer revealing the
highest species richness and diversity comprise of the region?s highly threatened medicinal and aromatic species. The paper
also highlights the threat status of plants, their ethnobotanical relevance, disturbance factors and conservation strategies for the
efficient management of these vulnerable ecosystems
Neeraj Sharma is presently working as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Life Sciences, Institute of Mountain Environment, Bhaderwah Campus,
University of Jammu, he is responsible for conducting research on different facets of Himalayan environment i.e., biodiversity conservation and
management, pollution monitoring, ecosystem health etc. Doctorate in Environmental Sciences from University of Jammu in year 2004, Sharma did
his Post Graduation from the same University in the year 1999. Before joining the present position, Sharma served as Assistant Professor in faculty
of Environmental Sciences, Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir for two and half years.
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