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Data from: Quantification and characterization of vegetation and functional trait diversity of riparian zones of the protected forest of Kashmir Himalaya, India

Citation

Rahman, Inayat ur; Haq, Shiekh; Malik, Zubair (2019), Data from: Quantification and characterization of vegetation and functional trait diversity of riparian zones of the protected forest of Kashmir Himalaya, India, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pzgmsbcg5

Abstract

Globally, riparian zones are widely recognized for their vital role in water regulation and conservation of biodiversity. The plant vegetation seen along the river banks is generally referred as the riparian vegetation. The present study has specifically investigated the floristic and functional diversity of vegetation in the riparian zones of protected forests of Kashmir Himalaya. Random sampling method was used for site selection while Transect method was used for data collection. Data obtained from field was subjected to taxonomic and functional classification. Floristic, analysis reveals a total of 78 species belonging to 68 genera in 40 families having an unequal distribution of species among families. Nine families contributed half of the species in which, Rosaceae is the dominant family with 9 (12%) species followed by Asteraceae with 8 species (10%) while 23 families are monotypic. In terms of functional trait diversity, herbaceous and perennial forms were dominant over the other life forms. The biological spectrum revealed the dominance of a therophyte life form, indicating disturbed vegetation. Phenological spectrum revealed that maximum flowering periods starts from March to May in which a total of (61%) species were observed. The leading leaf size spectra were mesophyll with 35%, followed by microphyll (31%). Maximum (64%) of the species had simple leaf lamina type. The results of the present study serve as a means to evaluate best management practices, assess restoration and mitigation projects, prioritize riparian related resource management decisions, and establish aquatic life use standards.

Methods

First of all, field surveys in years 2017 to 2018 about the nature of terrain, tree species composition, distribution and accessibility of different forest types.

The forest working plans of the Dachigam National park was used for geographical location, administrative jurisdiction and forest vegetation types.

Random sampling technique and transect method for species collection  was used. The specimen was identified using relevant taxonomic literature (Stewart, 1972; EFLORAS). The plant specimens were dried, preserved, labeled and mounted on herbarium sheets following standard herbarium techniques (Bridson and Forman, 1999). Plant specimens were submitted to Herbarium Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar. The specialized taxonomic database of The Plant List (www.theplantlist.org) was used for the updated nomenclature of taxa.

Detailed field observations on ecological traits such as (flowering, fruiting, habit, Raunkiaer’s life form and leaf size spectra) for each species were recorded as per (Raunkiaer, 1934; Mclaren, and Mcdonald, 2005; Pérez-Harguindeguy et al., 2013; Haq et al., 2018).

Statistically the vegetation data was analyzed to find out the relationship between ecological variables and plant composition. The presence/absence data was subjected to classification phenological similarities and differences among the different flowering season using PAST software. Cluster Analysis (CA) identified significant different flowering season based on Sorensen’s (Bray-Curtis) distance with the formula QS = 2C/A + B, where A and B are the number of species in sites A and B, and C is the number of species shared by the two stations (Sorensen, 1948; Dalirsefat et al., 2009).