Chawla, Amit and Yadav , P K and Uniyal, S K and Kumar, Amit and Vats, S K and Kumar, Sanjay and Ahuja, Paramvir Singh (2012) Long-term ecological and biodiversity monitoring in the western Himalaya using satellite remote sensing. Current Science, 102 (8). pp. 1143-1156.

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The IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) described the Himalayan Region as data-deficient in terms of climate monitoring. This is a serious impediment to global research initiatives and thus necessitates long-term ecological monitoring (LTEM) across the Himalaya. Being governed by low temperature conditions, the high-altitude regions in Himalaya are more responsive to changing environmental conditions and hence serve as better indicators. We identified few Protected Areas (PAs) and selected forest core area and ecotones along the temperate, sub-alpine, alpine and cold desert ecosystems in Himachal Pradesh to establish a network of permanent monitoring plots (PMPs). Land and vegetation cover map of three selected PAs has been prepared using Landsat TM satellite data. Among the 10 PMPs, the temperate and tree line forests in the GHNP were found to have the highest tree diversity with Taxus wallichiana showing good stand density and regeneration. The soil pH was found to be higher for cold desert and lower for tree line forests and alpine meadows. Soil total carbon and nitrogen contents ranged from 1.08% to 13.37% and 0.094% to 1.14% respectively. It was observed that the herbs diversity showed a positive trend with increasing soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations. Satellite remote sensing proves to be a useful tool in an LTEM study, including biodiversity assessment and climate change research in complex terrains such as the Himalaya.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change, ecotone, forest vegetation, permanent plots.
Subjects: Ecology
Depositing User: Dr. Aparna Maitra Pati
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2013 10:32
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2013 10:32

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