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 Diversity and abundance of climbers in relation to their hosts and elevation in the monsoon forests of Murree in the Himalayas.

Pak. J. Bot

Rahman, A. U., Khan, S. M., Saqib, Z., Ullah, Z., Ahmad, Z., Ekercin, S., ... & Ahmad, H. 

2020

Pak. J. Bot

52(2)

601-612

Climbers play diverse roles in the biology of forests. Climber species due to its fragile nature are sustible to any change in the forests. Knowledge about climber species in the forests is relatively inadequate and this is the first effort to report the climber plant species in Pakistan. Ecological methods were used to find out climbers abundance, distribution and their relationship with trees/ shrubs in five 1-ha plot range of 735 m to 1754 m elevation at sea level at five localities viz., Baroha, Ghoragali, Numbal, Patriata and Salgaran in the Murree Forests in Western Himalaya, Pakistan during the year of 2016- 2017. An overall 3400 climbing plants belonging to 23 species, 19 genera and 13 families were identified and described. Apocynaceae (22%) was the most leading family followed by Ranunculaceae (13%) Rosaceae (13%) and Menispermaceae (9%). Based on our findings the climber species are classified into four classes based on their habit/ form as well. The dominant class was represented by twining climbing mode (43%) followed by woody (30.4%) and hook mode (22%) while tendrils (4.3%) were rare. The abundance and distribution of climber plants were affected by parameters like biotic factors (collection pressure, grazing pressure and No. of hosts) and abiotic factors (topographic and edaphic). Canonical Corresponding Analysis (CCA) indicated that grazing and collection pressures along with elevation were the most important factors influencing the distribution and abundances of climbers. Documentation of the climbers is imperative in the context of increasing forest disturbances, deforestation and fragmentation of forest habitat. Current study will lead towards many other detail studies on climbers in near future.

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Support

The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.