Thai Journal of Botany
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Title: A note on the anthropogenic impacts on the native vascular plants in the Himalayan Range of Merak, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhutan
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Pages: 27 - 33
Year: 2556
Year No.: 5
Volume: 1   Show All Articles
Abstract:      The vegetation survey was conducted along the altitudinal gradient (3,320-4,510m) in the Himalayan Range of Merak, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan from February to September 2012. A total of 125 species of native vascular plants were recorded. The impacts of anthropogenic influence on the native vascular plants in the study areas were noticed. The data revealed random decrease and then gradual increase in the pattern of vascular plant diversity clearly showing the fall in the species distribution in mid elevation ranges, which is unusual when compared to unimodal (hump-shaped) and monotonically decreasing patterns along the increasing altitudinal gradient. This unusual trend might be due to the varying local topography and the influence of various anthropogenic activities: cattle grazing and trampling, and extraction of forest products. Overgrazing and trampling were observed mostly above the timberline areas, where as more extraction of forest resources were observed within the timberline. The data also showed that the fragile alpine environment of Merak has high plant diversity including some endemic, rare, and important plants that are susceptible to anthropogenic pressures. Implementation of strict conservation policies to assure conservation of both the nomadic culture and the fragile natural environment was found necessary.
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