Survival problem in regeneration of high altitude Kharsu oak (Quercus semecarpifolia Smith.) forests in central Himalaya, India.
Author(s): Arti Verma, Shruti Shah*, Ashish Tewari
The high altitudinal (2200-2600m) viviparous kharsu oak (Quercus semecarpifolia Smith.) is a late successional evergreen tree species. The species is showing failure to regenerate in the Himalayan region. The present study was undertaken to analyze the seed fall density, seedling recruitment and population dynamic of this species on two different aspects over a six-year period (2004-2009). During the study period from 2004 to 2009 only one good seed crop occurred in 2005. In this year at northern aspect, the average seed fall density was 22.8 ±1.24 seeds m-2 and at southern aspect it was 26.02 ± 0.90 seed m-2. In 2008 the seed fall density on the northern aspect was 8.5±0.73 seeds m-2 and on the southern aspect it was 8.2 ±0.73 seed m-2. In the years 2004, 2007 and 2009 a negligible seed crop was produced and did not play a significant role in seedling recruitment. In year 2005, new recruitment of seedling from fallen seeds occurred in August and it ranged from 60-75% at both the aspects. Maximum seedling mortality was in the 1st year of recruitment thereafter, rate of mortality declined. At the end of observation after six years the total mean seedling density at northern aspects was 1.41 seedling m-2and at southern aspect; it was only 0.67 seedling m-2. The seedling survival between the two aspects did not vary significantly.
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