Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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Dendrochronology for environmental change study in Nepal: an overview
Narayan Prasad Gaire, Ze-xin Fan, Yub Raj Dhakal, Prabina Rana, Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Santosh Kumar Shah

Last modified: 2017-08-22


Nepal Himalaya provides opportunities for diverse tree-ring research because the country has diversity in terms of geography, climate and associated biodiversity. We present an overview of dendrochronological studies that were carried out in Nepal Himalaya. Dendrochronological research studies have covered dendroecology, dendroclimatology, dendroarchaeology, wood anatomy, and isotope in trees. Dendroecology is a popular aspect with many studies in treeline region covering most of the high mountain protected areas of the Nepal Himalaya: Kanchanjungha, Makalu-Barun; Sagarmatha (Everest), Gaurishankar, Langtang, Manaslu, Annapurna, Dolpa (Shey-Phoksundo), Rara and Api-Nampa. Studies have covered population demography, regeneration status, treeline shifting as well as response of treeline to climate change and variability. Studies have mainly reported diffuse, abrupt and Krummholz treeline types. The population age structure and regeneration of treeline forming species have shown both stand densifications, potential for upward shifting to upward shifting of the upper distribution limit of treeline forming species in many sites. Depending upon the site both temperature and or precipitation is playing important role for growth of the species as well as for recent regeneration and treeline dynamics in Nepal Himalaya. The population demography and growth response studies indicated the heterogeneity in the responses, though some broad pattern can be found. The reconstructed temperature, precipitation and drought index have shown local to regional trends. Therefore, stakeholders, working in the climate change, forest management and biodiversity conservation, should consider the fact of heterogeneous response and trends in their programs and actions related to conservation and adaptation in climate change.

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