Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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Species Composition and Diversity of Plants in North and South facing slope of Swoyambhu forest, Kathmandu
Sreeju Maharjan, Sanu Raja Maharjan

Last modified: 2017-09-12


Species richness and other ecosystem properties changes through the disruption of forest by natural and anthropogenic activities. This study was carried out in "Swoyambhu Forest" of Kathmandu Valley recognized as a world heritage site. The study aims to assess the plant species composition and diversity in North and South facing slopes of forest area. Quadrat size of 20×20 m2, 5×5 m2 and 1×1 m2 were laid out randomly for data collection. The forest is well stocked with larger and matured trees in northern slope whereas in southern slope it was in intermediate stage of development. Hence, the basal area of trees were higher in northern slope (42.25m2/ha) than in southern slope (33.32m2/ha). Southern slope exhibited larger canopy openings and trampling disturbances, so the site was entagled by dense shrub of Lantana camara, Justicia adhatoda, Rubus ellipticus etc. On the basis of Important Value Index (IVI), Pinus roxburghii represented the dominant vegetation in southern slope and Schima wallichii in northern slope at the canopy level. The study area comprises of 86 species of plants belonging to 48 families.  Species richness of trees and shrubs was higher in mixed forest of Northern slope. However ground vegetation was much diverse in Pine forest. Such variation may be due to lower canopy coverage, suitable habitat or other climatic factors.

Key words:  North and South Aspects, , Forest structure, World heritage site

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