Fire Ecology of Ground Vegetation in Pinus roxburghii Sargent Plantations in North-West Himalaya - Floristic Composition and Species Diversity


1 College of Forestry Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, P. O. - Nauni, Solan - 173 230, H. P. India.

2 Dept. of Silviculture and Agroforestry,UHF, Nauni, Solan (H.P.) - 173230, India


Effect of fire on phyto-sociology of understorey vegetation in chir pine forests of three different silvological characteristics was compared with pure grassland. 15 grasses, 1 sedge, 5 legumes and 21 non-legumes were recorded in the four study sites. Floristic composition gradually increased from June to August and then declined slowly by October in all the plots. Maximum number of species was in twice-burnt plots followed by once burnt and unburnt plots. Least similarity index was recorded for twice burnt plots and unburnt plots. Density of vegetation increased from June to mid-rainy season and thereafter decreased till October. Density of vegetation in four sites decreased in order: open grassland > sapling chir pine stand > pole stage chir pine stand > mature trees chir pine stand. Density of vegetation increased when fire was imposed in plots. It decreased in the order: twice burnt plots > once burnt plots > unburnt plots. It was recorded that fire in chir pine forests are good for herbage growth and development.
Anderson, R. C., Loucks, O.L. and Swain, A.M. (1969) Herbaceous response to canopy cover, light intensity and throughfall precipitation in coniferous forests. Ecology 50: 255-263.
Anita (2001) Effect of forest fire on species diversity of chirpine (Pinus roxburghii Sarg.) forests in mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. MSc. Dissertation, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan (H.P.), India.
Anonymous.2004. Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun. Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii). Dehradun, Forest Research Institute. 21 p. National Forest Library and Information Centre, FRI Dehradun, India.
Bawa, R. (1986) Structural and functional studies of three semi-arid grassland communities near Shimla. Ph.D. Thesis, H. P. University Shimla, India: 404 p.
Brockway, D. G. and Lewis, C.E. (1997) Long-term effects of dormant season, prescribed fire on plant community diversity, structure and productivity in a long leaf pine wire grass ecosystem. Forest Ecology and Management, 96: 167-183.
Dalai, D. (1996) Productivity of grasses in relation to site quality in Pinus roxburghii Sargent plantations. M.Sc Thesis. Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan (H.P.), India. 74 p.
Dix, R. L. (1960) The effects of burning on the mulch structure and species composition of grasslands in northwest of Dakota. Ecology 41: 49-56.
Dutt, V. and B. Gupta. 2005. Interaction between trees and ground flora in different aged chirpine stands of subtropical region in India–I: Density of herbage and LAI. Indian J. of Forestry,  28: 28-36.
Ghildiyal S K, Sharma C M and Gairola S. (2009) Environmental variation in seed and seedling characteristics of Pinus roxburghii Sarg. from Uttarakhand, India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 7: 121-129.
Guleria, V., Nayital, R.K. and Gupta, B. (1999) Phytosociological studies under chir pine stands in mid hills of Himachal Pradesh. Range Mgmt. & Agroforestry 20: 47- 54.
Gupta, B., Chauhan, P.S. and Dass, B. (2000) Composition of herbage in Pinus roxburghii Sargent stands: species diversity and density. J. Tropical Forest Science 12: 444 - 449.
Hawke, M. F. (1991) Pasture production and animal performance under pine agroforestry in New Zealand. Forest Ecology and Management 45: 109 -118.
Kapoor, K. S. (1987) Species composition, plant biomass and primary production in certain grassland ecosystems of Shimla hills. Ph.D. Dissertation, H. P. University Shimla (H.P.), India.
Misra, R. (1969) Ecological Workbook. Oxford I. B. H. Publishing Co. Calcutta, India. Phillips, E. A. (1959) Methods of Vegetation Study. A Holtdryden book. Henry Holt & Co. Inc.
Rao, G. R. (1998) Studies on dynamics of herbage layer in pine and khair based natural silvipastoral system in north-west Himalaya. Ph.D. Thesis, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University and Forestry, Solan (H.P.), India.
Rao, R. R. and Kharkanger, P. (1978) Floristic composition and seasonal pattern of vegetation in pine forests of Shillong and Meghalaya. J. Bombay Natural History Society 75: 173-285.
Rikhari, H. C. and Palni, L.M. (1999) Fire effects ground flora dynamics of forest ecosystem: A case study from central Himalaya. Tropical Ecology 40: 145-151.
Sawarker, V. B., Rodzes, W. A. and Buerd, S.F.R.B. (1986) Fire and vegetation structure in sal forests, Dehra Dun. India. Tropical Ecology 27: 49-61.
Shannon, C. E. and Weaver, W. (1949) The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.USA, 117 p.
Singh, R. P., Gupta, M. K. and Mathur, H. N. (1985) Effect of Pinus roxburghii plantations on the yield and composition of grasses in temperate region. Indian Forester 111: 787-793.
Singh, J. S. and Yadava, P.S. (1974) Seasonal variation in composition, plant biomass and net primary productivity of a tropical grassland. Ecological Monograph 44: 360- 375.
Sorenson, T. (1949) A method of establishing groups of equal amplitude in plant sociology based on similarity of species content. Kgl. Danske Videnskab Seleskab Biol. Skrifter. 4: 1-34.
Sundriyal, R. C., Chauhan, B. B., Kandwal, S. K. and Joshi, A. P. (1987) Vegetation composition of certain grasslands of Garhwal Himalayas determined by soil profile and seasonal variation. Indian J. Ecology 14: 37-46.
Trabaud, L. (1980) Impact biologique et ecalogique des feuxde vegetation surl organisation, la structure et l'evolution de la vegetation des zones desgarrigues du as-laguedac. Doct. Etat. Univ. Sci. Tech. Laguedac. Montpellier, 288 p.
Trivedi, B. K. (1994) Seasonal changes in composition of grassland communities in district of Jhansi. Range Mgmt. & Agroforestry 15: 123-129.
Wright, H. E. and Hinselman (1973) Fire as a tool to manage Tobosa grasslands. Tall Timbers Fire Ecol. Conf. Proc. 89: 18-38.