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Impacts of seasonal livestock grazing on plant community features: a case study on grazing pastures at Sonamarg area in Kashmir Himalaya

Authors:

FA Mir ,

University of Kashmir, IN
About FA
Post Graduate Department of Environmental Science
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GA Bhat,

University of Kashmir, IN
About GA
Post Graduate Department of Environmental Science
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BA Sheer,

University of Kashmir, IN
About BA
Post Graduate Department of Environmental Science
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AG Khan

University of Kashmir, IN
About AG
Post Graduate Department of Environmental Science
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Abstract

The main objective of the study was to describe the seasonal dynamics in some phyto-sociological attributes of dominant plant species under uncontrolled livestock grazing at three sites of Sonamarg area in Kashmir Himalaya.Vegetation was tested for A/F ratio and distribution pattern was assigned as regular (0.025), random (0.025-0.05) and contagious (> 0.05). Frequency, abundance, density andimportance value index (IVI) were also calculated to observe dominant species. Raunkaier’s law of percentage frequencies was introduced to find the composition of plant community and changes thereafter brought by seasonal livestock grazing under uncontrolled stocking density. Bothriocloa pertusa, Poa annua, Sambus whightiana, Stipa siberica, Cyanodon dactylon were the dominant plant species at all the three sites. IVI values of these species were increased after experiencing peak grazing season showing their resistance to grazing. Distribution pattern also changed from contagious to random as evident from A/F ratio. Vegetation composition also showed a tendency from homogenity to heterogenity after grazing period. Stocking density was also recorded. It was maximum for Sonamarg main site (121.50 animal units per hectare during peak seasonal grazing) followed by Baltal site (86 animal units per hectare) in the month of September and minimum for Thajiwas site (24 animal units per hectare) in October. Stocking density showed a close relationship with the change in number of palatable plant species and consequent change in ratio of palatable to non palatable plant species.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jas.v10i1.8047

The Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2015, vol.10, no1: p.41-48

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v10i1.8047
How to Cite: Mir, F. et al., (2015). Impacts of seasonal livestock grazing on plant community features: a case study on grazing pastures at Sonamarg area in Kashmir Himalaya. Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 10(1), pp.41–48. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v10i1.8047
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Published on 04 Feb 2015.
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