The paper deals with plant species richness - diversity relationship along the rising elevation in a semi-disturbed tree line ecotone in upper Bhaderwah, a part of lesser Himalaya. 253 plant species distributed over 170 genera and 62 families were recorded during the intensive field surveys carried during May 2014 to September 2016. These included 11 trees, 29 shrubs and 213 herb species with 247 angiosperms and 6 gymnosperms. Family Asteraceae with 37 species dominated the study area. Maximum richness (179) was observed at sub-alpine zone (Site IV) while the trees (H'=1.74) and shrubs (H'=2.48) revealed maximum diversity at Site III and herbs at Site IV (H'=4.60). The maximum evenness for trees, shrubs and herbs was exhibited by sites III (J'=0.79), V (J'=0.87) and VI (J'=0.94), respectively. The diversity and evenness showed an incremental rise along the rising elevation reaching maxima at the mid elevation with Site-IV being the species rich and Site-VII species deficit, which implies that sub-alpine and alpine forests need effective monitoring and conservation.
Diversity, Elevation, Extreme environment, Monitoring and conservation, Richness, Sub-alpine, Vegetation composition
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