Population assessment and habitat distribution modelling of the threatened medicinal plant Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth. in the Kumaun Himalaya, India

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Naveen Chandra
Gajendra Singh
Shashank Lingwal
M.P.S. Bisht
Lalit Mohan Tiwari


Kumaun Himalaya is a home to various threatened medicinal and aromatic plants.  Picrorhiza kurroa is a threatened medicinal plant useful in curing many diseases in Indian Himalayan region.  Due to overharvesting from the wild its population is decreasing at an alarming rate.  The present study attempted to assess its availability and predict highly suitable areas for in situ conservation in the alpine region of Kumaun.  Availability of P. kurroa across various meadows was evaluated through rapid mapping exercise.  MaxEnt model was used to predict the geographical distribution of the species using various environmental and physiographic parameters, and 29 primary distribution points.  The results reveal that potential habitat of P. kurroa is located near forest fringes.  Of the 3,828km2 area (vegetated) of the alpine region of Kumaun, about 202km2 is recorded highly suitable, 489km2 less suitable and the rest not suitable for the species.  It is also revealed that Napalchu nala, Panchachuli base, Chhipla Kedar, Rongkong, Ralam, Milam, Dwali, and Pindari areas are highly suitable areas for distribution of  P. kurroa.

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Author Biography

Shashank Lingwal, Uttarakhand Space Application Centre, Upper Aamwala, Nalapani, Uttarakhand 248008, India.

Department of Science and Technology


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