A floristic survey across three coniferous forests of Kashmir Himalaya, India – a checklist

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Ashaq Ahmad Dar
Akhtar Hussain Malik
Parthasarathy Narayanaswamy


This study presents a checklist of the flora of three coniferous forests of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot in Kashmir: low-level blue pine (BP), mixed coniferous (MC) and subalpine (SA) forests. The list includes altitudinal distribution and conservation status of 272 vascular plant species representing 196 genera and 64 families. Excluding neophytes (70 taxa, 62 genera, and 27 families), Magnoliophyta comprised 190 taxa, 139 genera, and 50 families; Pinophyta seven taxa, six genera, and three families; and Pteridophyta three taxa, three genera, and two families. Most speciose families from Magnoliophyta include Compositae, Apiaceae, and Rosaceae. Genera such as Artemisia, Potentilla, Viola, and Saussurea contributed the maximum number of species. In case of Pinophyta, the principal families are Pinaceae with four taxa followed by Cupressaceae (2 taxa), whereas genus Juniperus comprised two species. In Pteridophyta, Pteridaceae (2 taxa) formed the most speciose family. The herbs contributed 177 taxa, followed by tress (15 taxa), shrubs (8) and subshrubs (2). The maximum number of taxa belongs to SA (136 taxa) followed by MC (134 taxa) and BP (83 taxa) forests. The species distribution reveals 20, 30, and 46 taxa are exclusive to BP, MC, and SA forests. More than 16% of taxa are categorized in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and 24 taxa are endemic to the Himalayan landscape. The checklist provides a roadmap for research, protection and conservation of plant diversity, especially the threatened taxa. 

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