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

Main Article Content

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. 

Article Details



Ahmad, M., S.K. Uniyal, D.R. Batish, H.P. Singh, V. Jaryan, S. Rathee, P. Sharma & R.K. Kohli (2020). Patterns of plant communities along vertical gradient in Dhauladhar Mountains in Lesser Himalayas in North-Western India. Science of The Total Environment 716: 136919. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136919 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136919

Asif, M., Z. Iqbal, J. Alam, A. Majid, F. Ijaz, N. Ali, I.U. Rahman, S. Hussain, A. Khan & G. Qadir (2020). Floristic inventory and biological spectra of Balakot, District Mansehra, Pakistan. Acta Ecologica Sinica 40(3): 197–203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chnaes.2019.05.009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chnaes.2019.05.009

Bai, F., W. Sang, & J.C. Axmacher (2011). Forest vegetation responses to climate and environment change: a case study from Changbai Mountain, NE China. Forest Ecology and Management 262: 2052e2060. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.046 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2011.08.046

Cadotte, M.W. (2006). Dispersal and species diversity: a meta-analysis. American Naturalist 167(6): 913–924. https://doi.org/10.1086/504850 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/504850

Champion, H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India (Deli:Government of India Press), 600 pp.

Chase, M.W. & J.L. Reveal (2009). A phylogenetic classification of the land plants to accompany APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 122–127. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.01002.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.01002.x

Dad, J.M., M. Muslim, I. Rashid & Z.A. Reshi (2021). Time series analysis of climate variability and trends in Kashmir Himalaya. Ecological Indicators 126: 107690. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2021.107690 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2021.107690

Dar, J.A. & S. Sundarapandian (2016). Patterns of plant diversity in seven temperate forest types of Western Himalaya, India. Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity 9: 280–292. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japb.2016.03.018 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japb.2016.03.018

Devi, U., P. Sharma, J.C. Rana & A. Sharma (2014). Phytodiversity assessment in Sangla valley, Northwest Himalaya, India. Check List 10: 740–760. https://doi.org/10.15560/10.4.740 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15560/10.4.740

Gairola, S., R.S. Rawal & U. Dhar (2009). Patterns of litterfall and return of nutrients across anthropogenic disturbance gradients in three subalpine forests of west Himalaya, India. Journal of Forest Research 14: 73–80. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-008-0104-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-008-0104-6

Hajra, P.K. (1983). Western Himalayas, pp 49–61. In: Jain S.K. & A.R.K. Sastry (eds.). Materials for a Catalogue of Threatened Plants of India. BSI, Howrah. 69 pp.

Hooker, J.D. (1872–1897). Flora of British India. Vol. 1 to 7. L. Reeves & Company, London.

IUCN (2017). Guidelines for using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria. Version 13. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions subcommittee, http://www.iucnredlist.org.

Janssen, J.A.M., J.S. Rodwell, M. Garcia Criado, S. Gubbay, T. Haynes, A. Nieto, N. Sanders, F. Landucci, J. Loidi, A. Ssymank, T. Tahvanainen, M. Valderrabano, A. Acosta, M. Aronsson, G. Arts, F. Attorre, E. Bergmeier, R.-J. Bijlsma, F. Bioret, C. Biţă-Nicolae, I. Biurrun, M. Calix, J. Capelo, A. Čarni, M. Chytry, J. Dengler, P. Dimopoulos, F. Essl, H. Gardfjell, D. Gigante, G. Giusso del Galdo, M. Hajek, F. Jansen, J. Jansen, J. Kapfer, A. Mickolajczak, J.A. Molina, Z. Molnar, D. Paternoster, A. Piernik, B. Poulin, B. Renaux, J.H.J. Schaminee, K. Šumberova, H. Toivonen, T. Tonteri, I. Tsiripidis, R. Tzonev & M. Valachovič (2016). European Red List of Habitats. Part 2: Terrestrial and Freshwater Habitats Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. 44 pp.

Javeid, G.N. (1966). Key to the families of flowering plants of Kashmir Himalaya. Kashmir Science 3(1–2): 101–115.

Javeid, G.N. (1978). Forest flora of Kashmir: a checklist, I. Indian Forester 104(11): 772–779.

Javeid, G.N. (1979). Forest flora of Kashmir: a checklist, II. Indian Forester 105(2): 148–170.

Kachroo, P. (1993). Plant diversity in Northwest Himalaya – a preliminary survey, pp 111–132. In: Dhar, U. (ed.). Himalayan Biodiversity: Conservation Strategies. G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora. 553 pp.

Khuroo, A.A., I. Rashid, Z. Reshi, G.H. Dar & B.A. Wafai (2007). The alien flora of Kashmir Himalaya. Biological Invasions 9: 269–292. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-006-9032-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-006-9032-6

Körner, C. (2007). The use of altitude in ecological research. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22: 569–574. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2007.09.006 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2007.09.006

Krishnan, M.S. (1982). Geology of India and Burma, 6th ed. CBS, New Delhi, 52 pp.

Lambert, W.J. (1933). List of trees and shrubs for the Kashmir & Jammu forest circles, Jammu & Kashmir State. Forest Bulletin 80: 1–36.

Maes, D., N.J.B. Isaac, C.A. Harrower, B. Collen, A.J. van Strien & D.B. Roy (2015). The use of opportunistic data for IUCN Red List assessments. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 115: 690–706. https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12530 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12530

Mahapatra, S.K., C.S. Walia, G.S. Sindhu, K.P.C. Rana & T. Lal (2000). Characterization and classification of the soils of different physiographic units in the sub-humid ecosystem of Kashmir region. Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science 48(3): 572–577.

Malik, A.H., A.A. Khuroo, G.H. Dar & Z.S. Khan (2010). The woody flora of Jammu & Kashmir State, India: an updated checklist. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 34(2): 274–294.

Malik, A.Y., D.P. Singh, M. Yunus, G.A. Bhat, G. Shukla, J. A. Bhat, M.M. Rather & S. Chakravarty (2021). Diversity and structure of plant assemblages in open scrub vegetation patches of Dachigam National Park at Kashmir Himalayas. Trees, Forests and People 3: 100060. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2020.100060 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2020.100060

Mir, N.A., T.H. Masoodi, S.M. Geelani, A.A. Wani, G.N. Parrey & J.A. Mugloo (2019). Floristic diversity along altitudinal gradient under Betula utilis in North Western Himalayas of Kashmir, India. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39: 362–371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chnaes.2019.03.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chnaes.2019.03.001

Nayar, M.P. (1996). Hot Spots of Endemic Plants of India, Nepal and Bhutan. Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, 252 pp.

Nowak, A., S. Świerszcz, S. Nowak, H. Hisorev, E. Klichowska, A. Wróbel, A. Nobis & M. Nobis (2020). Red List of vascular plants of Tajikistan – the core area of the Mountains of Central Asia global biodiversity hotspot. Scientific Reports 10: 6235. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63333-9 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63333-9

Orsenigo, S., C. Montagnani, G. Fenu, D. Gargano, L. Peruzzi, T. Abeli, A. Alessandrini, G. Bacchetta, F. Bartolucci, M. Bovio, C. Brullo, S. Brullo, A. Carta, M. Castello, D. Cogoni, F. Conti, G. Domina, B. Foggi, M. Gennai, D. Gigante, M. Iberite, C. Lasen, S. Magrini, E. Perrino, F. Prosser, A. Santangelo, A. Selvaggi, A. Stinca, I. Vagge, M. Villani, R. Wagensommer, T. Wilhalm, N. Tartaglini, E. Dupre`, C. Blasi & G. Rossi (2018). Red Listing plants under full national responsibility: extinction risk and threats in the vascular flora endemic to Italy. Biological Conservation 224: 213–222. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BIOCON.2018.05.030 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.05.030

Peel, M.C., B.L. Finlayson & T.A. Mcmahon (2007). Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 11: 1633–1644. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007

Polunin, O. & A. Stainton (1984). Flowers of the Himalaya. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 580 pp.

Qian, H., J.J. Wiens, J. Zhang & Y. Zhang (2015). Evolutionary and ecological causes of species richness patterns in North American angiosperm trees. Ecography 38:241– 250. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.00952 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.00952

Rana, S.K., T.D. Price & H. Qian (2019). Plant species richness across the Himalaya driven by evolutionary history and current climate. Ecosphere 10(11): e02945. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2945 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2945

Rao, R.R. & B.D. Sharma (1990). A Manual for Herbarium Collection. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, 20 pp.

Rashid, I., S.A. Romshoo, R.K. Chaturvedi, N.H. Ravindranath, R. Sukumar, M. Jayaraman, T.V. Lakshmi & J. Sharma (2015). Projected climate change impacts on vegetation distribution over Kashmir Himalayas. Climatic Change 132: 601–613. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1456-5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1456-5

Shaheen, H., Z. Ullah, S.M. Khan & D.M. Harper (2012). Species composition and community structure of western Himalayan moist temperate forests in Kashmir. Forest Ecology Management 278: 138–145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.05.009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.05.009

Sidhu, G.S. & J.N. Surya (2014). Soils of North-Western Himalayan ecosystem and their land use, constraints, productivity potentials and future strategies. Agropedology 24: 1–19

Singh, J.B. & P. Kachroo (1994). Forest Flora of Pir Panjal range (Northwestern Himalaya). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun. 172 pp.

Singh, P., K. Karthigeyan, P. Lakshminarasimhan & S.S. Dash (2015). Endemic vascular plants of India. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. 339 pp.

Spehn, E. (2011). Mountain Biodiversity: Effects of Climate Change and How to Manage Them; Sustainable Mountain Development 60,.ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal. 40–43 pp.

The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 105–121. https://doi.org/10.1111/boj.12385 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x

The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed 15 January, 2021).

Tiwari, O.P., C.M. Sharma & Y.S. Rana (2020). Influence of altitude and slope-aspect on diversity, regeneration and structure of some moist temperate forests of Garhwal Himalaya. Tropical Ecology 61: 278–289. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42965-020-00088-4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42965-020-00088-4

Wester, P., A. Mishra, A. Mukherji & A.B. Shrestha (2019). The Hindu Kush Himalaya assessment— mountains, climate change, sustainability and people. Springer Nature, Cham, 627 pp. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92288-1

Wiens, J.J. & M.J. Donoghue (2004). Historical biogeogra- phy, ecology, and species richness. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19: 639–644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.09.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.09.011

Zachos, F.E. & J.C. Habel (2011). Biodiversity hotspots: distribution and protection of conservation priority areas. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, 565 pp.