DIVERSITY OF VASCULAR PLANTS OF ALPINE REGION OF CHAPURSAN VALLEY, PAKISTAN
Byline: Sultan Mehmood Wazir, Altaf Ahmad Dasti, Jehandar Shah, Shehzadi Saima, Shah Faisal Muhammad and Farrukh Hussain
A four years study from 2002 -2005 revealed that there were 152 taxa of vascular plants belonging to 47 families in the Chapursan Valley. The largest families in terms of number of species were Asteraceae (16sp.), Poaceae (12sp.), Lamiaceae (7sp.), Brassicaceae (6sp.), Boraginaceae (5sp.), Chenopodiaceae (5sp.), Papilionaceae & Ranunculaceae (4sp.). Gentianaceae, Primulaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Asclepiadaceae and Apiaceae each with 3 species. The life form spectra indicated that therophytes and nanophanerophytes were well represented.
Keywords: - Flora, 152 Taxa, 47 Families, Chapursan Valley, Pakistan.
Introduction Study area
Chapursan Valley is located at the northeast corner in triangle formed by Hindu Kush, the Himalayas and Karakrum mountains; and where Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Russia come close together. Radiating out to the West, on the border with Afghanistan, lie the Hindukush, whose eastern boundary is marked by the Ishkoman and Karumbar River in Gilgit District. Pamirs mountain system run up into the former Soviet Union in the north spreading from the centre to the northeast bordering China, lie the Karakoram, which is the main bulk of mountains in Pakistan, 250 Km long and 150 Km wide. In the southeast corner, it is separated from the Karakoram by the Indus River (Fig. 1).
Chapursan valley is 72 Km long, with an average width of two Km. The altitude ranges from 3150-5000 m a.s.l. The valley is flanked by Lupghar range on the south-west; on the north-east another range separates it from Misger Valley. The mountains are lofty with valley floor filled with glacial and glacio-fluvial deposits, which is terraced by Chapursan River. Nearly 15% of its area is covered by a great masses of glaciers. The total length of the glaciers is approximately 6000 Km including Siachin (75 Kms), Hispar (53 Kms), Batura (58 Kms) and Baltoro (62 Kms) and a number of small glaciers like Gulgin and Passu.
The Cluster of black circles at the far end of the map indicates the study area.
The life from indicated that Pakistan has tremendous altitudinal diversity of climate and vegetation that ranges from Arabian sea coast to permanently snow covered bound lofty mountain up to K- 2 with height of 8611m. The vegetation based on climatic diversity can be broadly classified as tropical, subtropical, temperate, subalpine and alpine types. Each of these vegetation types is composed of its own flora and fauna. The sub alpine and alpine regions generally occur above 3000m reaching to the snow line beyond which plants cease to exists due to climatic severity. The alpine flora and vegetation is unique in terms of morphological and ecological features.
Alpine regions are cold deserts where most of the plants fail to grow. These areas have long snow bound winter and short summer hardly up to 2 months. The annual rainfall is less than 10". Snow fall being the major form of precipitation. Due to inaccessibility to these area the work done on the flora and fauna...
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