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Altitudinal Distribution, Habitats and Life Forms of Orchids of Western Himalaya


The study was carried out with the aim to know the distribution of orchids in different altitudinal zones, habitat types and life forms in the Western Himalaya. Extensive field data was collected from 2005 to 2010 and secondary data were acquired from various floras. The orchid species richness along the altitudinal zones shows a hump-shaped distribution pattern with high species richness in the middle altitudinal zone between 1000m to 1500m. A total of 18 habitat types were identified. Banj-oak forests and Riverine forests had the highest species richness. The highest similarity value (Sj = 74) was between habitat pairs Oak-Rhododendron life form was Moru-oak (OR-MO). Twelve different life forms were identified for orchids. The most abundant life-forms were the tuber geophytes and the fact that they are distributed in all the habitats, indicates high ecological plasticity.


Western Himalaya, Orchids, Species Richness, Habitats, Life Forms.



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