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Title: The subalpine fir forest zone of Lamjung Himal, Nepal : vegetation types, forest dynamics, and human impacts
Author: Allard, Dorothy Jean
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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Lamjung Himal, 6931 m, lies within Annapurna Conservation Area in western-central Nepal. Forests of Abies spectabilis occur in a 2900 to 3500 m elevation zone on its southern slopes. The objectives of my work were to classify and describe the main vegetation types within the subalpine fir forest zone, to map these types, to document the major human activities, and to assess the impact of these activities on the vegetation. Human activities were determined with field observation and interviews. Villagers graze their livestock in the forest, and make roofing shingles from the fir trees. Since only one of my study sites showed any signs of shingle harvest, little could be said about its influence on the vegetation. Thus, my analysis of human impacts was limited primarily to the effect of grazing. Sixteen per cent of the fir forests had been converted to grazing openings. The species composition of openings was substantially different from that of the surrounding forest. Twenty six per cent of the plant species were determined to have been introduced. The study of forest regeneration dynamics revealed that landslides are primarily responsible for creating regeneration sites for Abies spectabilis stands. Grazing can eliminate regeneration of fir if it takes place on recovering landslides. Forest degradation due to grazing is currently occurring to the fir forests of Lamjung Himal. Since livestock populations fluctuate with changes in the economy, the influence of grazing on the condition of these forests should continue to be monitored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral