Biomass, productivity and nutrient cycling in alpine Rhododendron community of Central Himalaya
The paper describes biomass, productivity and nutrient cycling of the Rhododendron scrub (R. campanulatum D. Don and R. barbatum Wall.), occurinng in the timberline areas of the Central Himalaya. The total biomass of vegetation was 40.5 t ha-1 and the net primary production was 10.0 t ha-1 yr-1. The latter is on the higher side of the range. 4.2-10,2 t ha-1 yr-1 reported for the productivity of certain alpine and subalpine communities occurring in the mountains of the temperate region. The production efficiency of leaf (net primary productivity / leaf mass) was markedly higher (3.41 g g-1 foliage mass) than those of the close canopied forests occurring in the Central Himalaya (0.74-3.10 g g-1 foliage mass yr-1). Present estimates of standing crop of nutrients in vegetation were 173.1 kg ha-1 for N, 13.2 kg ha-1 lot P and 94.1 kg ha-1 for K. The net uptake of nutrients was 51.7 kg ha-1 yr-1 for N, 4.8 kg ha-1 yr-1 for P and 31.6 kg ha-1 yr-1 for K. Nutrient use efficiency in terms of NPP per unit of nutrient uptake was 235 for N, 2769 for P and 507 for K, which are greater than those of the close-canopied forests of the region.
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