Changes in soil properties and vegetation during postlandslide succession in pine forests of Central Himalaya
AbstractChanges in soil properties, vegetation composition and plant biomass in an age-series of landslide-damaged sites adjacent to pine and mixed-pine-oak forests in Central Himalaya were studied. Fine soil content and soil nutrients were lower than in adjacent undamaged forest and increased with the age of the site. The herb species content and herbaceous cover increased with age and showed a positive relation with fine soil content, total soil nitrogen and soil organic carbon. Similarity in vegetation between damaged and undamaged sites increased with age for the herb layer. Herb species diversity increased from two years and the concentration of dominance and species evenness were lower for older sites. Shrubs appeared at 9 years. Above-and below- ground herb biomass increased with age. Total herb biomass was positively related with fine soil content, total soil nitrogen, soil organic carbon and other soil nutrients. Soon after disturbance seedlings of the early successions tree species Pinus roxbuighii colonized and second-growth P. roxburghii were present at 18- and 25-year-old sites.
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