Response of vegetation along landscape positions and soil regimes in Sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn.) forests of Uttarakhand-India
Sunil Prasad, JMS Tomar
The present study was designed to analyze the relationships among vegetation, soil characters, and landscape position in Sal forests of foothills of Himalaya. We used two types of landscape positions i.e. hilltops and hill base. Various geological and environmental processes were primary factors influencing soil properties on hill base and hilltops. Soils on the hilltop were chronologically older and resulted from pedologenesis whereas the soils at hill base are new and somehow made up through sedimentation processes. The present study showed that lower areas (hill base) of sal forests are subject to mild disturbance due to tree biomass extraction in these areas. The western aspect was found moister than the eastern aspect and it is more conducive for the development of the herbaceous community and the study indicated a higher pH value in forest soil that is hazardous for the regeneration of the sal forest. Hilltop is the best-suited place for tree species development where tree density showing a positive correlation with nitrogen content in the soil.