1.

Name of the Division

Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation Division,                                                       Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla,  H.P.

2.

Head of Division

Dr. K.S. Kapoor

3.

Main Objectives

  • To study the ecological aspects of different forest types in the Western Himalayan region.

  • To undertake research for assessing floral bio-diversity status and floristic association in different forest eco-system of the region including assessment of the endangered flora and to develop suitable strategies for their conservation.

  • To disseminate research findings to the user group and to provide research input to their ongoing programmes.

4.

Research Projects / Activities

4(A)

Ongoing Research Projects under PLAN Budget

Title

Standardization of nursery techniques of five dominant indigenous species of cold Deserts

Project Code

[HFRI-019/03(EBC-08)/PLAN/2002-2007]

Duration

5 years (April, 2002  -  March, 2007)

Principal Investigator

Dr. K.S. Kapoor

Capparis spinosa

Caragana brevifolia

Objectives:

1.

To study the site characteristics supporting these identified species.

2.

To study the ecological requirements of the identified species.

3.

To carry out comparative studies on various ecological parameters of these identifies plant species

4.

To take up nursery traisl of the species on pilot basis.

5.

To standardize nursery techniques of the identified species keeping in view the various ecological and silvicultural requiremtns.

Achievements

Trials to understand the (i) Effect of different concentration of Indole-3 Butyric Acid on rooting in shoot cuttings of Ribes sp., Colutea sp., Eleaegnus sp., Hippophae rhamnoides & in root sickers pf Rosa webbiana & Capparis spinosa, (ii) Effect of pre- sowing (hotwater and Gibbrellic Acid) treatment on germination behaviour in the seeds of Ribes sp.,Collutea sp., Hippophae rhamnoides, Capparis spinosa & Roas webbiana and (iii) Effect of medium (various ratios of sand & soil) on germination behavior in the seeds of Ribes sp., Collutea sp., Hippophae rhamnoides, Capparis spinosa & Rosa webbiana ware repeated both in poly house and in nursery conditions.  Besides this, experiments on the effect of mulching on Ribes spp., Hippophae rhamnoides, Rosa webbiana and Capparis spinosa were also undertaken.  

 

   

      Roots in Ribes aplestre

                             

         Roots in Ribes aplestre                             Roots in Capparis spinosa

Detailed ecological studies for the inentified species were carried out in the already selected sites falling in Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh.  Ecological studies as far as biomass and distribution of Capparis spinosa & Ribes alpestre in Spiti Valley are concerned were undertaken as shown in the above photographs.

Apart from many experiments, in case of Eleaegnus angustifolia the 500ppm and 6000ppm concentration of IBA using quick dip method were found to be more suitable in soil and sand medium. 

 

                         

Nursery trials on Ribes sp. and Eleaegnus angustifolia

It was seen that the experiments as laid out inside the poly tunnels are performing well over the plants growing in the open nursery.  Field trials to assess the performance of Eleaegnus angustifolia, Hippophae rhamnoides, Rosa webbiana and Collutea nepalensis were established those are giving the excellent performance.

                                                               

                A Field Trial of the Different Cold Desert Species                 Performance of plants in the Poly-tunnel

 

Title: 

Studies on Plant diversity in Cold Deserts of District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

Project Code

[HFRI-029/02(EBC-11)/PLAN/2004-2007]

Duration

3 years (April, 2004  -  March, 2007)

Principal Investigator

Dr. R.K. Verma

Objectives

1.

To ascertain the extent of species richness through communities identification and their structure.

2.

To study the regeneration status of major tree species.

3.

To demarcate plant diversity rich areas and their status.

4.

To identify species of ethno-botanical importance.

5.

To identify species of rare endangered, threatened or abundant in the area.

6.

To study the soil chemical properties of the area.

Achievements

Carried out floristic survey at an altitude varying from 3000m - 500m above msl in Labrang Valley of Pooh Sub-division of Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.  Three species of Junipers viz.,  Juniperus macropoda (3000-4000m), J. communis(3300-4000m) & J. indica (3500-4400m) were recorded.  Orobache sp. (oarasutuc plant) as collected during the survey may be one of the new records for the flora of Himachal Pradesh. 

                                                 

The vegetation data pertains to Labrang valley (3000-5000m) of Pooh sub-division of Kinnaur district was  analysed altitude wise.  The number of tree species at 3000-3500m above msl was 11 with the dominance of Cedrus deodara.  The number of shrub species was 21, 17 and 8 in the elevation of 3000-3500m, 3500-4000m and 4000-4500m  respectively.                         

                  

Thylacospermum caespitosum 

             Rubus sp.  

Caragana brevispina was the dominant shrub at 3000-3500m elevations whereas; Juniperus indica was the dominant shrub at 3500-4000m 4000-4500m elevation ranges.  The number of harb species was 83,82,38 and 25 at 3000-3500m, 3500-4000m, 4000-4500m and 4500-5000, elevation ranges respectively, Artemisia brevifolia, Arenaria festucoides, Arenaria serpyllifolia and Thylcospermum caestiposum were the dominant herbs at 3000-3500m, 3500-4000m, 4000-4500m and 4500-5000m elevation ranges respectively.  Out of 75 medicinal plant species recorded from the area, 16 of them fall in the category of threatened plants.

  

Title:

Studies on the Ecological Assessment of Florisitc diversity in Hemis High Altitude National Park, Ladakh, J&K

Project code:

[HFRI-031/02(EBC-12)/PLAN/2006-2011]

Principal Investigator

Dr. Vaneet Jishtu

Objectives

1.

Survey, inventorisation and documentation if plants in this fragile ecosystem to evaluate the qualititive changes in species rich and sensitive areas.

2.

To ascertain the extent of species richness through communities identification and their structure.

3.

To study the regeneration status of major species.

4.

To demarcate plant diversity rich areas and their status in the P.A.

5.

To identify species with traditional economic uses and preparation of protocols for their conservation and sustainable utilization.

6.

To identify species of rare, endangered, threatened or abundant in the PA. For studies on the qualitative and qualitative diversity of selected economically useful species.

7.

To study the soil chemical property of the PA.

Achievements

The project was initiated from April, 2006 onwards and hence, not much of the headway has been made except for consultation of literature on the said lines.  However, field survey in the month of August has been proposed.

4(B)

Ongoing Externally Aided Research Projects

 

Title

Ecological and management studies in certain dry temperate and alpine pastures of Lahul  & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Project Code

[BT/PR4102/NBDB/51/027/2003-DBT Funded Project]

Duration

3 years (November, 2004  -  October, 2007)

Principal Investigator

Dr. K.S. Kapoor

Objectives

(A)

Ecological Aspects

(I)

Structural Aspects

i.

To carry out comparative ecological studies along with floristic composition and phonological changes. 

ii.

To study phyto-ecological aspects like, density, basal area, Importance Value Index (IVI) and species diversity index.

iii.

To assess seasonal changes in above and below ground plant biomass under different management systems especially the effect of grazing.

[II]

Functional Aspects

i.

To study net community productivity

ii

To assess systems transfer functions.

iii.

To estimate community energetics including proteing, sugar and starch estimations

iv.

To estimate nutrient pools and their fluxes in soil plant systems

Achievement 

The present project had been initiated with a view to identify and assess all the related parameters in the selected pastures sites falling in the district Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh - the trans Himalayan region where most of the pastures are over stocked with domestic herbivores and the agro-pastoral society, During the period, sites supporting alpine pastures in each part of the  district i.e. Miar Nallah, Triloknath, Dalang and Kwaring in Lahaul valley and Gue, Tabo and Kunjam in Spiti valley were identified as the representative sites for recoding floral elements including assessment and distribution of rare and endemic plants.

             

Alpine pasture site for reconnaissance survey at [A] Trilokinath (Lahaul) and [B]  Kunjam (Spiti)

Sites at Kjplsar (Lahaul Valley) and Kiyato & Gate (Spiti valley) were selected for detailed investigations on structural and functional aspects of the alpine pastures including the assessment of floral elements.

Studies on floristic composition, phenology, phyto-sociology of the constitutuent species including biomassestimation and productivity potential in the respective sites were carried out at monthly intervals.  New floristics and their association were recorded in both the valleys.  In all about 100 species were recorded from different altitudes and majority of them adding to the fragmented studies made earlier in the region.  Vegetation types were also identified from some of the sites and Caragana species was observed as a dominant shrub for pastures of the Spiti region.  Soil analysis of selected sites were also conducted.  Data on productivity and other parameter is being analysed.  

Title 

Development of ecologically viable and socio-economically acceptable integrated models for arresting Willow (Salix sp.) mortality in Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh.

Project code

[GBPI/IERP/04-05/34/861-GBPI Funded Project]

Duration

3 years (April, 2005  -  March, 2008)

Principal Investigator

Dr. K.S. Kapoor

Objectives

1.

To understand the basic ecology and site characteristics of the area and assessment of site-specific problems in the valley.

2.

Holistic assessment of immediate causes of mortality.

3.

In- depth studies on economy and dependence of the people on the species.

4.

To screen planting stock of Salix in the nursery stage as collected various locations.

5.

To standardize nursery and planting techniques, most suitable for the region with special reference to already screened planting stock of the species. 

6.

Raising up of demonstration plantations of the screened clones on forest lands and also in the farmer's fields on a pilot scale for rejuvenating the system and making it ecologically viable.

7.

To study detailed life-cycle/history of Lachnid aphids- though the secondary causes of mortality - including alternate host identification for these aphid population.

8.

Effect of Aphid feeding on growth and development of Salix including probability of virus spread through aphids.

9.

Pest spectrum of Salix.

10.

Conservation awareness amongst the people for this mortality.

Achievements:

Nursery for raising the clones of clones of willow was established at Sissoo (Lahaul valley) where both national and international clones, provenances and species were planted for their further screening.  Besides, 8 international clones, 3 species as brought from the state of Jammu & Kashmir and 5 different provenances of Salix as identified in and around Karsog area of Himachal Pradesh were raised and maintained in this nursery.

                                                          Planting stock of Salix sp. in the nursery

Besides this, material as collected from 14 different locations/ provenances within Spiti and Kinnaur valleys were also raised and maintained in the nursery as Tabo, Spiti Valley.  While establishing this demonstration plantations in an area of 0.5 ha at Sissoo, planting material of 5 different species of Salix from the state of Jammu & Kashmir, 3 different provenances from Himachal Prdesh and different international clones were used.

For assessment of Aphid attack on Willows including studies on their life cycle nursery raised at Sisso, plantations of Willow as rased by raised by villagers at Gompthang & at Keylong including  plantations at Tandi & Satingri were visited.  Two species of williow feeding aphids viz. Tuberolachnus salignus (Aphidoidea: Lachnidae): Giant Willow Aphid  (GWA) and Pterocomma salicis (Aphidoidea: Lachnidae) : Black Willow Aphid (BWA) were observed.  Populations of willow aphids were also recorded.

             

                                              

Three stages of Maturation of colony

The alatoid viviparous nymphs appeared when the colony became overcrowded.  Alate aphids appeared and they were found taking shelter inside the crevices of rock.  GWA was collected for the first time from Satingri in Lahaul valley.

Title

Ecological assessment of Forest Areas Falling under Kol Dam Hydroelectric Project in Bilaspur District of Himachal Pradesh

Project code

[FT48-88/86(FCA) CATP Kol Dam-HPSFD Funded Project]

Duration

3 years (April, 2005  -  March, 2008)

Principal Investigator

Dr. R. K. Verma

Objectives

i.

To ascertain the extent of species richness through identification of communities and their structure.

ii.

To identify the threatened species of the area.

iii.

To identify the species of ethno-botanical importance

iv.

To study the chemical properties of the areas.

Achievements:

Selected study sites for assessment of floristics and detailed ecological studies in different catchment areas of Kol Dam falling in five Forest Divisions. Acacia catechu, lantana camara and Bidens biternata were the dominant tree, shrub and herb species respectively in Kasol catchment area of Bilaspur Forest Division. 

In Kandhar catchment area of Kunihar Forest Division, Lannea coromandelica, Murraya Koenigii and Triumfetta pilosa were the dominant tree, shrub and herb species respectively.  While carrying out floristic survey in Tatapani catchmnet area of Karsog Forest Division, total number of tree, shrub and herb species was 56, 52 and 86 respectively, Acacia catechu, Dodonea viscosa and Euphorbia hirta was the dominant tree, shrub and herb species respectively.

  

Koldam catchment Kandha Kydia calyeina Pistacia chinensis sub-sp. integerrima

 

Cedrus deodara, Prinsepia utilis and pumex nepalensis was the dominant tree, shrub and herb species respectively in Theog Forest Division.  A natural patch of  Cupressus torulosa was also recorded.

Koldam catchment of Theog Forest Division

Cupressus torulosa

Title

Study on plant diversity in Rakchham, Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary of district Kinnaur Himachal Pradesh.

Project Code

[GBPI/IERP/04-05/15/862-GBPI Funded Project]

Duration

3 years (April,2006- March,2009)

Principal Investigator

Dr. R.K. Verma

Objectives

1.

To ascertain the extent of species richness through communities identification and their structure

2.

To study the regeneration status of major tree species.

3.

To demarcate plant diversity rich areas and their status.

4.

To identify species of ethno-botanical importance.

5.

To identify species of threatened or abundant in the area.

Achievement

The project activities have been initiated from April, 2006 only.  Not much has been done except for reviewing of the literature on the said subject.

5.

Major Achievements of the Division during 2005-2006

5.1

Recently Concluded Research Projects (Plan Budget)

The following research projects were completed and detailed project completion report submitted to the ICFRE Hqrs

S.No.

Name and code Number of the Research Projects

Principal Investigator

1.

Assessment of conservation status of Hill Bamboos (Nirgals), collection of germplasm from various eco-climatic zones in Sutlej catchment area establishment of germplasm Bank.

[HFRI-011/02(EBC-05)/PLAN/2000-2005]

Dr. K.S. Kapoor

2.

Comparative studies on the floristic composition of two diversely located alpine pastures.

[HFRI-023/03(EBC-09)/PLAN/2003-2005]

Dr. K.S. Kapoor

 

3.

Comparative studies on the ecology of degraded forests viz. -a-viz. relatively undisturbed forests in different eco-climatic zones of the region.

[HFRI-010/01(EBC-04)/PLAN/2000-2005]

Dr. R.K. Verma

 

4.

Development of Suitable Models for Afforestation of Mined Areas.

[HFRI-018/01(EBC-04)/PLAN/2002-2005]

Dr. R.K. Verma

 

5.

Studies on plant Diversity of Renuka and Simbalwara Wildlife Sanctuaries of Himachal Pradesh.

[HFRI-024/02(EBC-10)/PLAN/2003-2006]

Dr. R.K. Verma

 

 

5.2

Participation in Meeting/ Workshops and Seminars by the Scientists of the Division

1.

Dr. K.S. Kapoor, head of the Division and Coordinator (Research) attended the meeting of Research Policy Committee of ICFRE at Dehradun.

2.

Dr. K.S. Kapoor, Scuebtust-E attended an International Workshop on "Conserving Hill and Mountain Ecology" as organized by United States Educational Foundation in India at Shimla.

3.

Scientists of the division attended one day's workshop on "Acts & Rules for Environmental Conservation" as organized by State Director, World Wide Fund, Shimla in collaboration with HFRI, Shimla.

4.

Dr. K.S. Kapoor, Head of the Division attended Silviculture Conference as organized by FRI at Dehradun. 

5.

Dr. K.S. Kapoor, Head of the division attended one day Liaison Meeting as organized by Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla in close collaboration with State Forest Research Institute (SFRI), Jammu & Kashmir organized a for the Senior Forest Officers of the Jammu & Kashmir, State Forest Department, which was inaugurated by Shri Tariq Hameed Karra, Hon'ble Forest Minister, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir.  Besides, other senior officers from the State Forest Department, Shri Najamus Saquib, IAS, Commissioner/ Secretary, Forest Department, Govt. of J & K and Shri S.D. Swantantara, IFS, Pr. CCF, J & K, Dr. C.M. Seth, Director, SFRI also attended the meeting.  Shri M.S.Garbyal, IFS (DDG Admin.) and Dr. Shashi Kumar, IFS, (Director Research) represented the council whereas Shri Surinder Kumar, IFS, Director alongwith the team of his officers and scientists represented the  institute in the said meeting.

6.

Dr. R.K. Verma attended a national workshop on Conservation and Cultivation of Medicinal Plants as organized by Haryana State Forest Department in close collaboration with Sate Medicinal Plant Board. of Haryana.

7.

Dr. K.S. Kapoor, Sciectist-E & Head and Dr. R.K. Verma, Scientist-d attended National Seminar on Wasteland Development in shiwaliks with Particular Reference to Himachal Pradesh held at Dr. Y.S. Parmar University, UHF, Nauni, Solan.

5.3

Consultancies

To guide and to provide all necessary inputs, cooperation and technical assistance to M/S Gujrat Ambuja Cements Ltd. Darlaghat, District Solan (HP).Dr. Dr. K.S. Kapoor, Head of the division on behalf of Director, Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Company initially for a period of five year beginning from July, 2005 for "Carrying out Eco-rehabilitation Activities in its Mined Out Areas at Kashlog". This consultancy is to be implemented by the Divisions of Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation and Silviculture & Tree Improvement of the institute.  An amount of Rs. 3,97,347 has already been advanced to this institute for taking up the related works during 2005-06.

Besides this, the laboratory and herbarium of the division is providing services by identifying and analysing the plant specimens and soil samples of various organistion including Forest Survey of India and is constantly earning revenue for the kitty of Council.

6.

Research Laboratory

Research laboratory of the division is equipped with number of scientific equipments those are required for carrying out analysis of soil and plants samples. Important of them are; Nitrogen Analyzer; Atomic Absorption Spectro-photometer; Bomb Calorimeter; pH-meter; Centrifuges; Electronic Balances; PC Based Flame Photometer; Ovens; Conductivity Meter etc.

7.

Herbarium

To document floral diversity of the region, Division of Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation started establishment of the Herbarium from July, 2000 onwards.  Initially the stress was laid to collect and document the plant specimens from the cold desert regions of Ladakh (J&K), Lahaul Spiti and upper Kinnaur (HP), but later, this activity was extended to other areas of the states, with emphasis in far flung and remote regions/areas.

Till date the herbarium has approximately 7400 plant specimen  sheets mounted as per standard procedures. The plant specimens covered include approximately 1085 species belonging to 136 families.  The break up of the plant specimens is as under:

Species from the Cold deserts: 354 species belonging to 102 families.
Temperate and Alpine Species: 365 species belonging to 113 families.
Species from Kinnaur District: 365 species belonging to 113 families
Species from Shivalik & Sirmour: 106 species belonging to 62 families.

The herbarium is providing identification facilities to the students, research scholars and researchers of other research organisations.  This herbarium till date has contributed around 400 sheets to the herbaria of Botanical Survey of India and Forest Research Institute Dehradun.  The Herbarium is equipped with herbarium Cabinets; Microscopes and Computers for documentation of data.

Some of the collections of Red Listed Plants in the Herbarium

 Approved Rates for Plant Identification and Analysis of Soil & Plants

 

S. No.

Type Analysis

Rate (Rs.)

1.

Analysis of Organic matter from soil

50,00 per sample

2.

Total Analysis of soil

300.00 per sample

3.

Identifications of plant specimen

25.00 per plan

8.

Some Publications

8.1

Books

Nil

8.2

Booklets/Brochures

Hidden Treasures of Cold Deserts in Northwest Himalayas, HFRI Brochure No. 05.

Chilgoaza (Pinus Gerardiana Wall); Champion of the Rocky Mountains, HFRI Brochure No. -8.

Guidelines for Eco-rehabilitation of Limestone Mined Areas in Himachal Pradesh HFRI Brochure No.013.

8.3

Pamphlets

1

Khushhali ki or ek aur kadam (populus deltoids) Paudhshala Sambandhi jankari, HFRI Pamphlet no. 003

2

Marinu (Ulmus laeviegata): Pahari Kisanon ke Liye Ek Vardan, HFRI Pamphlet no. 004

3

Kachnar-ek-Bahu-udeshiya Variksh, HFRI Pamphlet No. 017

8.4

Published Research Papers/ Chapters (2005-2006)

1.

Kapoor, K.S., R.K. Verma, Vaneet Jishtu and and R.S. Rawat (2005) Performance of different Tree Species in Limestone mine spoil. Annals of Forestry, 13(1): 79-83

2.

Kapoor, K.S., S.P. Subramani, and R.S. Rawat (2005) Some Lesser-known Tree species of Himachal Pradesh: Distribution and Status. Environment & Ecology 23 (2); 288-296.

3.

Kapoor, K.S., S.P. Subramani, and Vaneet Jishtu (2005). Medicinal Plant Wealth in High Altitudes including Cold Deserts of Western Himalayas: Their Taxonomy and Medicinal Plants and Health Care Trust, Jodhpur., 218pp.

4.

Verma,R.K., K.S. Kapoor and Surinder Kumar (2005). Status of Plant Diversity around Renuka Lake Wild Life Sanctuary Himchal Pradesh Environment & Ecology 23 (1); 158-163.

5.

Verma,R.K., K.S. Kapoor, R.S. Rawat,  S.P. Subramani and Surinder Kumar (2005). Analysis of Plant Diversity in Degrarded and Plantation Froests in Kunihar Forest Division of Himachal Pradesh.  India J. of Forestry, Vol, 28(1): 11-16.

6.

Kapoor, K.S. (2006), Biodiversity in Cold Deserts of Western Himalayas: Issues and Interventions (207-214).  Mountain Technology Agenda:  Status Gaps and Possibilities, a book published by Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi in collaboration with HESCO, Dehradun.  Bishen Singh, Mohinder Pal Singh, Dehradun, 522 pp.

7.

Verma, R.K., S.P. Subramani, R.S. Rawat and K.S. Kapoor (2006) Comparative evaluation of plant diversity and soil properties in protected plantation and unprotected degraded area in Kunihar Forest Division of Himachal Pradesh GEOBIOSS 33 (2-3): 113 - 118, 2006.

8.

Subramani, S.P., Vaneet Jishtu and R.S. Rawat (2006) Plant Diversity Conservation Needs. The Botanica 55:45 -59, 2005.