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Assessment of floristic diversity in the desert ecosystem of central Karakoram National Park (Karakoram Range) Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Sher Wali Khan, Qamar Abbas, Alamdar Hussain, Azher Hussain, Haibat Ali and Shaukat Ali

The Central Karakoram National Pakistan is one of the largest National Park in Pakistan, covering an area of 10,000 km2. The park consists of 14 valleys of Karakoram Range out of which four floristically important valleys were selected for current research namely, Istak, Turmic, Haramosh and Shighar valleys. Assessment of floristic diversity provide basis for planning the suitable strategies for conservation of plant resources. The current study was conducted to understand the floristic diversity along an altitudinal gradient with elevations varying from 1200m to 4000m in cold desert area of CKNP region. Plant specimens were collected during the springs of 2001-2016 from various habitats of the selected valleys of this region. In the course of present inventory 190 taxa of Spermatophytes from 48 families were found from different habitats of study area. The largest group was Dicot with 172 species and 122 genera from 44 families. Monocots are represented by 13 species and 12 genera from 2 families followed by Gymnosperms 5 species, 2 genera from 2 families. There were 44 shrubs 9 trees 27 annuals and 110 perennials were classified according to their life forms. Out of these 190 plant species, 116 were ranked as common, 34 was very common, 7 rare 2 very rare and 31 were infrequent. It was observed that family Compositae was the largest family containing 38 species followed by Fabaceae with 19 species, Labiatae, 11 species, Poaceae 11 species, Rosaceae 8 species, Chenopodiaceae 7 species, Boraginaceae 6 species and the remaining families represents less than 5 species. In general, the vegetation was composed of perennial herbs and few shrubs which form the permanent frame work of the area. The Index of similarity for shrub and herb species between different altitudes was low which indicates remarkable degree of dissimilarity in plant species between different altitudes. The medicinally important plant species of the study area was observed under threat due to commercial exploitation by the locals which need proper management for conservation. The abundance of these commercially exploited species had declined in their abundance during the last decades.

To Cite this article: Khan, S.W., Q. Abbas, A. Hussain, A. Hussain, H. Ali and S. Ali. 2021. Assessment of floristic diversity in the desert ecosystem of central Karakoram National Park (Karakoram Range) Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot., 53(3): DOI:

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