Plant Species Composition of Shingkhar High Altitude Wetland in Bumthang, Bhutan
The present study was conducted in Shingkhar wetland to evaluate species composition for a year. The elevation of the study area is 3215 to 3600 m above sea level. Vegetation was sampled using the random quadrat of 10 x 10 m2, 4 x 4 m2, and 1 x 1 m2 for trees, shrubs, and herbs respectively. The wetland composed of 252 life forms from 149 genera and 64 families. Cluster and indicator species analysis was used to characterise the vegetation within the high-altitude wetland, and this analysis was compared to plant communities' composition. Environmental variables such as elevation, slope, available Nitrogen, available Phosphorus, available Potassium, and pH were analysed to find the relationship with the plant communities using Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). The indicator analysis grouped the observed sample into four plant communities. In community I, Roscoea alpina, Halenia elliptica and Poterium filiforme dominated all other species. Comparatively, community II was dominated by Urtica dioica, Allium wallichii and Saxifraga harry-smithii; Community III by Pseudostellaria heterantha, Melanoseris bracteate, and Parnassia chinensis; Community IV was dominated by Athyrium filix-femina, Athyrium spinulosum, and Athyrium niponicum. Elevation, pH, available Potassium, and available Nitrogen were the main environmental variables that support the wetland plants species of the study area. Understanding the importance of plant communities and species composition may provide the baseline information about the ecosystem for any conservationist.
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