Phytomass and Primary Productivity in Several Communities of a Central Himalayan Alpine Meadow, India
H. C. Rikhari, G. C. S. Negi, G. B. Pant, B. S. Rana, S. P. Singh
This study deals with patterns of phytomass and net primary production of the Trachydium-forb, forb-Danthonia, Danthonia-forb, Danthonia, Kobresia-Danthonia, and Rhododendron-Cassiope plant communities in an Indian Central Himalayan alpine meadow (3100-3750 m a.s.l). The different growth forms (i.e. grass, sedge, forb, and dwarf shrub) varied considerably within and among these communities. Different species of a particular community and at a particular time within the growing season showed a certain degree of convergence in their morphological traits. The proportion of aboveground standing dead during the growing season at the time of peak live shoot phytomass was very different in different communities. Aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), obtained from the sum of species peak (114−407 g m−2), was slightly greater than the peak community phytomass values (112−390 g m−2), except in the Rhododendron-Cassiope community. The belowground net primary production (BNPP) was 59 to 250 g m−2. The interaction between growth forms and grazing seems to have an important influence on community development.
Citation Note: This article was published when our journal had an earlier shorter name: "Arctic and Alpine Research."