ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Diversity and Distribution of Invasive Plant Species in Suburban Vegetation of Kashmir Himalayas
Hamayun Shaheen 1  
,  
Ammara Batool 1  
,  
Tariq Habib 1  
,  
 
 
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Department of Botany, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, Pakistan
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Hamayun Shaheen   

University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Botany, City Campus, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 13100 Muzaffarabad, Pakistan
Online publish date: 2019-03-05
Submission date: 2018-05-01
Final revision date: 2018-06-20
Acceptance date: 2018-06-24
 
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ABSTRACT
Biological invasion has been considered one of the most important mechanisms of global change, posing serious threats to the conservation of native ecosystems world-wide. The present study was conducted in the sub-tropical vegetation stands in the suburban areas of Muzaffarabad city to study the diversity and distribution of invasive alien species (IAS) of plants and assess the factors responsible for their spread. A total of 9 sites, including 2 in the city and 7 in suburban areas, were sampled using random quadrate methods. The sampled flora were classified according to the phytogeographic origin and invasion status, whereas the phytosocioogoical attributes of plant communites were also calculated following standard protocols. A total of 121 plant species represented by 108 genera belonging to 58 families was recorded from the study area. Results revealed that 35.6% flora comprised of 43 species were recorded as IAS. The IAS dominating the area included Parthenium hysterophorus, Lantana camara, Xanthium strumarium, Ailanthus aItissima, Cannabis sativa, Broussonetia papyrifera, Arundo donax and Sorghum halepense. Analysis of the Invasion status revealed that invasive aliens had a weight of 46% followed by naturalized aliens and casual aliens, respectively. The dominance of invasive species resulted in decreased species diversity at the disturbed sites. Landslides and road construction were identified as factors promoting the establishment and spread of invasive species in the area. Principal component analysis revealed significant correlation of edaphic disturbances with the abundance of IAS. An integrated management system is recommended for early detection and control of IAS.
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ISSN:1230-1485