Dry Alpine Scrub Forests: Environment


 

Introduction

Over 3500 meters above sea level, an alpine forest known as the Dry Alpine Scrub can be found. Both the main Himalayan mountain ranges and the trans-Himalayan freezing deserts, which correspond to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh, are home to these forests. The scrub grows abundantly along streams created by snow meltwaters and in shady depressions. This environment is characterized by dwarf shrubs and xerophytes. These forests typically experience subzero temperatures and a blanket of snow. 
 
Dry Alpine Scrub Forests: Environment

Climatic Conditions

•    In the dry arctic regions, snowfall lasts for five to six months each year.
 
•    It rarely rains more than 370 millimeters each year.
 
•    The soil is deficient in nutrients.
 
•    The typical summertime temperature is from 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.
 
•    Typically, wintertime temperatures are well below zero. 
 

Flora

•    No trees are present. Pasture lands coexist with shrubs.
 
•    Plants like Juniperus wallichiana, Lonicera species, and Potentilla species are typical of dry alpine scrub woods.
 
•    The vegetation along the streams is made up of Salix, Myricaria, and Hippophae rhamnoides.
 
•    On infrequently, dwarfed junipers are discovered as well.
 
•    In the eastern Himalaya, Juniperus recurva and Juniperus wallichiana can be found growing at elevations between 3000 and 4600 meters.
 

Fauna

•    Giant, threatened animals like snow leopards and Tibetan wolves wander the countryside.
 
•    These species target the numerous huge mountain goats and sheep, including the goral, serow, Himalayan tahr, argali, and blue sheep.
 
•    The bird fauna is more diverse, with over a hundred species, including a few that are adapted to high-altitude settings.
 
•    The blood pheasant, western tragopan, Satyr tragopan, and Himalayan monal are examples of large avian predators that can be used as focal species for conservation management planning. Other examples are the golden eagle, Himalayan griffon, and lammergeier.
 
•    Cattle that migrate frequently feed on the shrubs in the summer. 
 

Threats

•    The natural ecology is being harmed by the increasing grazing demand of domestic animal herds, including those of horses, sheep, goats, and yaks.
 
•    The overuse of rare medicinal plants, particularly in a fragile habitat that is already under grazing pressure, is a threat to conservation.
 

Conclusion

The dry alpine scrub forests are categorized as non-merchantable because they are inaccessible for successful exploitation. These forests can't be used because of the lack of transportation because they are situated in the Himalayan highlands of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. The aforementioned challenges to this ecosystem should be taken into account when managing and conserving it, though.

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