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Englera 19


Dickoré, W. B. & Nüsser, M.: Flora of Nanga Parbat (NW Himalaya, Pakistan). An annotated inventory of vascular plants with remarks on vegetation dynamics. – Englera 19: 1-253. 2000.

An annotated enumeration of vascular plants from the valleys and slopes of Nanga Parbat, West Himalaya is presented. 962 native or naturalised species (and 9 additional subspecies) as well as 3 hybrids are recorded. In addition, 106 species are recorded as doubtful; the occurrence of 32 cultivated taxa is documented. All this information is based on field observations, herbarium material, a critical evaluation of literature records and on hitherto unpublished floristic data from C. Troll’s 1937 expedition. The enumeration includes synonyms, vernacular and English names, data on local, altitudinal and general distribution, ecology, life-form, as well as information on status and (potential) utilisation.

Phytogeographically, the flora of Nanga Parbat is predominantly West Himalayan (26.8 %), with (Sino-) Himalayan elements comprising further 12.5 %. In accordance with the peripheral location on the extreme north-west edge of the Himalayas the Nanga Parbat flora is characterised by high proportions of Central Asian (8.6 %), Irano-Turanian (8.8 %) and Pamirean (7.9 %) elements, whereas Tibetan elements (1.9 %) are poorly represented. Within the flora of the Himalayas Nanga Parbat is a stronghold of Eurasiatic (Euro-Siberian, 13.2 %) and circumpolar elements (7.6 %). Considering the high amount of relief and climatic diversity endemics are not especially well represented and total c. 6.5 %. Cosmopolitan (2.0 %), subtropical (2.6 %), and Mediterranean elements (1.6 %) form minor floristic components.

Steep orographical and climatic-ecological gradients correspond with a high degree of altitudinal variation and form a prominent feature of the flora and vegetation. Vegetation belts and formations on Nanga Parbat range from the dry-subtropical valley bottom deserts of the Indus Valley (colline belt: 1100-2000 m) through steppes and forest (submontane: 2000-2700 m, montane: 2700-3400 m) to the tree-line, scrub, dwarf-scrub, turf, and finally open scree and rock (subalpine 3400-3900 m, alpine 3900-4500 m, subnival 4500-5300 m) on the upper edge of the phanerogamic vegetation.

Floristic data are presented and problems of biodiversity and chorology are discussed. Strong altitudinal differentiation with a pronounced maximum diversity at an altitude of about 2500-3800 m was observed. Patterns of distribution and diversity are discussed mainly in the context of geo-ecological constraints. A marked irregularity of diversity at about 2300 m seems to be related to relief features and climatic factors.

The rather short-termed and limited research project revealed no clear signs of change in the species inventory due to recent human interference. The annotated enumeration of vascular plants presented here may serve as basis for subsequent investigations into the dynamics of the flora. However, repeat photography revealed environmental changes during the past 60 years. The increasing human impact on the natural resource basis and possible future perspectives are also discussed.

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