Bryophyte diversity and community composition in the gap and non-gap areas of Chakrata forest range, Uttarakhand, India

Dhyani, Anshul, Uniyal, P. L., Rao, K. S.

Research Articles | Published: 24 September, 2021

Volume: 35, Issue: 1, March 2022
Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email:
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-021-00295-x
First Page: 251
Last Page: 257
Views: 183

Keywords: Diversity index, Environmental variables, Gap area, Bryophytes


The study presents the impact of canopy gaps on the diversity and distribution of bryophytes in a sub-temperate Himalayan forest through direct measurements of bryophyte species in plots. We recorded a total of 26 taxa of bryophytes in the present study. Bryophyte communities show a marked difference in terms of species associations in the gap and non-gap areas. While the number of species of bryophytes was more or less similar in the gap and non-gap areas, their composition varied greatly. Plagiomnium was represented by three congeneric species in the gap area and one species in the non-gap area. Fissidens was represented by three congeneric species in the non-gap area and one in the gap area. Based on importance value index (IVI), Plagiomnium cuspidatum (IVI = 65.13) and Fissidens geppii (IVI = 58.09) were dominant in the study area. Plagiomnium integrum and Fissidens sp. were frequently found growing near the wet rocks and streams, and Brachythecium buchananii formed the dominant cover on soil and rock surfaces. A high value of Margalef’s index (3.435) indicates the high species richness of bryophytes in the study area. Pielou’s Evenness index value (0.937) indicates the homogenous distribution of species. The study discusses the possible changes in the diversity of bryophytes in light of both natural and anthropogenic influenced habitat fragmentation in the Himalaya and explores the modelling of a relationship between bryophyte species-richness and environmental variables.

Diversity index, Environmental variables, Gap area, Bryophytes

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Authors thank the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Science and Research Engineering Board (SERB), New Delhi, for providing the financial aid (EMR/2016/007962). We are grateful to the Chief Conservator of Forest, Uttarakhand, for providing the necessary permission to conduct this study in Chakrata Hills.

Author Information

Dhyani, Anshul
Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
Uniyal, P. L.
Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Rao, K. S.
Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi, India