PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES OF INDIAN HAZELNUT (CORYLUS COLURNA L., SYN. C. JACQUEMONTII DECNE.) BEARING FOREST: A WILD EDIBLE NUT OF WESTERN HIMALAYADinesh Gupta, Manish Thakur and G.S. Shamet
The wild hazelnut (Corylus colurna L.) is ecologically and economically an important tree species having potentialvalue for human, wildlife and environmental planning in North West Himalayas. The nut finds use in confectionary industry, therefore imported in large quantities from outside the country as its cultivation is still in the primitive stage in India. The species has very narrow distribution range in Indian Himalaya region and is prone to genetic depletion by anthropogenic pressure and habitat destruction. The manuscript describes the community structure, floristic composition and phyto sociological attributes in selectedhazelnut bearing sites in Sach and Kotkhai Forest Range of Himachal Pradesh. In all, eleven tree species were recorded form Pattidhank and Sali forest, while seven and ten species appeared in Gajta and Mindal forests, respectively. Total density of trees varied from 445 to 535 ha-1 in different sites, while total basal area ranged from 59.78 to 87.84 m2 ha-1. Among trees, Corylus colurna was dominant species in Mindal and Pattidhank forests with IVI value of 103.40 and 69.61, respectively. Overall the broadleaved species dominated the sites with confer as the important key associate.
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