ASSESSMENT OF PHYTODIVERSITY AND THEIR SOCIOECONOMIC DIMENSIONS FROM THE SUBMERSED ZONE OF NAITWAR-MORI HYDROELECTRIC POWER PROJECT IN TONS VALLEY, GARHWAL HIMALAYA, INDIADinesh Singh Rawat, Radha Ballabha and C.S. Rana
The Himalayan region has a great potential of growing hydroelectric power, due to its peculiar topography and network of perennial rivers. Though, the negative impact of hydroelectric power project (HPP) on the regional ecosystem and local people is a matter of concern. The present study was intended to assess the phytodiversity with their socio-economic value from the submerged zone of the Naitwar- Mori HPP, isbeing constructed on the Tons river, Uttarkashi (Garhwal Himalaya, India). A total of 152 plant species belonging to 128 genera and 63 families were recorded from the study area. Ethno botanical classification showed that the major proportion of species are being used for medicinal purposes (86.2%) followed by useas fodder (40.1%) and wild edibles (27.6%). The TIV analysis showed that trees species have the highest socio-economic value (TIV 3080%) to inhabitants then the other life forms (shrubs, herbs, climbers). This study has provided a baseline data that will be helpful in assessing the effect of HPP on the ecosystem properties in upcoming future. The species with higher TIV and local preference should be considered in prioritization for conservation, plantation and social forestry which will be a crucial step to meet out the pressure on forests near to human settlements
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