Read A contribution to the flora of tehsil Shakargarh, district Narowal, pakistan text version

Pak. J. Pl. Sci., 14 (1): 15-19; 2008

A CHECKLIST OF THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF TEHSIL SHAKARGARH DISTRICT NAROWAL, PAKISTAN Zaheer-ud-Din Khan and Andleeb Anwar Sardar* Department of Botany, GC University Lahore, Pakistan Abstract The present work is based on the results of one year intensive survey and study of plants in Tehsil Shakargarh District Narowal. The area covered has been delimited by the state boundaries, although the vegetation of the neighbouring regions, now belonging to Jammu Kashmir and India has also been investigated to some extent. The vegetation of Shakargarh presented two distinct seasonal aspects; (i) the summer and winter aspect when most of the trees and shrubs flowered and the soil was devoid of any ground cover; (ii) the rainy season aspect when the vegetation was at its best. The soil which was bare between the trees and shrubs was covered by a vivid green carpet of short lived vegetation during this season. As a result of several trips of the area, it was possible to collect most of the plants of the area, i.e. 317 plant species. Including 240 (76%) dicotyledons, 68 (21%) monocotyledons 68 (21). 5 Pteridophytes and 4 of Gymnosperms. The families were arranged according to Bentham and Hooker's "Genera Plantarum". Family Poaceae was found to be the largest in size with 32 species while Asteraceae was the second largest with 31 species. Keywords: Flora, Shakargarh, 317 species, threats, Pakistan. Introduction Tehsil Shakargarh, District Narowal was established in the year 1991. It was a tehsil of District Gurdaspur before 1947 and now of District Sialkot after 1947. It is bounded on the north and north east by occupied Jammu and Kashmir state, on the east and south east by Gurdaspur and Amratsar Districts of India, on the west and south west by Narowal Tehsil and Tehsil Pasroor of District Sialkot is situated on its west. This Tehsil spreads over an area of 312915 sq acres. The average annual rainfall is about 1000 mm. The highest rainfall is from July to September (Punjab Development Statistics, 2000). An area of 6777 acres is under forests. There are mainly two different kinds of forests, natural forests of Butea and man made forests of Eucalyptus. About two third of the total area of the region is under cultivation and the main food crops like wheat, rice, sugar cane, maize, etc. are grown as kharif or rainy season and rabi or cold season crops. A checklist is a continuation of the taxonomic account of the vascular plants and is used as an aid to flora of an area. A checklist is intended to enhance communication among the researchers, conservationists, amateur plant naturalists and laypersons. The natural flora of Shakargarh is similar to those of the plains with an admixture of plants of lower hills near Jammu border generally. The trees commonly found in the Tehsil are Mangifera indica, Cordia myxa, Zizyphus jujuba, Dalbergia sissoo, Albizzia lebbek, Acacia nilotica, Acacia modesta, Ficus bengalensis, Melia azedarach, Morus alba, Syzygium cumini and Ficus religiosa. It looked from the literature, as if this area was being ignored in the official documentation regarding the flora of this region. There is no mentioning of the plants of this area even in the flora of Pakistan. It is because of this reason, which it was decided to work out the checklist of Shakargarh. Hopefully, this checklist may also add information into making of Red Data Book of Punjab and Pakistan.

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Materials and Methods Field trips were made in different season during 2003-04 to study and compile the flora of Tehsil Shakargarh. Field objectives for each trip included the data on habitat local name and the uses if any was recorded. The identification of plants was accomplished after Ahmed (1954), Hooker (1872-1897), Bamber (1915), Kayship and Joshi (1936), Ahmed (1954), Parker (1956), Chaudhary (1969), Nasir & Ali (1970-1989), Ali & Nasir (1990-1992), Ali & Qaiser (1992-2007). The identified plants were pressed, dried and preserved and deposited in Dr. Sultan Ahmed Chaudhary's Herbaruim GCU, Lahore. Results and Discussion The vegetation presents a very open appearance so that the trees and shrubs are widely spaced. It may be classified under two categories (1) the permanent vegetation occurring throughout the year, and (2) the short living vegetation consisting of the annuals growing mainly during the short, rainy and spring season. Corresponding to these, the vegetation of Shakargarh presents two distinct seasonal aspects: (i) the summer and winter aspect when most of the trees and some of the shrubs flower and the soil is devoid of any ground cover, (ii) the rainy season aspect when the vegetation is at its best. The soil which is otherwise bare between the trees and shrubs is covered by a vivid green carpet of temporary vegetation. Based upon this research, there were 83 families, 245 genera and 317 species. Families include 4 families of Pteridophytes, 3 families of Gymnosperms and 76 families of Angiosperms. Among the angiosperms, 59 were Dicotyledonous and 17 Monocotyledonous families (Table 1). Poaceae was the largest family among Monocotyledons with 34 species. Asteraceae was one of the largest families with about 26 genera and 31 species among Dicotyledons. Two hundred and forty (240) species 76% of the vascular plants were Dicotyledons. The Angiosperms were arranged according to Bentham and Hooker's "Genera Plantarum". Among Pteridophytes the family Polypodiaceae includes 2 species, whereas in Gymnosperms family Cupressaceae includes 2 species and other 2 families Cycadaceae and Araucariaceae were having only a single species. These species were introduced in this region as an ornamental plant. Table 1. Summary of the Flora of Tehsil Shakargarh, District Narowal, Pakistan. Pteridophytes 5 5 5 Gymnosperms 3 4 4 Dicots 59 184 240 Monocots 17 52 68 Total 83 245 317

Families Genera Species

In order to understand the present condition of the vegetation and to form some idea of the status of different communities, it was necessary to consider the existing vegetation in the light of history of Shakargarh. After establishment of this tehsil up till today, two wars have been fought with India, first in 1965 and the second in 1971. In 1971 war more than half area of Shakargarh was occupied by India. During the possession period of 2-3 years nearly most of the trees and shrubs were destroyed in the area, except big trees those are worshiped by the Hindu's i.e. Ficus religiosa, F. bengalensis and Mangifera indica etc. Seasonal vegetation: This includes those herbs and shrubs as well as weeds that are commonly met within the lawns, gardens, fields and unused grounds. Following the first fall of rains towards the end of June or early July, the almost all the bare ground begins greening due to the growth of a

Flora of Shakargarh

Z. Khan & A.A. Sardar


variety of herbaceous plants in patches. Among the pioneer plants mention may be made of Trianthema monogyna Linn., Euphorbia hirta Linn., Heliotropium strigosum Willd., Cyperus rotundus Linn. and Cynodon dactylon Pers. A little later, in about two or three weeks, the ruderal areas, fallow and cultivated fields as well as public lawns and parks become inhabited with a variety of plants belonging to the Tiliaceae, Papilionaceae, Rubiaceae, Acanthaceae, Labiatae, Amaranthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Cyperaceae and Gramineae. The common monsoon species in fallow and cultivated areas included Corchorus trilocularis Linn, Convolvulus arvensis Linn, Digera arvensis Forsk, Solanum surattenese Burm. F., Eleusine verticillata Linn. and Ageratum conyzoides Linn. Among the rainy season annuals which are met in waste places, on lawns and parks and along roadsides, Polygonum plebejum R. Br. deserve mention: The rainy season vegetation disappears during the month of October with the same rapidity as it came during the rains. As the cold season ensures and temperature becomes low and top soil as well as atmosphere become dry, species of colder altitudes, elevated regions make their appearance. The common plants include: Fumaria indica Pugsley, Cotula hemisphaerica Wall., Sisymbrium irio Linn., Malva parviflora Linn., Stellaria media Vill., Oxalis corniculata Linn., Spergula arvensis Linn., Anagallis arvensis Linn.,Melilotus parviflora Linn., Salvia plebeia R.Br., Lathyrus aphaca Linn., Rumex dentatus Linn., Medicago denticulata Willd., Cnicus arvensis Linn., Asphodelous tenuifolius Cav., Sonchus arvensis Linn., Phalaris Minor Retz., S. oleracea Linn., Poa annua Linn. And Gnaphalium indicum Linn. As the weather warms up in March, several annual herbs appear that include: Citrullus colocynthis Desv., Pulicaria crispa Schultz-Bip., Echinops echinatus Roxb., Heliotropium eichwaldi Steud., Chenopodium ambrosoides Linn. And Carthamus oxycantha Stapf. Vegetation of River Ravi, its basin and embankments: During the monsoon period from July to October, the river assumes a violent appearance and brings down a lot of silt which raises its bed. As the water recedes during the winter months, a characteristic flora comprising of water loving herbs and sedges and species of higher altitudes and colder regions, is met with River. On these muddy flats. Ricinus communis Linn., Anagallis arvensis Linn., Equisetum debile Linn., Marsilea minuta Linn., Ranunculus sceleratus Linn., Lathyrus aphaca Linn., Melilotus indica All., Veronica anagallis-aquatica Linn., Salvia plebeia R.Br., Mazus japonicus Kuntze, Polygonum plebejum R.Br., Conyza ambigua DC., Cyperus compressus Linn., Pulicaria crispa Schultz-Bip, Gnaphalium indicum Linn., G. luteo-album Linn. and Cyperus rotundus Linn. are the most species. Flora of ponds, lakes, marshes and its neighborhood: The common habitats of the hydrophytes in the area are the Bein, Basantar, Dek nala, temporary ponds, natural ponds and dirty water pools. The following associations are recognizable: 1. Attached Floating Aquatic Association Composed of Marsilea minuta Linn., Nymphaea nouchali Burm. F. and Ipomoea rapens Poir. 2. Attached Emergent Aquatic Association includes Typha angustata Chaub and Bory Eleocharis palustris R.Br. and Ipomoea cornea Jacq. 3. Free Floating Aquatic Association. This association is represented by ferns like Azolla pinnata R.Br. and angiosperms like Lemna paucicostata Hegel., Wolffia sp., Trapa bispinosa Roxb. and Ecichornia crassipes Solms. These met during the months of July-November. Ruderal Formations: This characteristic ruderal flora occurs in open places where the soil is disturbed from time to time, in fallow fields, along trails and roads, waste places, in and near

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Z. Khan & A.A. Sardar

settlements, old garden sites and cultivated lands. All such man made habitats are very susceptible to invasion of a weed flora which quickly occupies such areas unless they may properly care for. 1. Roadside Weeds. Commonly includes. Xanthium strumium Linn., Laggera aurita Sch.-Bip., Blumea lacera DC., Carthamus oxyacantha Bieb., Solanum surattense Burm.F., Cannabis sativa Linn., Chenopodium ambrosioides Linn., Amaranthus spinosus Linn., Euphorbia prostrate Ait., Argemone maxicana Linn., Parthenium hysterophorus Linn., Cnicus arvensis Linn. And Convolvulus pleuricaulis Linn. 2. Weeds of Cultivation. About two third of the total area of the region is under cultivation. A number of weeds, unintentionally introduced together with the seedlings of cultivated plants, grow on cultivated soil. (a) The typical weeds associated with the rainy season are Digera arvensis Forsk., Solanum surattense Burm. F., Artemisia scoparia Waldst. and Kit., Portulaca oleracea Linn., Convolvulus arvensis Linn., Eleusine verticillata Roxb. and Echinochloa sp. (b) The common weeds associated with the cold season crops are: Fumaria indica Pugsley, Lathyrus odoratus Linn., Coronopus didymus Sm., Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers., Lepidium sativum Linn., Stellaria media Vill., Melilotus indica All., Vicia faba Linn., Lathyrus aphaca Linn., Sonchus arvensis Linn., S. oleraceus Linn., Anagallis arvensis Linn., Asphodelus tenuifolius Cav., Lolium temulentum Linn., Galium aparine Linn. and Stellaria media (Linn.) Vill. CULTURAL PLANT COMMUNITIES Food crops. The total area of Shakargarh is 312915 acres, of which 238315 acres are available for cultivation. The agricultural year of the Shakargarh includes two complete seasons. i. Kharif or rainy season, when a climate of tropical characters develops. The pure or mixed crops are often grown with the several edible legumes. The important ones are: Zea mays Linn., Sorghum vulgare Pers., Crotalaria juncea Linn., Phaseolus mungo Linn., Capsicum annuum Linn., Oryza sativa Linn. and Phaseolus aureus Roxb., Saccharum officinarum and Perisetum typhoides stap & C.E. Hub. Rabi season lasts from October to April. The important field crops of this season are: Triticum aestivum Linn., Hordeum vulgare Linn., Pisum sativum Linn., Brassica compestris Prain, Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn., Linum usitatissimum Linn., Cicer arietinum Linn., Lens esculenta Moench. and Eruca sativa Mill. Vegetables Crops. A number of vegetable crops including the common ones are: Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Anethum graveolens Linn., Daucus carota Linn., Coriandrum sativum Linn., Raphanus sativus Linn., Brassica rapa Linn. B. oleracea var. capitata Linn., Pisum stivum Linn., B.oleracea var. botrytis Linn., Spinacia oleracea Linn. and Allium cepa Linn. During the summer months of April-June the principal crops of the family Cucurbitaceae grown especially along the sandy banks of river Ravi. These fruits ripen in June. The common ones are listed below: Momordica charatntia Linn., Cucumis melo Linn., C. sativus Linn., Citrullus vulgaris Schard., Cucurbita maxima Linn., C. pepo Linn. and Luffa aegyptica Linn. Fruit plantations. In Shakargarh orange and mango orchards were grown by the big farmers before 1947. However Muslim refuges from India were not interested in orchards and there were replaced with cultivation. The common fruit plants include: Mangifera indica Linn., Psidium guajava Linn., Syzygium cumini Skeels, Morus alba Linn., Morus nigra Linn., Punica granatum Linn., Citrus aurantium Linn., Musa paradisiaca Linn. and Zizyphus jujuba (Linn.) H. Karst. Plants of the Graveyards: For the Muslims the graveyards are the sacred place, therefore the vegetation of graveyards remained undisturbed and plants include Butea frondosa are Adhatoda vasica and Parthenium hysterophorus Linn. is a common weed found in graveyards.

Flora of Shakargarh

Z. Khan & A.A. Sardar


Introduced ornamental plants: The common roadside trees are Populus euphratica Linn., Cassia fistula Linn., Eucalyptus Sps., Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. and Acacia modesta Wall. While a number of cultivated, exotics ornamental hedge plants, trees and shrubs have been introduced in lawns, parks and gardens. They included Lantana camara Moldenke, Pongamia glabra Vent., Melia azedarach Linn., Bauhinia variegeta Linn., Eucalyptus citriodora Hook., Cassia fistula Linn., Syzygium cumini Skeels and Cycas revoluta Thumb. The common hedges are Lantana camara Linn., Nerium indicum Mill., Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. and Acacia modesta Wall. The common climbers and creepers in the private and public place and park include Quisqualis indica Linn., Bougainvillea spectabilis Willd., Ipomoea palmata Forssk. and Antigonon leptopus Hook and Arn. On the basis of the list of plants reported in the present study area, it was noticed that number of species per genus is much lower than the global average, showing a high diversity at the generic level. The natural flora is under intense biotic pressure and is under threat due to over population. Protected places such as parks and garden are the only place where severe plants are flourishing. There is need to save the species for the future. References Ahmed S. 1954. Grasses and Sedges of Lahore District. Department of Botany, University of the Punjab, Lahore Pakistan. Ali S.I. and Y.J. Nasir. (Eds). 1990-1992. Flora of Pakistan. Nos. 191-193. Department of Botany, University of Karachi and National Herbarium, PARC, Islamabad, Pakistan. Ali S.I. and M. Qaiser. (Eds.) 1992-2007. Flora of Pakistan. Nos 194-208. Department of Botany, University of Karachi and National Herbarium, PARC, Islamabad, Pakistan. Bamber C.J. 1915. Plants of the Punjab. Government printing, Punjab Lahore, Pakistan. Chaudhary S.A. 1969. Flora in Lyalpur and the Adjacent Canal Colony Districts. West Pakistan Agricultural University Lyalpur. Hooker J.D. 1872-1897. Flora of British India. 7 vols. Reeve, London. Kayship S.R. and A.C. Joshi. 1936. Lahore District Flora. University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Nasir E. and S.I. Ali. (Eds.) 1970-1989. Flora of Pakistan. Nos 1-190. National Herbarium, PARC, Islamabad and Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Pakistan. Parker R.N. 1956. A Forest Flora for the Punjab with Hazara and Delhi. Government Printing, West Pakistan.

(Received December 20, 2007; Revised January 10, 2008)


A contribution to the flora of tehsil Shakargarh, district Narowal, pakistan

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A contribution to the flora of tehsil Shakargarh, district Narowal, pakistan