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Research articles

ScienceAsia 47 (2021): 78-85 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2021.007

Vegetation structure of wetlands in Eastern Himalayan Highlands of Gasa, Bhutan

Pema Tendara,b,*, Kitichate Sriditha

ABSTRACT:     The study was conducted on the unexplored wetland vegetation of the eastern Himalayan highlands of Gasa District, Northern Bhutan. A random quadrat sampling of 1 × 1 m2 method was used to assess the presence-absence of species, including shrubs, trees, mosses, ferns, and climbers, that were occurring adjacent to plots. Altogether, 201 taxa from 81 families, distributed in 149 genera, were recorded. Among the total species, 6 bryophytes, 20 monilophytes, 2 gymnosperms, and 173 angiosperms species were found. The most abundant life forms represented were herbaceous (62%) and shrub (29%), followed by tree (7%) and climber (2%). The four unique vegetation structure (represented in schematic profile diagrams) of habitats: fresh water meadow, seasonally flooded basin of flat, shallow fresh marsh, and poor fen, were found. The study suggests protecting ecotone (a transition zone between the wetland and surrounding uplands) as part of the measures to protect wetlands and their vegetation in the Himalayas.

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a Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90110 Thailand
b Department of Science, Chundu Armed Forces Public School, Ministry of Education, Haa 15004 Bhutan

* Corresponding author, E-mail: pematendar@gmail.com

Received 19 Mar 2020, Accepted 2 Nov 2020