Performance of seedlings of various life forms on landslide-damaged forest sites in Central Himalaya.
Growth performance of 6 plant species of early successional communities was studied on 3 landslide damaged sites of varying ages (3, 6 and 8 yr old), in the Kumaun Himalayan region, Uttar Pradesh, India. The 6 species were equally divided among trees (Alnus nepalensis, Populus ciliata), shrubs (Crataegus crenulata, Desmodium tilaefolium [D. tiliaefolium]), and herbs (Bidens biternata, Pennisetum clandestinum). Of these, 2 species were nodule forming (Alnus nepalensis and Desmodium tilaefolium). The results indicated that a suitable species mixture around A. nepalensis can be developed to hasten the revegetation process on bare sites. A. nepalensis is suggested as the principal species for revegetation, not only because its seedlings have maximum dry mass and maximum litterfall nutrients, but also because it can nurse other species by providing nitrogen from the root nodules, an important contribution both to natural succession and to artificial revegetation. Location of safe and suitable microsites on the damaged sites would also hasten the process of revegetation.