The alpine vegetation distribution in the Greater Himalaya, Kashmir is preseted and its projected behavior under changing climate using LANDSAT TM (2002) and LANDSAT-8 (2014) data, mapped at 1:30000 scale and having spatial resolution of 30 m. The alpine vegetation in the region spans ∼2990 km2. SRTM DEM was used to delineate the spatial extents of the alpine landscapes (>2500 m asl). A total of nine land use classes which include Alpine pasture, Alpine scrubs, bare land, dense forest, exposed rocks, lakes, rivers, snow and sparse forest were identified in the area. The results reflect both positive and negative changes in all classes over time. Alpine pastures have increased 60.11 km2 followed by Alpine scrubs, which have increased by 54.70 km2. Exposed rocks have reduced to 29.22 km2, while sparse forests have diminished by 23.62 km2. Bare land has decreased by 14.64 km2 and snow has declined by 2.04 km2. Lakes in the area have shrunk by 0.84 km2 and river by 0.02 km. The overall observed results revealed that Alpine pastures have increased by 17% followed by Alpine scrubs to 15%. The future climate projections from Worldclim (RCP 8.5) and other environmental data used in the MaxEnt model suggest increase in the suitable habitat for the shrub species by the mid of 21st century.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Achard, F., Beuchle, R., Mayaux, P., Stibig, H.J., Bodart, C., Brink, A., et al. (2014) Determination of tropical deforestation rates and related carbon losses from 1990 to 2010. Global Change Biology, v.20(8), pp.2540–2554.
Agarwal, K.K. and Agrawal, G.K. (2005) A Genetic model of thrust bounded intermontane basin using scaled sandbox analogue models: An example from the Karewa Basin, Kashmir Himalayas, India. Internat. Jour. Earth Sci., v.94, pp.47–52.
Arshad, A. and Shahab, F. (2012) Land transformation analysis using remote sensing and GIS techniques (a case study). Jour. Geographic Information System, v.4(3), pp.229–236.
Anisimov, O.A., Vaughan, D.G., Callaghan, T.V., Furgal, C., Marchant, H., Prowse, T. D. and Walsh, J.E. (2007) Polar Regions (arctic and antarctic). Climate change, v.15, pp.653–685.
Aryal, A., Brunton, D., and Raubenheimer, D. (2014) Impact of climate change on human-wildlife-ecosystem interactions in the Trans-Himalaya region of Nepal. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, v.115(3), pp.517–529.
Bhutiyani M.R., Kale, V.S., and Pawar, N.J. (2010) Climate change and the precipitation variations in the northwestern Himalaya: 1866–2006. Internat. Jour. Climatology, v.30, pp.535.
Butchart, S.H., Walpole, M., Collen, B., Van Strien, A., Scharlemann, J.P., Almond, R. E., … and Carpenter, K.E. (2010). Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines. Science, v.328(5982), pp.1164–1168.
Engler, R., Randin, C.F., Vittoz, P., Czáka, T., Beniston, M., Zimmermann, N.E. and Guisan, A. (2009) Predicting future distributions of mountain plants under climate change: does dispersal capacity matter? Ecography, v.32(1), pp.34–45.
Hallinger, M. and Wilmking, M. (2011) No change without a cause-why climate change remains the most plausible reason for shrub growth dynamics in Scandinavia. New Phytologist, v.189(4), pp.902–908.
Hinzman, L.D., Bettez, N.D., Bolton, W.R., Chapin, F.S., Dyurgerov, M.B., Fastie, C.L. and Jensen, A.M. (2005) Evidence and implications of recent climate change in northern Alaska and other arctic regions. Climatic Change, v.72(3), pp.251–298.
Jaynes, E.T. (1957) Information theory and statistical mechanics. Physical Rev., v. 106(4), pp.620.
Mishra, A.K. and Rafiq, M. (2017) Analyzing snowfall variability over two locations in Kashmir, India in the context of warming climate. Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, v.79, pp.1–9.
Murtaza, K.O. and Romshoo, S.A. (2017). Recent glacier changes in the Kashmir alpine Himalayas, India. Geocarto Internat., v.32(2), pp.188–205.
Kullman, L. (2008) Early postglacial appearance of tree species in northern Scandinavia: review and perspective. Quaternary Sci. Rev., v.27(27), pp.2467–2472.
Löve, D. (1970) Subarctic and subalpine: where and what? Arctic and Alpine Res., v.2(1), pp.63–73.
Mani, M.S. (1978) Ecology and phytogeography of high altitude plants of the Northwest Himalaya. Chapman and Hall.
Panigrahy, S., Singh, C.P., Bhatt, N.B. and Parihar, J.S. (2015) Geospatial Methodology Towards Planning Adaptation/Mitigation Measures of Climate Change Impact on the Apple Orchards in India. In: Climate Change Modelling, Planning and Policy for Agriculture (79–86). Springer India.
Pearson, R.G., Phillips, S.J., Loranty, M.M., Beck, P.S., Damoulas, T., Knight, S.J. and Goetz, S.J. (2013) Shifts in Arctic vegetation and associated feedbacks under climate change. Nature Climate Change, v.3(7), pp.673–677.
Phillips, S.J., Anderson, R.P. and Schapiro, R.E. (2005) Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling, v. 190(3), pp.231–259.
Rafiq, M., Rashid, I. and Romshoo, S.A. (2012) Estimation and validation of remotely sensed land surface temperature in Kashmir valley. Jour. Himalayan Ecol. Sustain. Develop., v.9, pp.2014.
Rafiq, M., Rashid, I. and Romshoo, S.A. (2016a) Estimating land surface temperature and its lapse rate over Kashmir Valley Using MODIS Data. In: Geostatistical and geospatial approaches for the characterization of natural resources in the environment (pp. 723–728). Springer, Cham.
Rafiq, M. and Mishra, A. (2016b) Investigating changes in Himalayan glacier in warming environment: a case study of Kolahoi glacier. Environ. Earth Sci., v.75(23), pp.1469.
Rashid, I., Romshoo, S. A., and Vijayalakshmi, T. (2013). Geospatial modelling approach for identifying disturbance regimes and biodiversity rich areas in North Western Himalayas, India. Biodiversity and Conservation, v. 22(11), pp.2537–2566.
Rashid, I., Romshoo, S. A., Chaturvedi, R. K., Ravindranath, N. H., Sukumar, R., Jayaraman, M., … and Sharma, J. (2015) Projected climate change impacts on vegetation distribution over Kashmir Himalayas. Climatic Change, v.132(4), pp.601–613.
Raza, M., Ahmad, A., and Mohammad, A. (1978) The Valley of Kashmir: The land Vol 1. Vikas Publishing House Private.
Romshoo, S.A., Rafiq, M. and Rashid, I. (2018). Spatio-temporal variation of land surface temperature and temperature lapse rate over mountainous Kashmir Himalaya. Jour. Mountain Sci., v. 15(3), pp.563–576.
Shameem, S.A., Soni, P., and Bhat, G.A. (2010) Comparative study of herbaceous vegetation in lower Dachigam National Park, Kashmir Himalaya, India. Asian Jour. Plant Sci., v.9(6), pp.329–336.
Shrestha, B.B. and Jha, P.K. (2009) Habitat range of two alpine medicinal plants in a trans-Himalayan dry valley, Central Nepal. Jour. Mountain Sci., v.6(1), pp.66–77.
Valdiya, K.S. (2001) Himalaya: emergence and evolution. Univerities Press. Vishnu-Mittre, V. (1984) Floristic changes in the Himalaya (southern slopes) and Siwaliks from the Mid-Tertiary to Recent times. In: R.O. Whyte (Ed.), The evolution of the east Asian environment. Palaeobot., Palaeozoo. Palaeoanthrop.. Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, v.2, pp.483–503
I am thankful to the reviewers for providing valuable recommendations and remarks on the manuscript.
About this article
Cite this article
Bashir, S. Assessing Alpine Ecosystem Dynamics over the Great Himalayan Mountain Range, Kashmir: Earth Observation and Ecosystem Modeling. J Geol Soc India 97, 158–164 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12594-021-1647-9