Assessment of Foliar Biochemicals in Tropical, Subtropical and Temperate Ecosystems of Lesser Himalayas

Dharmendra Singh, Sarnam Singh, Y.V.N. Krishnamurthy, V.R. Lakshmi


Biophysicochemical characteristics of forests influence the exchange of energy and material among organisms, and between cryosphere and biospheres. Present study analyses foliar nitrogen and lignin of dominant plant species and its distribution pattern across tropical, subtropical and temperate forests in Lesser Himalayas in Doon Valley based on 26 field samples plots of 0.1 ha using CHNS elemental analyser. Potentiality of foliar chemical assessment has also been investigated using Continuum removed spectral absorbance and band depth analysis of Analytical Spectral Device (ASD) based foliar spectral responses. The nitrogen and lignin concentrations varied from 9.70 to 35.50 mg g-1 and 215.00 to 435.00 mg g-1, respectively. Herbaceous species have more foliar nitrogen than tree species on weight/unit area basis. The species present in tropical ecosystem showed higher foliar nitrogen than temperate species. The mean foliar nitrogen of the tropical, subtropical and temperate species varied between 11.00 mg g-1 to 35.5 mg g-1, 11.2 mg g-1 to 32.9 mg g-1 and 9.7 mg g-1 to 17.7 mg g-1, respectively. The foliar lignin content is inversely related to the foliar nitrogen content in all cases. ANOVA analysis was insignificant along altitudinal gradient due to minor differences. Continuum removed spectral absorbance (CRSA) and band depth analyses of spectral responses for three dominant species from each ecosystem showed strong absorption/response by foliar nitrogen content in the spectral regions 536nm, 546nm, 560nm, 638nm, 680nm and 810nm and therefore, indicate potential for foliar nitrogen estimation and as an alternative to laboratory analyses.


Foliar Biochemical Characteristics; Lignin; Nitrogen; Band Depth Analyses.


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