Vegetation Ecology and Soil of Bhandarkhal Forest at Pashupati Area, Kathmandu

  • R. Ghimire Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, GPO Box 3323, Kathmandu
  • D. Bhuju Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, GPO Box 3323, Kathmandu
  • S. R. Maharjan Khwopa College, Tribhuvan Universty Affiliate, Chyamasingh, Bhaktapur-1

Abstract

Increased human pressure and urbanization has led into the formation of forest islands in the Kathmandu valley. Bhandarkhal forest (area: 6.75 ha), situated in the eastern part of Pashupati area represents a typical such forest Kathmandu. The sandy loam soil in the forest is described as characteristic of lacustrine sediments. The soil was slightly acidic with pH 5.4, and contained organic matter 6.3%, nitrogen 0.29%, phosphorous 821 kg/ha, and potassium 1171 kg/ha. Over 35 species were recorded at the tree stratum (>4m height). The most frequently seen trees at the stratum were Zizyphus incurva, Stralzvaesia nussia, Ilex excelsa and Persea duthiei. At the shrub stratum (1-4m height), the most frequently occurring shrub species were Clredertdron viscosum, Sarcococca coriacea, Xylosma controversum and Murraya exotica. The ground coverage of the forest was above 70% in average except in some few places. The most frequently occurring species at the ground stratum (<1 m height) were Oplismenus burmamzii, Leucas cephalotes, Achyranthes bidentata and Burleria cristata. The study analyzes the plant community dynamics and the results are envisaged to be useful in conservation management of the forest islands encapsulated in human dominated landscape.