QUANTITATIVE DESCRIPTION AND FUTURE TRENDS OF HIGHLY DISTURBED FORESTS AROUND MUREE HILLS
Quantitative analysis of forest vegetation from highly disturbed sites around Murree Hills was conducted. The study revealed that in most of the stands regeneration was poor and less individuals recorded in large sized classes which was due to heavy cutting in throughout the area causing enormous loss in vegetation cover. The findings showed that pine trees had lower density and basal area in the disturbed sites i.e. lowest density (78 plants/hac) observed in Khanaspur area which was comprised of Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara community whereas the highest density recorded (156 plants/hac) located in Dunga gali comprised of Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana community. The basal area was found lowest (4.18m²/hac) from Kaseri Town, Pariata consisted of pure Pinus wallichiana while highest recorded basal area was from Khanaspur showing 33.93m²/hac comprised of Pinus wallichiana and Quercus baloot community. These values were considerably lower than least disturbed sites and no correlation was recorded among density, basal area and seedling density. Same was the case with soil variables. Overall seedlings were low i.e.01 to 40 seedlingshac-1. Seedling size classes show gaps in structure showing poor regeneration and recruitment. Gaps were also found in tree size classes showing cutting of trees. Large trees were low in number. Gaps in size class structure were due to cutting and over grazing and not due to regeneration failure. It is concluded that if human interference and over grazing are not reduced these forests will be vanished in future.