PRESENT STATUS AND SIZE CLASS STRUCTURE OF SOME CONIFER DOMINATING FORESTS FROM MOIST TEMPERATE AREA OF WESTERN HIMALAYAN AND HINDUKUSH REGION OF PAKISTAN
Size class structure of conifer dominating forests of moist temperate areas is presented in this paper. On different environmental gradients (elevation, slope and aspect) sampling were carried out at 41 stands by point centered quarter method. In moist temperate areas, conifers are dominant as compare to angiospermic trees. Five conifers and seven angiospermic trees were recorded during the study. Among conifers Pinus wallichiana occupied highest frequency found in 35 stands while Abies pindrow occurred in 27 stands with high importance value and density. Cedrus deodara is well tolerant in different climatic conditions, recorded from 22 sampling sites. Taxus fuana and Picea smithiana attained low frequency and density, recorded from 6 and 5 stands respectively. Angiospermic species associated with conifers attained very low density. Quercus incana, Quercus ilex, Pyrus pashia, Albizia chinensis, Juglans regia, Populus pamirica and Populus alba occurred in few sampled forests. Most of the forests showed uneven size class structure but some forests showed inverse J shaped size class distribution which showed ideal regeneration potential. Most of the forests were under threat due to high degree of anthropogenic disturbance i.e. illegal cutting and over grazing.