DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL STUDIES IN NEPAL: CURRENT STATUS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
This study aims to know the current status of various aspects of tree ring (dendrochronological) studies in Nepal and assess its future prospects. The first tree ring research in the country was carried out in 1970s, after which a steady progress is seen till date with only 56 tree ring studies reported in published and unpublished research reports, thesis and journal articles. Studies have covered some 15 tree species in which the most favored tree for the study has been Abies spectabilis and the most widely used parameter for analysis has been the ring width. The longest chronology for Nepal was build from Tsuga dumosa with 1,141 years that extended from 856 AD to 1996 AD. On climatic reconstruction, three studies were found that covered temperature from 1546 AD to 1991 AD. Past studies have covered areas like dendroclimatology, dendroecology, dendroarchaeology and stable isotopes in dendrochronology. By geographic coverage, 22 districts out of 75 in the country have been covered, and they are mostly from high altitudes. Recent dendroecological studies have revealed an upward shift of A. spectabilis at treeline as well as differential regeneration pattern of treeline forming species in east, central and western Nepal of Himalaya. When analyzed by participation, 50% of the total studies up to now were carried out by Nepali researchers, 29% by foreign researchers and 21% in joint endeavors. For future, a potential of application tree ring study in wider aspects including dendrohydrology, dendroentomology, geomorphology and glaciology with large spatial coverage of the country is seen.