Abstract

Phylogenetic Diversity and Composition of Plant Communities in the Semi- Arid Area of District Karak, KP, Pakistan

Phylogenetic information has been used to determine the co-occurrence and evolutionary relation among the plant species in the plant communities. Phylogenetic studies provide an important tool to assign conservation value to the plant species. Keeping in view the importance of vegetation especially in semi-arid areas, we assessed the phylogenetic structure of plant communities for the conservation of plant communities of District Karak. We surveyed three different plant communities in Southeastern part of District Karak in Pakistan. We used phylogenetic information to compute phylogenetic diversity (PD) of all the plant species in local communities. We computed the standardized effect size of phylogenetic diversity to measure the species diversity among the different communities. Our study revealed positive values of the standardized effect size in the first and second communities indicated the tendency of higher species diversity in the communities while negative values in the third community indicated that there is tendency of less species diversity. We also observed linear correlation between species richness and phylogenetic diversity. We came to the conclusion that high phylogenetic diversity among the studied communities is the result of weak competitive exclusion due to stochastic factors such as recruitment limitations, dispersal limitations and environmental heterogeneity.


Author(s): Zulqarnain, Zia Ul Islam, Zain Ullah, Rehman Ullah, Laiq Zaman, Faizan Ullah, Tahir Iqbal and Farhad Ullah

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