571 pages, ccolour & b/w illustrations, 4 maps
Cold deserts are fragile ecosystems in the rain shadow regions of the Trans-Himalayan zone characterized by extreme low temperature, great diurnal fluctuations, scanty and erratic rainfail, and heavy snowfall. It covers only about 2% of the total land surface. The total area of cold desert is approximately 98,660 sq. km., of which about 82,665 sq. km can be found in Jammnu & Kashmir, about 15,000 sq. km. in Himachal Pradesh and nearly 1000 sq. km. in Uttarakhand. Specialized habits like cushion or mat forming plants, diminutive and bushy habits, plants with deep penetrating tap root systems, and the presence of thick and silvery hairy indumentums are some of the key adaptations to cold deserts. Flora of Cold Deserts of Western Himalaya, Volume 2 provides a detailed floristic account of 1268 taxa, which include Pteridophytes (22 species, 1 subspecies, 16 genera and 10 families), Gymnosperms (15 species, 1 variety, 6 genera and 3 families) and Angiosperms (1158 species, 29 subspecies, 41 varieties, one forma distributed under 384 genera and 72 families). Currently accepted names along with synonyms, detailed taxonomic descriptions, phenology, ecological notes and specimens examined are provided. This flora will be useful to botanists, ecologists, environmmentalists, foresters, agriculturists, students and teachers of botany, and people working on other aspects of plant sciences pertaining to this region.
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