Floristic Diversity of the Himalaya in Relation to Climate Change: Status, Values and Conservation


  • S. S. Samant Director, Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Conifer Campus, Panthaghati – 171 013, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India



Indian Himalayan region, floristic diversity, orchids, medicinal and wild edible, factors, climate change, conservation initiatives


The Himalayan region is very well known for the unique ecosystems. The
Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) forms the major part of the Himalayan
region. The vegetation along an altitudinal gradient comprises of tropical,
sub-tropical, temperate, sub-alpine and alpine types and supports a great
variety of forests with unique species that vary from east to west and from low
to high altitudes. The present study is based on the review of literature and
surveys in some parts of the IHR. A total of 10,503 species (10,452 species
of Angiosperms and 51 species of Gymnosperms) are reported from the
Himalayan region. The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) represents 18,940
species of plants representing Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Pteridophytes,
Bryophytes, Lichens, and Fungi. A total of 6745 species of Angiosperms (604
trees, 1049 shrubs & 5092 herbs) belonging to 225 families, 1768 genera are
recorded from the Trans, North-West and West Himalaya based on surveys
and review of literature. Diversity of the orchids, medicinal plants, wild edi-
bles, other economically important plants, factors affecting floristic diversity,
impact of climate change and conservation initiatives have been discussed.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

S. S. Samant, Director, Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Conifer Campus, Panthaghati – 171 013, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

S. S. Samant is Ph.D. and D.Sc. from Kumaun University, Nainital. He dis-
covered new species, new hybrid, species new to India; new to Western
Himalaya and Kumaun Himalaya; developed an integrated approach for
floristic diversity assessment; State of art approaches for extraction trends
of fuel and fodder resources; threat categorization; and prioritization; imple-
mented in protected, unprotected and Hydro – Electric Project areas of Trans,
North Western and Western Himalaya; Developed Environment Management
Framework for Satluj Basin; Data base on Medicinal, Wild Edible, Essential
Oil Yielding and Sacred Plants and Orchids; Documented information on
HBRs and data base on NDBR for UNESCO MAB net recognition; Assessed
ecosystem services of agro-ecosystems and Sacred Groves; Populations of
threatened species, developed Ecological Niche Models; Established and
maintained Arboretum and Herbal Garden at Kosi-Katarmal and Arbore-
tum, MPs Nursery, Rural Technology Park and Herbal Garden in Himachal
Pradesh; Agrotechniques of 26 MPs documented; Pollination Deficit Pro-
tocol for Apple tested, distributed 109 Apis cerana boxes and apiculture
equipment to 99 farmers for conservation; Citizen Science Programmes (19)
organized; Prepared PBRs for 45 BMCs; installed Manual Weather Stations
in 22 Schools for awareness; Trained 10,000 stakeholders, guided 27 students for Ph.D. and published >330 Papers, Articles, Books, Booklets and Bio-
sphere Reserves (Biannual Bulletin). He is the Elected Fellow of National
Academy of Sciences (FNASc), Allahabad and Elected Fellow of the Society
of Ethnobotanists (FSE); recipient of Prof. P. N. Mehra Memorial Young
Scientist Award; Prof. S. P. Vij Memorial Award; ICFRE, Dehradun Forest
Conservation Award; SEED Award; Award of Excellence; Green Mapple
Foundation Award; Care Himalaya Award; Rajbhasha Shield and Certificate,
etc.; Expert Member of various National, Regional and State Committees and
Life Member of various Societies.


Atkinson, E.T. (1982). The Himalayan Gazetteer, Vol. I – III. Cosmo

Publication, New Delhi.

Chatterjee, D. (1939). Studies on the endemic flora of India and Burma. J.

Royal Asiat. Soc. Beng. 5: 19–67.

Floristic Diversity of the Himalaya in Relation to Climate Change 49

Devi, Kaushalya, Samant, S. S., Puri, S. & Lal, M. (2019). Diversity, struc-

ture and regeneration pattern of tree communities in Kanawar Wildlife

Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, North Western Himalaya, India. Indian

Journal of Ecology, 46(1), 94–103.

Dhar, U., Rawal, R.S. & Samant, S.S. (1997). Structural diversity and

representativeness of forest vegetation in a protected area of Kumaun

Himalaya, India. Implications for conservation. Biodiversity & Conser-

vation, 6, 1045–1062.

IUCN (2003). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, Glands,

Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Joshi, H.C. & Samant, S.S. (2004). Assessment of forest vegetation and con-

servation priorities of communities in a part of Nanda Devi Biosphere

Reserve, West Himalaya. Part 1. International Journal of Sustainable

Development & World Ecology, 11(3), 326–336.

Joshi, H.C. & Samant, S.S. (2014). Change in structural and compositional

diversity with altitude: a study from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

(NDBR), West Himalaya, India. Indian Journal of Forestry, 37(2),


Lal, M. & Samant, S. S. (2019). Compositional and structural diversity of

forest vegetation in Kai Wildlife Sanctuary, North Western Himalaya:

Conservation implications. Journal of Biodiversity, 10(1–2), 1–14.

Lal, M. & Samant, S. S. (2020). New distributional records of the Himalayan

Yew in North Western Himalaya, India – a consequence of climate

change. Indian Forester, 146(12), 1077–1082.

Mittermeier, R.A., Gil, P.L., Hoffman, M., Pilgrim, J., Brooks, T., Mit-

termeier, C.G., Lamoreux, J. & Fonseca, G.A.B.D. (2004). Hotspots

Revisited: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial

Ecoregions, Conservation International, Washington.

Mathur, V.B., Kathayat, J.S. & Rath, D.P. (2000). Envis Bulletin: Wildlife

and Protected Areas Vol. 3(1). Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

Myers, N., Mittermeir, R.A., Mittermeir, C.G., Fonseca, G.A.B. & Kent, J.

(2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature, 403,


Naithani, H. B. (2020). Floristic diversity of North East India. Director,

Rain Forest Research Institute (Indian Council of Forestry Research and

Education), Jorhat, Assam. P. 182.

Nayar, M.P. and Sastry, A.R.K. (1987, 1988 and 1990). Red Data Book of

Indian Plants, Vol. I–III. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.

S. S. Samant

Pangtey, Y.P.S., Samant, S.S. & Rawat, G.S. (1991). Orchids of Kumaun

Himalaya. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun. P. 193.

Pant, S. & Samant, S.S. (2012). Diversity and regeneration status of tree

species in Khokhan Wildlife Sanctuary, North Western Himalaya. Trop-

ical Ecology, 53(3), 317–331.

Rana, M.S. & Samant, S.S. (2010). Threat Categorization and Conserva-

tion of Floristic Diversity in the Indian Himalayan Region: A State

of Art Approach from Manali Wildlife Sanctuary. Journal of Nature

Conservation, 18, 159–168.

Rana, M.S. & Samant, S.S. (2009). Prioritization of habitats and commu-

nities for conservation in the Indian Himalayan Region: a state-of-the-

art approach from Manali Wildlife Sanctuary. Current Science, 97(3):


Rana, S. K. & Rawat, G. S. (2017). Database of Himalayan Plants

Based on Published Floras During a Century. Data 7, 2, 36;


Rodger, W.A. & Panwar, W.S. (1988). Planning a wildlife protected area

network in India. Vols. 1 and 2. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

Samant, S.S. (1999). Diversity, nativity and endemism of vascular plants in a

part of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in west Himalaya I. Himalayan

Biosphere Reserves (Biannual Bulletin), 1(1&2), 1–28.

Samant, S.S. (2015). Assessment, Valuation and Conservation Prioritization

of Floristic Diversity in Trans, North Western and Western Himalaya. D.

Sc. Thesis, Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand.

Samant, S.S. & Dhar, U. 1997. Diversity, endemism and economic poten-

tial of wild edible plants of Indian Himalaya. International Journal of

Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 4, 179–191.

Samant, S.S. & Joshi, H.C. 2004. Floristic diversity, community patterns and

changes of vegetation in Nanda Devi National Park. In: Biodiversity

Monitoring Expedition Nanda Devi 2003. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal

Singh, Dehradun. pp. 39–54.

Samant, S.S. & Palni, L.M.S. (2000). Diversity, distribution and indigenous

uses of essential oil yielding plants of Indian Himalayan Region. Journal

of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Science, 22, 671–687.

Samant, S.S. & Pant, S. (2003). Diversity, distribution pattern and traditional

knowledge of sacred plants in Indian Himalayan Region. Indian Journal

of Forestry, 26(3), 201–213.

Floristic Diversity of the Himalaya in Relation to Climate Change 51

Samant, S.S., Dhar, U. & Palni, L.M.S. 1998a. Medicinal plants of

Indian Himalaya: Diversity, Distribution, Potential Values. Gyanodaya

Prakashan, Nainital.

Samant, S.S., Dhar, U. & Rawal, R.S. 1998b. Biodiversity status of a pro-

tected area of West Himalaya-1. Askot Wildlife Sanctuary. International

Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 5, 193–203.

Samant, S.S., Joshi, H.C & Arya, S.C. 2002. Studies on the structure, com-

position and changes of vegetation in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve of

west Himalaya. In Biosphere Reserves in India and their Management

(eds. J.K. Sharma, P.S. Easa, C. Mohanan, N. Sasidharan and R.K. Rai).

Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi and Kerala Forest

Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala. pp. 133–139.

Samant, S. S., Butola, J. S. & Lal, M. (2008). Agrotechniques of the

commercially viable medicinal plants in the Indian Himalayan Region.

GBPIHED, Himachal Unit, Mohal-Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.

Samant, S.S., Palni, L.M.S. & Pandey, S. 2012. Cold Desert Biosphere

Reserve–Trans Himalaya, India. In Compendium on Indian Biosphere

Reserves; Progression During two Decades of Conservation (eds.

L.M.S. Palni, R.S. Rawal, R.K. Rai and S.V. Reddy). Ministry of

Environment and Forests, New Delhi and GBPIHED, Kosi-Katarmal,

Almora. pp. 169–177.

Sharma, Lipika & Samant, S. S. (2019). Prioritization of habitats and com-

munities for conservation in Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve, Trans

Himalaya, India. Ecological Research, 34, 509–523.

Singh D.K. & Hajra, P.K. (1996). Floristic diversity. In: G.S. Gujral, V

Sharma (eds.): Changing Perspectives of Biodiversity Status in the

Himalaya. New Delhi: British Council, pp. 23–38.

Singh, A. & Samant, S.S. (2010). Conservation prioritization of habitats

and forest communities in the Lahaul valley of proposed Cold Desert

Biosphere Reserve, North Western Himalaya, India. Applied Ecology &

Environmental Research, 8(2), 101–117.

Singh, A. & Samant, S.S. (2020). Population and Community Structure

Pattern of Juniperus polycarpos K. Koch with Climate Change Effect

in the Cold Desert Trans Himalayan Region, India. Arid Ecosystem,

(82), 21–32.

Ved, D.K., Kinhal, G.A., Ravikumar, K., Prabhakaran, V., Ghate, U., Vijaya

Shankar, R. & Indresha, J.H. (2003). Conservation assessment and man-

agement prioritization for the medicinal plants of Jammu and Kashmir,

S. S. Samant

Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. Foundation for Revitalisation of

Local Health Traditions, Bangalore, India.

Ved, D.K., Kinhal, G.A., Ravikumar, K., Vijaya Shankar, R. & Haridasan,

K. (2005). Conservation assessment and management prioritization

(CAMP) for the wild medicinal plants of North-East India. Medicinal

Plants Conservation, 11, 40–44




How to Cite

Samant, S. S. (2021). Floristic Diversity of the Himalaya in Relation to Climate Change: Status, Values and Conservation. Journal of Graphic Era University, 9(1), 31–54.