Distribution Pattern of Vascular Plant Species of Mountains in Nepal and Their Fate Against Global Warming

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Biological Sciences


This study aims to find the altitudinal distribution pattern of vascular plant species reported from high mountain of Nepal (Manang) along the whole Himalayan elevation gradient, and evaluate their fate against climate change. Data was gathered from multiple sources, field investigations, literatures, and herbarium specimens. Altogether, 303 vascular plant species were reported from Manang. We used a published data to calculate distribution range of each species by interpolating between its upper and lower elevation limits. The relationship between elevation and species richness is elucidated by generalized linear model. The consequence of global warming upon Manang’s vascular plant species was estimated based on projected temperature change for next century and adiabatic lapse rate along the elevation gradient of the Himalayas. The vascular plant species richness has a unimodel relationship with elevation along the whole elevation gradient of Nepal as well as in three biogeographical regions of Nepal. Vascular plants of Manang are found distributed from low land Terai to high alpine regions of Nepal and their elevation distribution range varies from 200 to 4700 m. Out of 303 vascular plants of Manang, only seven species might be affected if temperature increase by 1.5°C, whereas at least 70 species will be affected with Received: 3 March 2015 Accepted: 17 July 2015 5°C temperature increased. However, the majority of species (233 species) have wider distribution range (greater than 1000 m) and more than 5°C temperature tolerance range, thus they are likely to be less affected from global warming by the end of 21st century.



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Journal of Mountain Science


At the time of publication, Suresh C. Subedi was affiliated with Florida International University.

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