34. Study of human and environmental impacts on the growth of flora of Khanozai-Muslimbagh highway in Balochistan

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Muhammad Kamran Panizai, Saeed Ur Rehman Kakar


The area between Khanozai and Muslimbagh towns have variation in altitude, topography and vegetation but no study of the area has been carried out so far. This study was conducted to find out the impact of human activities (dust, grazing, urbanization and defecation) and environmental factors (underground water table, altitude and temperature) on the growth of wild flora. Initiating from vegetative profiling, 20 stands were taken at different points based on which 3 most dominant species of the area, Artemisia longifolia (Vernacular name: Tharkha), Peganum hermala (Vernacular name: spaanda) and Sophora mollis (Vernacular Name: Ghuraiza) were identified. For analyzing the impact of human factors, samples were taken near and away from chromite crushing plants, routes of herds, settlements and open defecation points in towns for dust, grazing, urbanization and defecation respectively. Findings revealed dust to be most lethal for plants. Dust from chromite refineries in the outskirts of Muslimbagh town causes thick layers of soil on surrounding plants and reduces the plant growth by 50%, at average. Smoke of automobiles was found to be least effective  growth but has major role on plant distribution along the roadside. Samples taken from herds’ route, defecation places and urban areas showed higher growth values due to lesser competition for resources among the plants. Moisture, sunlight and altitude found to pose mix effect on growth parameters and plants. Detailed phytosociological study of the area, transferring chromite plants away from human settlements and plantation of trees along the roadside are the steps recommended after the study.

Keywords: Artemisia longifolia, Khanozai, Muslim Bagh, Peganum hermala, Sophora mollis


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