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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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PhD Thesis

Distribution pattern, micro-site conditions, host tree characteristics and utilization of epiphytic orchids in the central Himalayas

Yagya Adhikari

This dissertation explored the relationships between distribution of epiphytic orchids in relation to habitat and host tree characteristics on a gradient of different land-use intensities in Kathmandu Valley to support development of conservation management approaches. Firstly, this thesis started with distribution pattern of Rhynchostylis retusa, the most common orchid species in urban areas. Secondly, the micro-site conditions of the epiphytic orchids in a human impact gradient in Kathmandu Valley were analyzed. Then different host trees and their characteristics under different land-use intensities were analyzed. Finally, all results and existing knowledge were used to develop conservation practices for epiphytic communities in tropics and subtropics. This is the first work to include different land-use types as habitats of epiphytes at a single site, compare different micro-site conditions of epiphytic orchids, and develop a management plan for protection of epiphytic community in tropics and subtropics.

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