Maling bamboo (Yushania maling) overdominance alters forest structure and composition in Khangchendzonga Landscape, Eastern himalaya.
The Khangchendzonga Landscape (KL), a part of 'Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot', is known for its unique biodiversity assemblage. In recent years, the KL is experiencing threats to biodiversity due to the biological overdominance of native Maling bamboo (Yushania maling). In the present study, we investigated the impacts of the overdominance of Y. maling on the forest composition of Singalila National Park (SNP), Eastern Himalaya, India. Elevational habitats 2400 to 3400 m asl were sampled by laying 69 (10 m × 10 m) forest plots including 51 bamboo plots and 18 non-bamboo plots. Bamboo plots showed significantly (p < 0.05) low species richness and density in both shrub and herb layers which further manifested the low seedling density. Generalized Additive Model (GAM) estimated a significant (p < 0.0001) decline in species richness and density with increasing bamboo density in SNP. Our study projects the overdominance of Y. maling has a significant negative impact on forest structure and composition. Therefore, management of invasiveness of Y. maling is essential through its optimized removal from the protected areas and utilization in making handicrafts, paper industries etc. to create ecological and economic benefits. Further long-term studies assessing the impacts of Y. maling overdominance on forest ecosystems and soil dynamics are recommended.