A geobotanical study of Ephedretum gerardianae in north central Nepal
Vegetation and soils of Ephedra gerardiana community in north central Nepal were studied. A new association Ephedretum gerardianae was proposed. It is a vegetation type representing phytogeocoenoses which developed in the arid climate of the rain shadow areas of the Great Himalaya, where more than 300 mm of annual water deficit occurred. Soils are strongly calcareous owing to restricted leaching and to the preponderant occurrence oflimestone parent materials. Cattle grazing which selectively removes palatable plants such as grasses appears to be one of the important factors promoting the Ephedra gerardiana community. The association thus seems to represent a disclimax vegetation of the arid regions along the Great Himalaya.