Online Courses (English)
This just in:

State PCS

Daily Updates

Biodiversity & Environment

Seabuckthorn Plantation in the Cold Desert

  • 15 Mar 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to start planting seabuckthorn in the cold desert areas of the state.

Key Points

  • About Seabuckthorn:
    • It’s a shrub which produces an orange-yellow coloured edible berry.
    • In India, it is found above the tree line in the Himalayan region, generally in dry areas such as the cold deserts of Ladakh and Spiti.
    • In Himachal Pradesh, it is locally called chharma and grows in the wild in Lahaul and Spiti and parts of Kinnaur.
    • A major part is covered by this plant in Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Seabuckthorn Plantation has many Ecological, Medicinal and Economical benefits.
    • Ecological Benefits:
      • Seabuckthorn is a soil-binding plant which prevents soil-erosion, checks siltation in rivers and helps preserve floral biodiversity.
      • In the Lahaul valley, where willow trees are dying in large numbers due to pest attack, this hardy shrub is a good alternative for protecting the local ecology.
      • Grows well in dry regions and becomes much more important especially in the light of reduced water flow from Himalayan glaciers.
    • Medicinal Benefits:
      • As a folk medicine, seabuckthorn has been widely used for treating stomach, heart and skin problems.
      • Its fruit and leaves are rich in vitamins, carotenoids and omega fatty acids and it can help troops in acclimatising to high-altitude.
      • In the last few decades, scientific research worldwide has backed many of its traditional uses.
    • Economical Benefits:
      • Seabuckthorn also has commercial value, as it is used in making juices, jams, nutritional capsules etc.
      • It is an important source of fuelwood and fodder.
      • However, wild Seabuckthorn cannot sustainably supply raw material to the industry, and the plant needs to be cultivated on a large scale as is being done in China.

Cold Desert in India

  • The Cold Desert of India is situated in the Himalayas and stretches from Ladakh in the north to Kinnaur (in the state of Himachal Pradesh) in the south.
  • The region has harsh climatic conditions such as very low rainfall and very high elevation (ranging from 3000 – 5000m Above Sea Level)] that adds to the coldness in its environment.
  • Blizzards, snowstorms and avalanches are common.
  • The soil is not very fertile and the climatic conditions allow very short growing seasons making it a bare landscape.
  • Water resources are minimal and comprise glacier-fed streams.

Tree Line

  • The tree line is the edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing. It is found at high elevations and high latitudes.
  • Beyond the tree line, trees cannot tolerate the environmental conditions (usually cold temperatures, extreme snowpack, or associated lack of available moisture).

Source: IE

SMS Alerts
 

Please login or register to view note list

close

Please login or register to list article as bookmarked

close
 

Please login or register to make your note

close

Please login or register to list article as progressed

close

Please login or register to list article as bookmarked

close