Studies of postglacial vegetational history from the Kashmir valley - 1. Haigam lake
The Postglacial vegetational sequence revealed by the pollen diagrams constructed from the Haigam Lake, about 1,300 metres a.s.l., in the Kashmir Valley proper is divisible into eight vegetational stages.
The vegetational history begins with Ash-elmalder-oak-wood phase and is followed by a conifer-mixed wood phase. With the amelioration of climate, a broad-leaved-conifer mixed forest is established.
Probably in response to the worsening of climate or under the dual influence of climate and the biotic factor the oak-mixed wood declines and the pine woods are re-established.
Evidences of the origin and the progressive development of agriculture during the Postglacial period are very convincingly brought out by the pollen diagrams. The earliest forest clearances took place in the conifer-mixed woods. The paper also discusses the correspondence between the progressive development of agricultural activity and the historical and archaeological evidences obtained in the valley.
The pollen diagrams also present an interesting record of the occurrence of oaks, alder and elm in the valley proper which are absent from the valley today.