Investigation on altitudinal diversity of corticolous lichens in Uluguru South and East Usambara mountains, Tanzania.

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University of Dar es Salaam
A study on the diversity of corticolous lichens and phorophyte preferences along an altitudinal gradient was carried out at Uluguru South and East Usambara mountain forests, Tanzania. The altitudinal range studied for both East Usambara and Uluguru South were 438- 1115 m and 2000- 2244 m above sea level (a.s.l), respectively. Lichens were collected opportunistically along altitudinal gradient and GPS readings were recorded after every new vegetation change within a belt of five meter width. The identification and taxonomy of collected lichens were done at Field Museum Chicago in USA using morphological and anatomical characters of lichen thalli, apothecia and ascospores in addition to chemistry. A total of 118 species of corticolous lichens were identified of which nineteen species are new records to Tanzania.Shannon Wiener diversity index was used to calculate the diversity and the results ranged from 1.09- 3.55 (East Usambara) and 0.69- 2.63 (Uluguru South). Results shows that species composition and diversity of corticolous lichens differed from low altitude to high altitude whereas the peaks were observed at slightly higher altitude than the mid for East Usambara (1100 m a.s.l) and at the intermediate altitude (2132 m a.s.l) for Uluguru South. One way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to compare the diversity of corticolous lichens for some of the fragments within East Usambara mountains, the difference was significant (p = 0.0345, F= 4.46, df =12 at 95% CI). Multiple comparison tests based on Tukey-Kramer test showed that Fragment 10 had significant higher lichen diversity than Fragment 3. The results for phorophyte specifity showed that lichens from the studied areas have low specificity index hence prefer several hosts for their growth.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QK583.T34P47)
Solar radiation, Ultraviolet radiation, Tanzania
Peter, A.(2013) Investigation on altitudinal diversity of corticolous lichens in Uluguru South and East Usambara mountains, Tanzania.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.