Lichen Community Composition in Tawang District of Arunachal Pradesh, Tool for Long-Term Climate Change Monitoring

  • Rajesh Bajpai
  • Vertika Shukla
  • C. P. Singh
  • O. P. Tripathi
  • S. Nayaka
  • D. K. UpretiEmail author
Research Article


The lichen diversity in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India was studied in order to access the long-term effect of climate change in alpine regions of the area. The present study provides an enumeration of 122 species of lichens belonging to 47 genera and 24 families at five major sites of Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Out of 5 sites, Mangalam Gompa (HSP 3), PTSO Lake (HSP 2) and Nagula (HSP 1) are the three highest summit point (HSPs), which have been designated as permanent long-term monitoring sites under the Indian Space Research Organization programme for monitoring the effect of climate change on Himalayan alpine ecosystem while two adjoining additional localities Tawang and SeLa pass were also surveyed. Among 5 localities, the Tawang area has the maximum diversity of lichens represented by 48 species followed by HSP 3 with 41 species and 28 species each in both HSP 2 and HSP 1. The SeLa Pass is represented by occurrence of 26 species only. Lichen family Parmeliaceae is the dominant in the study area, belonging to 51 species followed by Cladoniaceae and Lecanoraceae with 16 and 7 species, respectively. Any alteration in the substratum as well as growth forms of baseline lichen species in near future may help us to predict the habitat shift/composition of species in the area. The biomonitoring procedure could be further standardized and used as part of an environmental monitoring programme in near future.


Alpine regions Climate change Diversity Lichens Northeastern Himalaya 



The authors would like to thank to Director, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute Lucknow, India for providing laboratory facilities to work (OLP-083). The authors RB and VS would like to thank to the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi (DST-SERB) for awarding Young Scientist fellowship (SR/FTP/ES-30/2013) and (SR/FTP/ES-39/2013) respectively. They are also thankful to Space Applications Centre (ISRO) for assistance (GAP 3329).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajesh Bajpai
    • 1
  • Vertika Shukla
    • 1
  • C. P. Singh
    • 2
  • O. P. Tripathi
    • 3
  • S. Nayaka
    • 1
  • D. K. Upreti
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Lichenology Laboratory, Plant Diversity Systematics and Herbarium DivisionCSIR-National Botanical Research InstituteLucknowIndia
  2. 2.AED/BPSG/EPSASpace Applications Centre (ISRO)AhmedabadIndia
  3. 3.Department of ForestryNERISTNirjuli, ItanagarIndia

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