Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 307–318 | Cite as

Ecological variables influencing the diversity and distribution of macrolichens colonizing Quercus leucotrichophora in Uttarakhand forest

  • Shashi Upadhyay
  • Arun K. Jugran
  • Yogesh Joshi
  • Renu Suyal
  • Ranbeer S. Rawal


Ecological variables play a significant role in determining the diversity and distribution of any living organism on earth. Lichens are not exceptional and are quite sensitive in comparison to other organisms; hence the present study focuses on the impact of ecological variables on the diversity and distribution of epiphytic macrolichens colonizing Quercus leucotrichophora across eight different sites (50 m × 50 m) in Thal Ke Dhar forest, Kumaun Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India. For sampling of macrolichens, 200 trees (25 trees from each site) of Q. leucotrichophora were selected from each site and five quadrats of 5 cm × 10 cm (1000 quadrats in totality) were drawn at the tree trunk. From all the sampled trees, a total of 54 species of epiphytic macrolichens belonging to 18 genera and five families were recorded. Various ecological variables, namely altitude, aspect, slope, diameter at breast height (DBH), and lopping percent (partial cutting of the twigs as disturbance), were also analyzed to investigate their influence on macrolichen species composition and distribution pattern in the study area. For the determination of relationships between these variables, statistical analysis, namely Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient, Polynomial regression analysis and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) were performed. Out of all variables, lopping was significantly correlated to species richness of epiphytic macrolichens (0.712*, p<0.05) and it was confirmed by Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient. Despite of having high anthropogenic pressure or impact through lopping, the maximum number of macrolichen species was recorded at elevation 2267 meter above sea level (m asl). The present study revealed that besides other ecological variables, lopping practices can act as a key parameter in controlling the diversity and distribution not only of epiphytic macrolichens but also of other life forms such as bryophytes, pteridophytes, insects, birds etc. and can be either negatively or positively correlated.


Conservation Epiphytic macrolichens Kumaun Himalaya Lopping Quercus Banj oak 


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Yogesh JOSHI would like to thank Head, Department of Botany, S.S.J. Campus Kumaun University, Almora - 263601 for providing laboratory facilities and G. B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora- 263643 (GBPI/IERP/16-17/16/175) for financial assistance. Other authors would like to thank Director, G. B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora-263643 and Lead-Botanical Garden (funded by MoEF&CC) for financial assistance. Authors are grateful to Dr. Ravindra K. Joshi, G.B.P.N.I.H.E.S.D., Kosi- Katarmal, Almora-263643, for enhancing the quality of figures.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lichenology laboratory, S.S.J. CampusKumaun UniversityAlmoraIndia
  2. 2.G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentGarhwal UnitSrinagarIndia
  3. 3.Biodiversity Conservation & Management, Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Group, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Kosi-KatarmalAlmoraIndia

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