Community-level lichen diversity assessment in alpine zone of Indian Himalaya: Climate change implications

Bajpai R.,Singh C.P. & Upreti D.K.
In: Singh S.P., Reshi Z.A. & Joshi R. (eds.), Ecology of Himalayan Treeline Ecotone
p. 339–359, Springer, Cham
Lichens have prolonged history as excellent biomonitors of air pollutants and their responses are documented in climate change assessment. Lichen species composition within a community and change in composition are powerful tools to retrieve information about changes in climate, air quality and biological processes in the area. In this study, the composition of lichen communities in sub-alpine (3000–3500 m), moist alpine scrub (3500–4000 m) and dry alpine scrub (4000–4500 m) of Indian alpine Himalayan regions has been documented. A total of 18 bioindicator lichen communities are recorded which comprised 732 species under 148 genera and 47 families. Among different indicator communities, Parmelioid dominates the areas followed by Lecanorioid, Dimorphic and Physcioid communities represented by 185, 87, 71 and 64 species, respectively. It is assumed that Cyanophyceans are the most sensitive communities distributed at the middle range of altitude between 3000 and 4000 m in the studied areas. Furthermore, substratum and growth form also played a significant role in the assessment of varied environmental conditions. This study provides a baseline data about potential taxa having higher sensitivity to change in climate and which may exhibit migration, adaptation, and acclimation, in the near future. Keywords: Altitudinal range · Biomonitoring · Habitats · Indicator community · Lichen.
Monday, 26 February 2024 00:23