In: Sydowia 75, (2023): 129-138; ISSN 0082-0598, DOI 10.12905/0380.sydowia75-2023-0129, Published online on January 31, 2023
Abundance, diversity and distribution patterns of macrolichens for Long-Term Environmental Monitoring (LTEM) in the Chaudans Valley of Kailash Sacred Landscape, India
K. Bisht 1, S. Upadhyay 1,2,*, K. Chandra 3, K. Chandra Sekar 1, V. Kumar 4 & Y. Joshi 5,*
1 Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Management, G B Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment,
Kosi-Katarmal, Almora-263 643, Uttarakhand, India
2 Amity Institute of Global Warming and Ecological Studies, Amity University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Botany, Govt. P. G. College, Garhwal University, Devprayag, Uttarakhand, India
4 Department of Botany, University of Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India
5 Department of Botany, University of Rajasthan Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
* e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Bisht K., Upadhyay S., Chandra K., Chandra Sekar K., Kumar V. & Joshi Y. (2022) Abundance, diversity and distribution patterns
of macrolichens for Long-Term Environmental Monitoring (LTEM) in the Chaudans Valley of Kailash Sacred Landscape,
India. – Sydowia 75: 129-138.
Realizing the importance of long-term monitoring for the assessment of the environmental status of the Kailash Sacred
Landscape (KSL), an attempt has been made through assessing the abundance, diversity and distribution patterns of macrolichens
in the Chaudans Valley. Since lichens are considered as the indicators of forest health, it is reliable to study their abundance,
diversity and distribution patterns in a landscape for analyzing its environmental status. Macrolichens were studied in
eight 20 × 20 m stratified random quadrats within the altitude ranging from 2400–4000 m. The study revealed the occurrence of
2157 colonies of macrolichens represented by 14 families, 30 genera and 60 species. Woody component (bark of trees and fallen
twigs) was best for the macrolichen colonization in the study area supporting 1324 colonies followed by rock (574) and soil (259).
Umbilicaria indica was the most abundant species confined to rocks. Peltigera polydactylon showed a broad range of distribution
(2484–4071 m) due to its presence in all eight plots. Statistically, the relationship of altitude with species richness, number of
genera and number of colonies was significant. With increasing altitude the species richness of macrolichen in Chaudans Valley
Due to the diverse physiographic features of the landscape such a study further needs to be done in different regions preferably
in other valleys and watersheds to find out the environmental status of the whole landscape. Due to the very slow growth
rates of lichens it is recommended to monitor the same area for a period of about ten years for obtaining realistic results and draw
inferences about changes during this time span to predict the future scenario. The present paper provides baseline data regarding
the abundance, diversity and distribution patterns of macrolichens in the Chaudans Valley that can be monitored for long time
periods to detect the changes over time.
KSL is of great religious significance. The world famous Mt. Kailash and Manasarovara Lake are the main points of spiritual
and sacred values of this landscape due to which thousands of people visit this region every year from different parts of the world.
Chhota Kailash and Om Parwat are also of great religious significance in KSL. There is no doubt that KSL is spiritually sacred
but its environmental sacredness is also of great importance and there is an urgent need of carrying out studies through which
the environmental status of the region can be understood. The bioindicator and biomonitor roles of lichens can be helpful here.
If its environmental sacredness declines, sooner or later its spiritual sacredness will also be disappeared. So, there is an urgent
need to carry out such studies on the environmental status of the region and to take the necessary steps to protect its environmental
Keywords: lichens, Hindu Kush Himalaya, bioindication, biomonitoring.