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Lichen Biomass Burnt on Fuel Wood in Dwarahat Region, Kumaun Himalaya

Vijay Arya, Balwant Kumar

Abstract



In temperate villages of Uttarakhand, the Oak wood particularly Quercus leucotrichophora is preferred as fuel wood because Oaks have high intensity, hardness, rough bark and durability for fuel. Villagers of Dwarahat region of Kumaun Himalaya collect wooden logs from surrounding forests and use for many purposes for their day to day life. Five tree species viz., Quercus leucotrichophora Pinus roxburghii, Lyonia ovalifolia, Myrica esculenta and Rhododendron arboreum were found in the head loads. The wooden logs of these species are studded with different lichens such as Parmotrema, Everniastrum, Usnea and crustose forms. Lichens from 18 head loads of fuel wood were separated as foliose, fruticose and miscellaneous, and their dry weight was measured in the laboratory. It was estimated that an average of 0.390 ± 0.174 g lichens is burnt with about 30.8 ±11.9 kg head load of mixed fuel wood in the study area. Total lichen biomass burnt on fuelwood was estimated between 204.8 ± 16.2 g year-1 to 491.4 ± 41.7 g year-1 from six villages of Dwarahat region. The commercially useful lichens are being frequently burnt on fuel wood in the study area without expecting the threat they are facing. There is a need to conserve these economically potential lichens or else these lichens may be extinct due to such man-made activities in the future. Some important suggestions for conservation of these lichens have been provided in the present study.

Keywords


Conservation, Foliose, Fuel wood, Kumaun Himalaya, Lichen burnt, Lichen loss, Parmotrema, Wooden logs

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