Dissertation: Lichens in Mountain Rainforests of Tanzania: Studies of Usnea and Calicioids
- Location: Zoom
- Doctoral student: Stella Gilbert Temu
- Organiser: Department of Organismal Biology
- Contact person: Stella Gilbert Temu
Stella Gilbert Temu defends her thesis Lichens in Mountain Rainforests of Tanzania: Studies of Usnea and Calicioids
Lichens occur in various habitats. They often have narrow niches and are sensitive to environmental changes leading to their use as bioindicators of environmental disturbances and conditions; air and heavy metal pollution, agricultural toxins, assessing forest continuity and drought tolerance. Lichenological studies in Africa, particularly in Tanzania, have been scarce, and those available have been mainly based on morphology and chemistry data. The aim of my doctorate was to investigate lichens, in particular Usnea and calicioid lichens in mountain rain forests in Tanzania, using both traditional and molecular approaches.
This thesis contributes to the knowledge of the lichens in Tanzania and Africa at large by building capacity in lichenology and its applications for future research. It provided integrated data for Usnea species from Africa, adding to the knowledge of this difficult group (only two sequences of Usnea from Africa have previously been published). It provided new information on calicioid lichens in Tanzania and by uncovering a rich diversity in both of the groups studied provided a foundation for further investigations of lichen biodiversity.