Location: Uzumara Forest Reserve, North Viphya Plateau

General Information

Quarter degree square: 1034C3

Country: Malawi

Habitat: Submontane evergreen forest, gully forest, protea grassland and bracken scrub.

Altitude range: 1600 - 1920 m

Annual rainfall:

Location (short): Forest Reserve on the North Viphya Plateau between the eastern escarpment of the Nyika and Lake Malawi.

Location (detailed):

Description

Copied from Dowsett-Lemaire in Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2): 37-38 (1989):

Most of the forest is in one block of 400 ha that spreads on the northeast slopes from a ridge at 1800-1920 m down to 1600 1700 m. The western edge is sharply defined along the rim of the plateau that overlooks the S. Rukuru valley. The drier south-southeast slopes have a few broad gullies of forest between open ridges of Protea grassland and bracken-briar.
With a 30-35 m tall canopy, and emergents to 45 m, the forest on the northeast slopes is fairly impressive and luxuriant. dominant emergents are Ficalhoa laurifolia and Ocotea usambarensis - as on the eastern Nyika - but Entandrophragma at this altitude is also conspicuous. Some Cryptocarya liebertiana and Cassipourea gummiflua reach the height of 35 m. Other frequent large trees include Chrysophyllum, Drypetes gerrardii, Grewia mildbraedii (to 25 m), Macaranga kilimandscharica, Neoboutonia macrocalyx and Polyscias. Ternstroemia polypetala occurs locally, often near streams. Epiphytic orchids are prominent on some tall trees along the ridge, and are almost as diverse as in the Misukus. Only one tree of Trichocladus goetzei was located (at 1900 m), and one of Schefflera umbellifera on the edge near microwave station.
Under gaps in the canopy medium-sized trees walls of creepers, and there are impenetrable thickets of sturdy shrubs 2-4 m tall. Anisotes nyassae, with its characteristic pale arching branches bearing aerial roots, is is best developed in the streambeds; Dracaena fragrans is gregarious on some slopes, also Alchornea hirtella in deeper shade. The softer Justicia asystasioides occurs in patches above the streambanks.
The forest on the southern slopes has a more continuous canopy and the undergrowth is usually sparse. Warneckea sansibarica subsp. buchananii, a medium-sized tree to 18 m is not uncommon on this side from the upper ridge (this tree was misplaced in Strychnos, Chapman 2231, p. 136 in Chapman & White 1970). Tufts of the gemmiferous Asplenium cf. zeyheri were discovered near the stream at 1650 m in the gully nearest to the fire-break: more material of this interesting species is needed.

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Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Malawi: Location details: Uzumara Forest Reserve, North Viphya Plateau.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/location-display.php?location_id=218, retrieved 19 November 2019

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