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The bryophyte composition of the western side of Mt Kenya between 2,400 and 5,199 m was studied. Ninety-nine species were identified, 66 belonging to Bryopsida and 33 to Hepaticopsida. The greatest diversity in terms of species numbers and life forms comes from the montane forests where ideal conditibns of temperature, rainfall, humidity and altitude for bryophyte growth are found. This diversity decreases as altitude increases.
A brief study was carried out in South-West Mau region of the Mau Forest Complex in March 1993. The primary aim was to assess the importance of the tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax arboreus (A. Smith, 1827), to the local forest-dwelling people as a source of food and medicine and in their spiritual traditions, while investigating the effect of the human expoitation on hyrax population size. Interviewing the predominantly Okiek hunters also provided an opportunity to learn something of the ecology of this poorly understood species.
A list is presented, derived from published and unpublished accounts, of plant vernacular names and uses from the Pokot, Turkana and Marakwet peoples of north western Kenya. Uses are classified under medicinal, human food, human domestic use and livestock fodder. The knowledge and utilization of the flora is seen to be extensive, with 92% of the 888 species recorded having a vernacular name. About 46% of plants are used medicinally by at least one group of peoples, about 24% can be eaten by humans, about 23% are used for domestic purposes and 43% are eaten by domestic livestock.
Nakuru National Park is lacking an overall account of its vegetation. A floristic survey, using satellite images and ground diversity exploration, resulted in a detailed map of 24 vegetation types, which are briefly described in ten major edaphic and geomorphological habitats. Comments are made about the diversity of the stands in terms of species numbers and life forms, and upon the relationship between diversity and environment in this area.
The survey has also produced a comprehensive Plant Check List with over 575 vascular plant species for many of which a range of distribution within the Park has been given, referring to the described vegetation types. The most diverse flowering plant families are the Compositae (Asteraceae) with 40, the Gramineae (Poaceae) with 50 and Leguminosae with 57 (Caesalpinaceae 5, Mimosaceae 10, and Papilionaceae 42) species respectively. The most characteristic families of the Park are the Solanaceae and Malvaceae whose flora represents about 19% of that in East Africa. The Euphorbiaceae and Rubiaceae are under-represented in the Park.
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