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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Mount Mulanje Biosphere Reserve, which is the first in Malawi, is situated half way between the mountain chains and upland areas extending from the Ethiopian Highlands to South Africa. It has a rich biodiversity with a high level of endemism. The national tree of Malawi, the Mulanje cedar (Widdringtonia whytei) is very valuable in silviculture and for socio-economic development and its protection and sustainable use is of priority concern. There are three main ethnic groups and several minorities living in the area. The land-use activities are agriculture and pastoralism, selective logging and extraction of medicinal plants and other non-timber forest products, as well as ecotourism. The mountain also has a cultural significance since it is believed to be the host for ancestral sprits. These sites are now used as shrines or for traditional rites.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Montane evergreen forest including Widdringtonia whytei, Podocarpus latifolius, Aphloia theiformis etc.; dwarf montane forest, thicket and Ericaceous belt including Widdringtonia cupresoides (dwarf form of Mulanje cedar), Philippia benguellensis, Myrica pilulifera etc.; montane shrubland and grassland with shrubs such as Aloe mawii, Blaeria kivuensis, Crassula sarcocaulis etc.; submontane forest with Chrysophyllum gorungosanum, Newtonia buchananii, Myrianthus holstii etc.; fringing, mid-altidude forests with Newtonia buchananii, Albizia adianthifolia, Funtumia africana etc.; fringing low-altitude forests including Khaya anthotheca, Newtonia buchananii, Pericopsis angolensis etc.; Brachystegia woodland with Bequaertiodendron magalismontanum, Erythrophleum suaveolens, Ficus exasperata etc.
  Location   1550' to 1603'S; 3530' to 3547'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   45,130
  Core area(s)   16,540
  Buffer zone(s)   4,615
  Transition area(s) when given   23,975
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +3,002
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   Forestry Deparment, Government of Malawi
  Brief description   Geomorphological observations and weather data
Biological control of conifer aphids (using biological control agents)
Investigations of the presence and "heritability" of natural
resistance of Mulanje cedars against conifer aphid attacks
Growth monitoring of plantation trees on the mountain
Regeneration studies of the Mulanje cedar (Widdringtonia whytei)
Study of the current and potential value of non-timber forest
Community based management of natural resources
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Geomorphology, meteorology.
  Biodiversity   Forest systems, mountain and highland systems, natural resources, pests/diseases.
  Socio-economic   Forestry, local participation, monitoring methodologies, non-timber forest products/ntfp.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues.
  Contact address   K. Nyasulu

30048 Lilongwe 3
  Telephone   (265) 781 000
  Fax   (265) 781 812

Last updated: 16/05/2002

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