Study explores mysteries of Kilimanjaro

Sep 12, 2006

Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest mountain with some intriguing mysteries that are just now being solved after more than 100 years of scientific study.

Andreas Hemp of Germany's Bayreuth University, who has conducted extensive research on Mount Kilimanjaro, says the forests of the Tanzanian mountain are unusual for two reasons. One is that there is no bamboo zone, unlike other East African mountains. Another is that it was thought there were only a few rare plants in the Kilimanjaro forests.

Hemp says the missing bamboo is caused by a lack of elephants, which are needed to create disturbances that encourage bamboo regeneration.

"There are elephants on the dry side of the mountain" says Hemp "but the valleys are too steep and deep for elephants to traverse to the wet side where the bamboo could grow."

He said rare plants were found in forest relicts in the deepest valleys of the cultivated lower areas, suggesting a rich forest flora once covered Mount Kilimanjaro. The plants include a forest tree more than 131 feet high that is new to science.

Hemp details his discoveries in the African Journal of Ecology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google made failed bid for Spotify

1 hour ago

Internet titan Google tried last year to buy streaming music service Spotify but backed off for reasons including a whopping price tag, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

1 hour ago

(AP)—Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said Tuesday.

Microsoft CEO sees 'bold' plan as 4Q tops Street

1 hour ago

(AP)—Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella painted an upbeat vision of the future Tuesday, saying that the next version of Windows will be unified across screens of all sizes and that two money-losing units—Nokia ...

Recommended for you

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

16 hours ago

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm ...

NASA maps Typhoon Matmo's Taiwan deluge

18 hours ago

When Typhoon Matmo crossed over the island nation of Taiwan it left tremendous amounts of rainfall in its wake. NASA used data from the TRMM satellite to calculate just how much rain fell over the nation.

User comments : 0