Solomon Kipkoech 1 , 2 , 4 , David Kimutai Melly 1 , 2 , 4 , Benjamin Watuma Muema 1 , 2 , 4 , Neng Wei 1 , 2 , 3 , Peris Kamau 4 , Paul Muigai Kirika 4 , Qingfeng Wang 1 , 2 , 3 , Guangwan Hu , 1 , 2 , 3
03 June 2020
The Aberdare Ranges Forest, located in the Central highlands of Kenya, is an isolated volcanic mountain in the East African Rift Valley with unique flora. Despite its refugial importance to rare and endemic plant species, the diversity of plants in the Aberdare Ranges Forest remains poorly understood. The checklist presented here is a collation of data obtained from multiple floristic surveys and from herbarium specimen collections from the forest. A total of 1260 vascular plants taxa representing 136 families, 613 genera, 67 subspecies and 63 varieties are documented. The ferns comprised 84 species, lycophytes seven, gymnosperms six and angiosperms were 1163 taxa. This represents 17.9% of the Kenyan taxa, 1.7% of the African taxa and 0.3% of all the vascular plants known in the world. A total of 18 taxa were endemic and 14 taxa were found to be threatened globally. The life form, voucher specimen(s), habitat and distribution range of each taxon and a brief analysis of taxa diversity is presented in this checklist. This is the first comprehensive inventory of vascular plants in the entire Aberdare Ranges, providing a solid basis for more sustainable management and improved conservation of this montane forest. The checklist is also an important contribution to the world checklist of plants required by the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.