Gunung Gede National Park Introduction 1

Written by on March 24, 2012 in Java Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park with 0 Comments

Gunung Gede National Park Introduction 1


F L O R A Gunung Gede-Pangrango is covered with splendid mountain forest and at present it is one of the last mountain forests of the West Java where the forest is still relatively undisturbed.
The park is situated between approximately 1,000 m and 3,019 m
and it include sub-montane (1,000-1,500 m), montane (1,500-2,400 m)
and sub-alpine (above 2,400 m) vegetation.
The high forest between 1,400 and 2,400 m has a very mixed composition.
The canopy is about 30-40 m high with an abundant development
of laurels (Litsea spp.), oaks (Lithocarpus spp. and Quercus spp.) and chesnuts (Castanopsis spp.).
Emergents of this forest include the grand rasamala (Altingia excelsa)
and the conifers (Podocarpus imbricatus and Podocarpus neriifolius).
The Puspa (Schima walichii) is common in West-Java’s rainforest
and often conspicuous by its reddish flush
that at times colours the whole forest canopy.
At the attitude of about Kandang Badak, the saddle at 2,400 m between Gunung Gede and Pangrango, one enters the sub-alpine or elfin forest.
This forest has only one stratum of smallish trees and a ground layer.
Due to their better resistance against crater gases, Vaccinium varingiaefolium, Rhododendron retusum and Myrsine avenis
are more common close to the crater area
even a pure Vaccinium varingiaefolium forest has developed.
One of the characteristic plants of the top areas of these mountains
is the Javanese Edelweiss (Anaphalis javanica).
The forest ecosystems can be grouped into : * Sub – montane (1,000-1,500 m a.s.1.) * Montane (1,500-2,400 m a.s.1.) * Sub – alpine/elfin (+2,400 m a.s.1.) Sub-montane forest has the hoghest diversity of plant life
and is characterized by large trees forming a tall canopy 30-40 m above the ground.
There tree layers can be identified, whose dominant sspecies are respectively : 1. the huge rasamala (Altingia excelsa) which can exceed 60 m and the chestnut Castanopsis argentea;
2. Antidesma tetandrum and several laurels (Litsea spp.) (approx. 10-20 m); 3. The Shrubs Ardisia fuliginosa and Dichrea febrifuga (approx. 3-5 m). Besides a rich ground flora containing begonias and ferns, many species of epiphyte are found growing non-parasitically
on twigs and branches: predominantly orchids, lianas and herbs.
One of the most easy to indentify is the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus) : perched on trees its rosette of long ribbon-like leaves
can easily exceed 2 m in diameter.
Montane forest has a lower diversity of plants with noticeably fewer herb species than the sub-montane zone.
Common trees include pupsa (Schima walichii) which frequently gives a subtle red hue to the forest.
Also very noticeable are the conifers
Dacrycarpus imbricatus and Podacarpus neriifolius.
Mosses take over as the dominant epiphytes, being favoured by the cooler conditions of these cloud forests.
As one Climbs up into sub-alpine vegetation, diversity continues to decline. The zone is characterized by smaller trees, the dominant species of which is Vaccinium varingiaefolium.
Vegetation and rocks are profusely covered with “beardmoss”, actually, not a moss at all but the lichen Usnea.
Unique to this area is a grassland habitat dominated
by the tiny highland grass Isachne pangrangensis (named after the area), moss tussocks and clumps of the Javanese eidelweiss (Anaphalis javanica).
The eidelweiss is testament to the surprising fact
that many of the region’s high altitude plants have a close affinity
with those of the northern hemisphere.
These plant used the cooler conditions of the Eurasian mountain chains
to spread south-eastwards.
Other plants which may give Europeans a feeling of deja vu
are types of oak, buttercup, violet, strawberry and primrose.

PLACES OF INTEREST Even though famous as an historic biological/ecological research site, the park also has animportant role to play in recreation and ecotourism. Many activities, besides mountain climbing/hiking, can be enjoyed. Popular pursuits include taking in the natural scenery, observing wildlife, photography and camping.
1. Telaga Biru/The Blue Lake (1,575 m a.s.1.) Location: 1.5 km/15 minute walk from Cibodas Gate. The name derives from the presence of blue-green algae which colour the water. The observant visitor might weel be rewarded with views of the white-crowned fork tail (Enicurus leschenaulti), a striking pied bird which methodically searches streams and lake margins for food. The surrounding area is transitional from sub-montane to montane vegetation.
2. Cibeureum Waterfall (1,625 m a.s.1.) Location: 2.8 km/1 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. Not one but three waterfalls, formed from the Cikundul, Cidendeng, and Cibeureum rivers, cascade over a dramatic cliff. A red moss (Sphagnum gedeanum), endemic to the mountains of West Java, can be seen growing on the rocky outcrops. Many of the bast seen flying around come the nearby bat cave of Gua Lalay.
3. Hot Water Stream (2,150 m a.s.1.) Location: 5.3 km/2 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. The water temperature here can be as high as 75°C butdrops during times of rain. An algae, remarkably adapted both to hot water and to high sulphur levels, grows in the stream bed.
4. Kandang Batu/Rocky Area (2,220 m a.s.l.) Location: 5.6 km/2.5 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. As a result of the Gede eruptions rocks and boulders litter the area. Many fresh springs emerge here providing a good source of drinking water.
5. Kandang Badak/Rhino “Home” (2,400 m a.s.l.) Location: 7.8 km/3.5 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. The area is relatively flat, consisting of a saddle connecting the peaks of Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango. The vegetation is transitional from montane to sub-alpine.
6. Summit and Crater of Mount Gede (2,958 m a.s.l.) Location: 9.7 km/5 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. Three semi-active craters are grouped together: Lanang (male), Ratu (queen) and Wadon (female). Acid rocks, sulphur-rich gas emissions and an inhospitable climate create “tough” adverse conditions. In response, a fascinating plant community has developed including the fern (Selliguea feei), the ericaceous Vaccinium varingiaefolium and two species of rhododendron (Rhododendron retusum and R.javanicum).
7. Suryakencana Meadow (2,750 m. a.s.l.) Location: 11.8 km/6 hour walk from Cibodas Gate; 6.9 km/3.5 hour from Gunung Putri and 9 km/5 hour walk from Selabintana. The meadow, 50 ha in area, is situated between Mounts Gede and Gumuruh and is one of several well known sites within the park for the Javanese eidelweiss or “eternal flower”.
8. Mount Pangrango Summit (3,019 m a.s.l.) Location: 3 km/3 hour walk from Kandang Badak; 11 km/7 hour walk from Cibodas Gate. Mount Pangrango is less visited than Gede; the climb is much steeper and the summit more wooded. The peak, the tallest in the park, overlooks the small, 5 ha, high altitude Mandalawangi meadow.
9. Cibeureum Waterfall of Selabintana (900 m a.s.l) Location: 2.4 km/45 minute walk from Selabintana Gate. The waterfall is 35 m high, making it the highest waterfall in the National Park.
10. Sawer Waterfall (1,200 m a.s.l.) Location: 2 km/20 minute walk from Situgunung Gate. Fed by a large stream, this waterfall is notable as the one with the greatest flow and largest volume of water.
11. Camping Sites Two camping sites are available in the park: Gunung putri Site with room for 100 campers; Selabintana Site with room for 150 campers.

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