Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 801-09, 2009.

 

 

 

Diversity, Distribution and Utilization Pattern of Economically Important Woody Plants Associated with Agro-Forestry in District Rajouri, J & K (Northwest Himalaya)

 

JawaidSarver1, Satish Kumar2, MahroofKhan2, MehjabeenAra1 and V.K. Anand2

 

1Centre for Biodiversity studies, School of Biosciences and Biotechnology

BGSBU, Rajouri

2Department of Botany University of Jammu

 

Issued01 June 2009

 

 

Abstract

The extensive explorations carried out in the study area enabled us to identify 60 woody plant species (47 trees and 13 shrubs) associated with the agroforstry system. These species belonged to 48 genera and were distributed among 30 families. Rosaceae (11 spp.), Rutaceae (5spp.), Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Mimosaceae, Moraceae and Pinaceae (3spp. each) were the species rich. Maximum species were found between the altitudes 1000-1800m. Forty seven species were used as fuel, 30 as medicine, 22 as edibles, 13 as fodder, 7 as timber, where as 4 species were used for making agriculture implements. Only one species was identified as rare, 14 species occasional and remaining were common.

Keywords: Agroforestry, Diversity, Utilization pattern and Conservation management.

Introduction

������ Himalayas one of the richest repositories of biodiversity, comprises of five bio-geographic zones, Trans, Northwest, West, Central and Eastern Himalaya (Rodgers and Panwar, 1988; Samant and Dhar, 1997), covering an area of 419873 km2 and considered as the repository of biological and cultural diversity. It supports about 18440 species of plants of which 25.3 % are endemic (Singh and Hajra, 1996; Samant et al. 1998). Himalayas are also known to provide the life support system to human beings, particularly due to the fact that on account of remoteness and inaccessible terrain, the local populace has largely depended on plants. The number of people in India who rely on forest products is assumed to be approximately 50 million (Shiva, 1993). The rural populace dwelling Himalayas is economically weak and most of the areas are not connected by roads. They use forests for grazing, firewood collection and numerous other subsistence needs (Kothari et al. 1989; Van Shaik et al. 1997; Sabarwal and Ranagarajan, 2003).Apart from the forests, the agroforestry systems are also very prominent throughout the Himalayas and are harnessed by the native communities for medicine, fruit, fuel, fodder, timber, fiber, etc. It is recognized as a means of meeting the needs of rural people for income, social and cultural benefits, while at the same time being sustainable. Moreover, it provides opportunity to integrate productivity and profitability with environmental stewardship and result in healthy and sustainable agricultural systems that can be passed on to future generations.

����� The agroforstry system include trees in farms, community forestry and a variety of local forest management and ethnoforestry practices (Pandey, 1998).These systems have been presented as a solution to rising fuelwood prices resulting from increase in demand and decrease in supply of fuelwood due to forest degradation (Bowonder et al. 1988). Although it is an important component of biodiversity of this region, very few studies have been taken to assess the diversity, distribution and economic importance of trees grown in agroforstry system. The present attempt has been made to study the diversity, distribution pattern, status and economic importance of the trees and shrubs growing in the agroforestry systems of District Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir (Northwest Himalaya).

Study Area

����� Spread over an area of 2630 km2 District Rajouri lies between 300 50/ to 330 30/ N Latitude and 740 to 740 10/ E longitude. The area is endowed with high mountain peaks and deep valleys with an altitudinal range from 400 to 4300 msl. District Rajouri is one of the hilly districts of J&K State, bounded by District Poonch in North, District Jammu in South, Reasi in East and Mirpur (Pakistan) in the West. The area has three regions i.e., the alpine, temperate and subtropical regions. The rural populace is economically weak and agriculture is their main occupation.

Material and Methods

����� The present study is based on the intensive field surveys conducted in the different parts of the District Rajouri during 2007 to 2009. Collection of plant species associated with agroforestry were made from all the seven tehsils viz Rajouri, Sunderbani, Nowshera, Kalakote, Budhal, Thannamandi and Dahral of district Rajouri. Almost all the tribal inhabited areas were explored and attempts were made to gather the information from the local inhabitants. The information was gathered either by taking interviews of the informants or as a witness of the use during the period of studies in the field. Informants were also requested to accompany in the field to detect plants. The information received on the uses of plant species were verified from 2 to 3 other persons apart from primary source. The specimen of plant species were collected, dried and used for making voucher specimen following conventional methods of drying and preservation. The specimens were identified using available floristic literature (Hooker, 1872-1897; Sharma and Kachroo, 1981; Swami and Gupta, 1998; Singh and Kachroo, 1994; Anonymous, 2002). The specimens were also compared with those lying in the Herbarium of Department of Botany, University of Jammu.

Results and Discussion

����� The study enabled us to record 60 plant species (trees (46 trees and 14 shrubs) belonging to 47 Genera and 32 families. Among the families, Rosaceae was the dominant family represented by 11 species followed by Rutaceae with 5 species. Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Mimosaceae, Moraceae and Pinaceae were represented by 3 species each. Caeselpinaceae, Fagaceae, Meliaceae and Ulmaceae contributed by 2 species each whereas 21 families were monotypic. Among the Genera Ficus, Prunus, and Citrus were species rich contributing 3 species each. List of plant species along with local name, altitudinal range, lifeform, status and economic importance is given in Table 1.

������ It has been found that the altitude zone 600-1800m was represented by maximum no. of agroforestry trees (41 species) and shrubs (8 species). The altitudinal zone 1800-3000m was represented by 27 species (20 trees and 7 shrubs). The representative species of zone 800- 1800m were Mangifera indica, Phoenix sylvestris, Bombax ceiba, Phyllanthus emblica, Ficus palmata, Punica granatum, Ziziphus jajuba, Grewia optiva, Citrus spp., Bauhinia variegata, Acacia catechu, Dalbergia sissoo etc. and zone 1801-3000m wasrepresented by Berberis lycium, Elaeagnus umbellata, Indigofera heterantha, Quercus floribunda, Aesculus indica, Cedrus deodara, Pinus wallichiana, Rosa brunonii, R. hoffmeisterianus, Prinsepia utilis, Pyrus pashia, Pyrus communis, Spiraea canescens and Celtis australis etc. It has been observed that the diversity of the agroforestry species decreased with the increasing altitude. High diversity of the species between altitudes of 800-1800m may be due to mild climatic conditions and diverse habitats supporting a wide range of trees and shrubs growing within the agroforestry systems, whereas low diversity in the higher altitudes may be due to severe climatic conditions not conducive for the germination and growth of the species.

����� Of the total species, 47 species are exploited for fuel, 30 species for medicine, 22 for fruit, 13 for fodder, 7 species for timber whereas agricultural implements are made from 4 species. Study also revealed that 13 species have multiple utility. The notable multiple utility species were Aesculus indica, Berberis lycium, Bombax ceiba, Cedrus deodara, Juglans regia, Grewia optiva, Punica granatum, Prunus armeniaca, Quercus leuchotrichophora, Ulmus wallichiana etc. Amongst the recorded species, only one species was rare, 14 species were occasional, whereas 45 species were common in the study area.

������ The interviews with knowledgeable persons indicated that the local inhabitants exploit some of the plant species for income generation also. The area is occupied by the horticultural species such as Punica granatum , Phyllanthus emblica, Juglans regia, Pyrus malus, P. communis, Prunus armeniaca, P. persica, Citrus spp. and Magnifera indica etc. having very high productivity and is one of the major source of income generation for the inhabitants. They are traded either in the local markets of the state or in the national market. Regular use of plant species of multiple utility may lead to rapid depletion of their population. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a proper mechanism for the utilization of such important plant species, so that their population can be maintained for posterity. Baseline information, such as that provided in this paper, on the useful species is essential to understand the population status of species growing in agroforestry systems in order to identify their economic and conservation value and thus develop strategies for conservation and management of economically important species that are under high anthropogenic pressure.

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the VC of BGSBU, Rajouri and Prof. A.K. Koul, Dean, School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, BGSBU, Rajouri for providing basic facilities and encouragement.

 

References

Anonymous. 2002. Flora of Jammu and Kashmir Botanical Survey of Inda, Culcutta.

Bowonder, B., Prasad, S. S. R. and Unni, N. V. M. 1988. Dynamics of fuelwood prices in India: Policy implications. World Dev. 16:1213�1229.

Hooker, J.D. 1872-1897. Flora of British India. Vol. I-VII. London.

Kothari, A., Pande, P., Singh, S. and Variava, D. 1989. Management of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in India: A status report. Indian Institute of Public Adminstration, Delhi, India.

Pandey, D. N. 1998. Ethnoforestry: Local Knowledge for SustainableForestry and Livelihood Security, Himanshu/AFN, New Delhi.

Rodgers, W.A. and Panwar, H.S. 1988. Planning Wildlife Protected Area Network in India. Vol. I. Dehradun: Wildlife Institute of India.

Saberwal, V. and Rangarajan, M. 2003. Battles over nature: Science and politics of conservation. New Delhi, India.

Samanat, S.S., Dhar, U. and Palni, L.M.S. 1998.Medicinal plants of Indian Himalayas: Diversity, distributionand potential values. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital.

Samant, S.S. and Dhar, U. 1997. Diversity, endemism and economic potential of wild edible plants of Indian Himalaya. Int. J. Sustain. Dev. World Ecol. 4: 179-91.

Sharma, B.M. and Kachroo, P. 1983. Flora of Jammu and plants of neighborhood. Dehradun.

Shiva, M.P. 1993. Solutions to over come impediments in forest development through MFP based management. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Minor Forest Products in Forestry, 17-18 April. Dhera Dun.

Singh, J.B. and Kachroo, P. 1994. Forest flora of Pir Panjal range (Northwest Himalaya. Bishen Singh and Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India.

Singh, D.K. and Hajra, K. 1996. Floristic diversity. In: G.S. Gujral and V. Sharma (eds.), Changing Perspectives of biodiversity status in the Himalayas, pp: 23-38. British Counsel Division, New Delhi.

Swami, A. and Gupta, B.K. 1998. Flora of Udhampur. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun, India.

Van Schaik, C.P., Terborgh, J. and Dugelby, B. 1997. The silent crisis: the state of rain forest nature preserves. In: R. Kramer, C. van Schaik and J. Jonson, (eds.), Last stand: protected area and defence of tropical biodiversity, pp: 64-89. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

 

Table 1. Plant species with economic importance.

 

�������������������� Taxa����

Local name

Altitude(msl)

Life form

Status

Economic importance

Acanthaceae��

 

 

 

 

 

Barleria cristata L.

Barankar

800-2000

Sh

Co

M,Fl

Anacardiaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Mangifera indica L.

Am

600-1300

T

Oc

Ed

Arecaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb.

Khajoor

600-1300

T

Oc

Ed,M

Asteraceae

 

 

 

 

 

Inula cuspidata Clarke

Manu

1200-2000

Sh

Co

M

Betulaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Alnus nitida (Spach) Endl.

Champ

1000-2800

T

Co

Fl, Fd

Berberidaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Berberis lycium Royle

Kamble

1800-2800

Sh

Co

M,Fl,Fd

Bombacaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Bombax ceiba L.

Simble

1000-1500

T

Oc

M,Ed,Fl,Fd,Tb

Caeselpiniaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Bauhinia variegata L.

Kachnar

Upto1900

T

Co

M, Fl

Bauhinia purpurea L.

Lal Kachnar

600-1800

T

Oc

Fl

Cupressaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Cupressus sempervirens L.

Saroo

1000-2000

T

Oc

Fl,Ag.tools

Ebenaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Diospyros lotus L.

 

1000-2000

T

Oc

M,Ed,Fl

Elaeagnaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb.

Kiyaan

1500-2800

T

Co

Ed,Fl

Euphorbiaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Phyllanthus emblica L.

Amla

600-1500

T

Co

M,Ed,Fl

Mallotus philippensis (Lam.) M�ll. Arg.

Kamela

600-1400

T

Co

M,Ed,Fl

Euphorbia royleana Boiss.

Thor

1000-1500

Sh

Oc

M,Fl

Fabaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. ex DC.

Tali

Upto 700

T

Co

M,Fl, Tb

Desmodium elegans DC.

SafedKhathi

1300-1500

Sh

Co

Fl

Indigofera heterantha Wall. ex Brandis

Khathi

1700-2500

Sh

Co

M, Fl

Fagaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus

Banj

1600-2700

T

Oc

M,Fl,Fd

Quercus floribunda Lindl. ex A. Camus

Maru

1600-2800

T

Co

Fl,Fd

Hippocastanaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Aesculus indica (Wall. ex Cambess.) Hook.

Goon

1800-2800

T

Oc

M, Fl

Linaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Reinwardtia indica Dumort.

Piyan

1200-2500

Sh

Co

M

Juglandaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Juglans regia L.

Akhrot

1000-3000

T

Co

M,Fd

Lythraceae

 

 

 

 

 

Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz

Dhai

800-1600

T

Co

Fl,Ag.tools

Mimosaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Acacia catechu (L. f.) Willd.

Khair

Upto 1000

T

Co

Fl

Acacia modesta Wall.

Farlai

Upto1000

T

Co

Fl

Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth.

Siris

Upto 1300

T

Co

Fl,Fd

Meliaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Azadirachta indica A. Juss.

Neem

Upto 1400

T

Co

M, Fl

Toona ciliata M. Roem.

Tunnu

1200-1500

T

Co

Fl,Fd

Moraceae

 

 

 

 

 

Ficus palmata Forssk.

Fagwara

1000-3000

T

Co

M, Ed

Ficus carica L.

Anjeer

1000-3000

T

Co

M,Ed,Fl

Ficus auriculata Lour.

 

1000-2000

T

Oc

Ed

Oleaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Olea cuspidata Wall. ex G. Don

Kahoo

2000-2500

T

Co

M,Fl

Pinaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex D. Don) G. Don

Diyaar

1500-2500

T

Co

Fl,Tb

Pinus roxburghii Sarg.

Chir

1400-2400

T

Co

Fl,Tb

Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jacks.

Kail

1800-3600

T

Co

Fl, Tb

Pistaciaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Pistacia integerrima J. Stewart

Kakersinghi

1200-2500

T

Co

M,Fl

Punicaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Punica granatum L.

Darooni

Upto 2000

T

Co

M,Fl,Ed

Rhamnaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Ziziphus jujuba Mill.

Berry

600-1400

T

Co

Ed

Rosaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Rosa brunonii Lindl.

Kareer

1700-2500

Sh

Co

M,Misc.

Rubus hoffmeisterianus Kunth & C. D.Bouch�

Khayari

1800-2800

Sh

Co

Ed, Misc.

Prinsepia utilis Royle

Rowari

1600-2800

Sh

Co

M, Ed, Misc.

Pyrus pashia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

Kainth

1100-2500

T

Co

Ed,Fl

Prunus persica (L.) Batsch

Aru

1000-2400

T

Co

Ed, Fl

Prunus armeniaca L.

Sarri

1000-2400

T

Co

Ed, Fl

Prunus bokhariensis Royle ex C. K. Schneid.

Alu Bokhara

1400-2200

T

Co

Ed, Fl

Pyrus communis L.

Nashpati

1000-2500

T

Co

Ed, Fl

Malus domestica Borkh.

Seb

1000-2500

T

Co

Ed,Fl

Rubus ellipticus Sm.

Peley Akhere

900-1500

Sh

Co

M,Ed,Fl,Fd

Spiraea canescens D. Don

Kathi

1700-2500

Sh

Co

Fl, Fd, Ag.tools

Rutaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.

Galgal

1000-1600

T

Co

M, Ed, Fl

Citrus aurantium L.

Nimbu

1000-1600

T

Co

M,Ed

Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck

Santra

700-1500

T

Oc

Ed, Fl

Bergera koenigii L.

Karipata

Upto 1000

T

Co

M, Fl, Misc.

Zanthoxylum armatum DC.���������������

Timbru

800-2000

Sh

R

M

Salicaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Salix alba L.

Willoo

1000-2000

T

Oc

Fl, Tb, Misc.

Tiliaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Grewia optiva J. R. Drumm. ex Burret

Taman

Upto 1700

T

Co

Fl,Fd, Misc.

Ulmaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Celtis australis L.

Kharik

1100-2500

T

Co

Fl, Misc.,

Ulmus wallichiana Planch.

Mannu

800-2200

T

Oc

Fl,Tb,Misc.,

Verbenaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Vitex negundo L.

Bana

Upto 1700

T

Co

M, Fd

 

Abbreviations used:Co= Common, Oc= Occasional, R= Rare, T=Tree, Sh= Shrub, M= Medicinal, Fd= Fodder, Fl= Fuel,

Ag.tools= Agriculture tools; Ed= Edible; Misc.=Miscellaneous; and Tb= Timber.