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 (
Jawaid� Sarver1, Satish Kumar2, Mahroof� Khan2, Mehjabeen� Ara1 and V.K. Anand2
1Centre for Biodiversity studies,
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.
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).
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,
����� 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
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,
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 was� represented 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.
The authors are grateful
to the VC of BGSBU, Rajouri and Prof. A.K. Koul, Dean,
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Table 1. Plant species with economic importance.
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.