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Keywords: Natural Sciences
Plants (Botany)
Specific topics in natural history
Specific parts of & systems in plants
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad Pakistan
Abstract: The present study was carried out to investigate floristic diversity, ethnobotanical profile and conservation status of important plant species of Kaghan Valley. The Valley is situated in the Northern Pakistan. It is 161 km long scenic wonderland with its towering Himalayan peaks, peaceful lakes, majestic glaciers and splashing water falls. The people are mostly poor, illiterate and are very much dependent upon plant resources. During the study 6 species of Bryophytes (6 families), 53 species of Pteridophytes (9 families), 12 species of Gymnosperms (4 families), and 775 species of Angiosperms (108 families), were collected, preserved and presented as checklist. The people of Kaghan Valley utilize 108 plant species as medicinal plants. Majority of these medicinal plants are used for multiple purposes. These include 91 species of Dicots, 09 species of Monocots, 06 species of Gymnosperms and 02 species of Pteridophytes. Among these ethnobotanically important plants, 27.77 % were found at risk regarding their conservation status. 2.77% were found critically endangered, 12.96 % endangered, 9.25 % vulnerable and 2.77 % near threatened. Seeds of 5 medicinal plants, i.e, Colchicum luteum, Hyoscymus niger, Aconitum heterophyllum, Geranium wallichii and Paeonia emodii, were collected from the wild and deposited at Forest Nursery Besian near Balakot as an ex-situ conservation effort. Medicinal plants and edible mushrooms are produced in bulk in Kaghan Valley and are considered as a fair source of income generation for local communities. Beside these, potatoes, peas, beans, maize, walnut and apple also yields good return. The floristic diversity of Kaghan Valley is threatened by the effects of natural and human impacts. Natural causes are hailstorm, drought, snowfall, thunderstorm and earthquake. Among the human causes, fuel wood consumption, illicit cutting for timber, encroachment on forest land, lopping for fodder, grazing, grass cutting, fires and tourism are important. For indigenous people in developing countries like Pakistan where exploitation of environment is necessary for survival, help is needed in constructing alternatives for sustainable development, in order to establish biodiversity conservation much profitable. Multiple uses of forests, development of agro-forestry, silviculture and sustainable exploitation of wild species are some of the alternatives that have been suggested to be considered as future strategy for the development of Kaghan Valley. This part of Himalayan region contains immense biological resources of benefit mankind.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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