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Do informally managed sacred groves have higher richness and regeneration of medicinal plants than state-managed reserve forests?

Boraiah, K. T.; Vasudeva, R.; Bhagwat, Shonil A. and Kushalappa, C. G. (2003). Do informally managed sacred groves have higher richness and regeneration of medicinal plants than state-managed reserve forests? Current Science, 84(6) pp. 804–808.

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Abstract

Sacred groves are ‘traditionally managed’ forest patches that functionally link social life and forest management system of a region. It is believed that one of the prime utilities of sacred groves is the protection and occasional supply of medicinal plants. We assessed the regeneration among sacred groves of the central Western Ghats, India, and compared it with the ‘state-managed reserve forests’. Overall, nearly 60% of the regenerating species were medicinally important. The density of regenerating medicinal plants among sacred groves was almost twice as that of reserve forests. There were a higher number of seedlings (Class-II), saplings (Class-III) and poles (Class-IV) of medicinally important plants in sacred groves than among reserve forests. Further, we found that nearly 40% of medicinally important species were unique to sacred groves; in contrast, only 11% was unique to reserve forests. However, nearly equal proportions (29 vs 27%) of ‘non-medicinal plants’ were unique to sacred groves and to reserve forests. These results suggest that informal management systems such as sacred groves have not only conserved useful species, but people have tended to ‘discover’ medicinal values more often among plants unique to sacred groves, than those found in other landscapes. Perhaps, this typifies one preliminary step in medicinal-plant domestication.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2003 The Authors
ISSN: 0011-3891
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 37031
Depositing User: Shonil Bhagwat
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2013 08:58
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 14:23
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/37031
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