J. Bio. Env. Sci.5(6), 258-266, December 2014
Karakoram Mountain Ranges exhibit complex taxonomic floral composition and has remained one of the mother sanctuaries for cultures. Centuries long folk wisdom among these self-reliant cultures got purified over generations. However, since 1950s, a drastic decline has been noticed (80% dependency in 1950s to 20% in 2013). Present survey was an attempt to assess and explore ethnobotanical insights with a focus on Berberis. A total of 373 people of different age and gender were interviewed. People use Berberis for medicinal purposes (n=351; 92.2%; SE±0.057), firewood (n=72; 19.3%; SE±37.375), commercial (n=9; 2.41%; SE±1.692), cultural (n=9; 2.41%), fodder (n=60; 16.08%; SE±11.474), fencing (n=71; 19.03%; SE±6.895) and grazing (n=373; 100%; SE±1.035). Data was analyzed using Pearson correlational coefficient, student t-test and descriptive statistical tools. There is a highly significant relationship (p< 0.000) between different age groups and ethnomedicinal uses of Berberis. Berberis population is on decline and unwise developmental activities are major cause of habitat loss (n=32, -30.77%). Berberis pseudumbellata subsp. gilgitica, an endemic plant species has become critically endangered.
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