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Ethnobotanical and ecological study of Myrtus communis (L.) in Bajaur agency (FATA) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Research Paper | July 1, 2017

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Kishwar Ali, Farman Ullah, Nasrullah Khan, Inayat Ur Rahman, Shariat Ullah, Waqar Khan, Murad Ali, Nisar Uddin, Mohammad Nisar

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.11( 1), 152-164, July 2017


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Myrtus communis L. is a bushy, aromatic, ever-green shrub, belongs to the family Myrtaceae, commonly found in Bajaur Agency (FATA) Pakistan. The plant has been acknowledged due to the presence of aromatic compounds in the essential oil. The IUCN red list identifies the plant as endangered. To understand the Ethnobotanical and ecological importance of the plant, a questionnaire survey was conducted to collect quantitative and qualitative information from randomly selected 120 local inhabitants of the Bajaur Agency. The results indicate that Myrtle is mostly used as a flavouring agent (46.81%) and as stomachic (10.90%). The plant use was also recorded for blood purification (0.45%), constipation (0.45%) and (31.11%) as herbal tea. We also report on the people perception of the plant conservation status. People consensus recorded clearly shows that Myrtle is mainly eradicated due to over exploitation by humans (42.96%) and if any patches remain conserved is due to inaccessibility to it (30.70%). Geo-references data of the species were collected to identify and extrapolate their present distribution in Bajaur Agency. Cluster analysis was performed to check any similarities in ecological niches of the stands. We conclude from the survey that the species population has been drastically reduced and is under severe anthropogenic pressures including extensive and uncontrolled use of the plant as ethnomedicinal drug and due to its great economic value. However, it is recommended that further investigation into their possible future niche modelling and conservation analysis shall be carried out to save this important plant from extinction in the wild.


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Ethnobotanical and ecological study of Myrtus communis (L.) in Bajaur agency (FATA) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

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