Traditional application of the plants, (fence and fuel wood), used in Leepa Valley, Muzaffarabad Azad Kashmir.
Leepa Valley (1600-4000 m asl 340 24' N and 730 48' E, Toposheet No. 43 F) is located in the Western Himalaya, Muzaffarabad Azad Kashmir. This region is a cold, dry and high wind exposed area of mountains, surrounding this valley. It is isolated from rest of the parts of state of Kashmir by huge peaks in all sides. Shamsa Bari Hills arcs the area from east to north and Qazi Nag Range covers the southern and western side of the investigated area (Leepa Valley). This unique fragmented habitat has varied climate, geology and ecological condition with its culture and traditions.
The isolated geographical features of investigated area combined with a lack of modern facilities and population pressure (23 villages with 40,000 populations) AJK. Glance, 2006) resulted in continued reliance on natural resources and indigenous knowledge for the fulfillment of their daily needs.
This paper presents field observations regarding the traditional application of the plants (fence and fuel wood) used by the people. Leepa Valley is least explored area in the field of wealth of wild plants and ethno botany in comparison to other area. Most of the work in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir has been conducted at the field of ethno botany and ethno medicines, mainly focusing on the uses of plants in ailments. Khan (2003), Shinwari and Khan (2000), Ahmad (2007), Ahmad & Hussain (2008), Hussain et al., (2008).
Materials and Methods
The present study was under taken in and around the villages of Leepa Valley. Field visits were made, during the year 2004-2007 for the collection of information on plant--people relationship. The information's were gathered by direct field observations and interviewing knowledgeable old villagers. Herbarium specimens were collected & identified by Flora of Pakistan (Nasir & Ali, 1971-1994 & Ali & Qaiser, 1995-2007).
A categorical list of plant species along with their scientific name (arranged alphabetically), family name and their usage as fence & fuel wood were enlisted.
The present study recorded 31 plants species belonging to 19 families under 27 genera, which are being used as fence and fuel wood. Among these 31 species, 17 species were trees and 14 species were shrub species. Out of nineteen families, gymnosperms were represented by two families were as the share of Angiosperms was seventeen families. The major contribution of fence and fuel wood species was represented by Pinaceae (5 species), followed by Rosaceae (4 species) & Fagaceae (3 species). Caprifoliaceae, Papilionaceae and Salicaceae were represented by two species each. Remaining thirteen families were represented by one plant species each. (Table-1)
Among 31 plant species, nineteen species were used as a source of fence. Species used fences are grouped into two categories, i.e. live fence and harvested fence. Ten species were used as hive fence and 12 plants species were used as fence after harvest. Similarly 26 species were used as fuel wood (Table--1). The common parts at the plants used for fuel & fence are branches and stem.
Fence is a structure made of wood or wire supported with posts that is put between two areas of land as a boundary, or around a garden yard, field etc. to keep animals in or to keep people and animals out (Oxford, 7th Ed). Fence plants play an important role in rural area in preventing livestock from entering crop fields. Plant species having thorn, species and branches are preferred for fencing. Some of these plants are grown around the field permanently as living fence. Some are harvested and temporarily placed as a barrier. These fences also help as a wind breaker. These are put around the cultivated fields to prevent entry of cattle (horses, goats, sheep, buffalos and cows) and even hens to avoid loss of vegetables or crops at sapling and seedling stages. Rosa macrophylla, Rubus fruticosus, Berberis lycium, Viburnum grandiflorum and Indegofera heterantha are used as living fence around the field. Whereas Viburnum grandiflorum, Spirea canescence, Cotoneaster roseus, Lonicera glabrata and Salix tetraspermum are harvested as a source of fence.
Fuel wood in Leepa Valley is used for cooking, warming and lightening purposes. The main supply of fuel wood is from Aesculus indica, Taxus wallichinana, Cedrus deodara, Pinus walliclinana, Abies pindrow, Picea smithiana, Betula utilis, Juglans regia and Acer ceasium. Some shrubs are used as fuel wood but occasionally, which are as Viburnum grandiflorum, Salix tertapermum, Cotoneaster roseus, Desmodium elegans and Indegofera heterantha.
The most preferred plant species used for fuel purposes are Taxus wallichinana, Aesculus indica, Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichinana because of their good burn. Juglans regia, Quercus spp, Picea smithiana, Betula utilis and Acer ceasium ranked second in the category of fuel wood.
Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichinana are used as lightening woody locally called "Dilli" for these purpose old parts of the trees and roots are used because of its high resin contents. The Oil/ resin of Dilli called "LOU" are used against snow burn and skin problems of livestock.
Huge amount of fuel wood from Taxus wallichinana Aesculus indica, Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichinana can be seen stored in houses for the months of November to April. These months are snowy and wood collection is not possible for the people due to snow fall. Storage of fuel wood is culturally important due to bad weather or insufficient resources and funds.
Wild plants are cheap and often plentiful but increased population has posed marlines threat to these tree species. One of very important factor which devastates this natural resource in geographically isolated mountainous topography of the investigated area, which increases the utility of these fuel wood species manifolds because the fuel gas and kerosene oil is not available to the inhabitants.
The local people of Leepa Valley collected the fuel wood from nearby forest; there is need of awareness among the people about the need of forest and its role in environment. Awareness programmes should be strengthened by the forest department, environmental ministry and NGOs which will be the first step wards the long term conservation of forest resources. Community forests should be established. It is concluded that emphasis should be on organized cultivation and reforestation in the area.
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Tariq Habib, Muhammad Qayyum Khan Muhammad Altaf Hussain
Department of Botany, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.
Corresponding Author: Muhammad Altaf Hussain, Department of Botany, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.
Table 1: Usage of plants as fence and fuel wood in Leepa Valley, Muzaffarabad S No. Name of Plant Family Species 1 Abies pindlow Royle Pinaceae 2 Acacia arabica Lim Mimosaceae 3 Acer ceasium Lindle Aceraceae 4 Aesculus indica Wall Hippocastanaceae (Hook) 5 Berberis lycium Berberidaceae Royle 6 Betula utilis D. Don Betulaceae 7 Cedrus deodara Roxb Pinaceae 8 Coltis eriocarpa Ulmaceae Decaisia 9 Cotoneaster roseus Rosaceae Edgen 10 Desmodium elegans Papilionaceae Lim 11 Diospyrus lotus Lim Ebenaceae 12 Elagnus umbellata Elagnaceae Thumb 13 Indegofera Papilionaceae heterantha Wall 14 Juglans regia Lim Juglandaceae 15 Juniperis communius Cuperaceae Wall 16 Lonicera hispidata Caprifoliceae Wall 17 Parratiapsis Hamameliaceae jacquementtina Dene 18 Picea smithiana Wall Pinaceae 19 Pinusw wallichinana Pinaceae AB Jackson 20 Pinus roxburghii Pinaceae Royle 21 Quercus incana Lim Fagaceae 22 Q. dilatata Lim Fagaceae 23 Q. semicarpifolia Fagaceae Lim 24 Rhododendron Ericaceae companulatum D. Don 25 Rosa macrophylla Rosaceae Lindle 26 Salix wallichinana Salicaceae Andern 27 S. tetraspermum Roxb Salicaceae 28 Spirea canescence D. Rosaceae Don 29 Viburnum Caprifoliaceae grandiflorum Wall ex Dc 30 Taxus wallichinana Taxaceae Zicc 31 Rubus fruticosis Rosaceae Linn S No. Name of Plant L. Fn H. Fn F. W Species 1 Abies pindlow Royle - + + 2 Acacia arabica Lim + + + 3 Acer ceasium Lindle - - + 4 Aesculus indica Wall - + + (Hook) 5 Berberis lycium + - + Royle 6 Betula utilis D. Don - - + 7 Cedrus deodara Roxb - - + 8 Coltis eriocarpa + - - Decaisia 9 Cotoneaster roseus + - + Edgen 10 Desmodium elegans + - + Lim 11 Diospyrus lotus Lim - + + 12 Elagnus umbellata - + - Thumb 13 Indegofera + + + heterantha Wall 14 Juglans regia Lim - - + 15 Juniperis communius - - + Wall 16 Lonicera hispidata + - + Wall 17 Parratiapsis - + - jacquementtina Dene 18 Picea smithiana Wall - + + 19 Pinusw wallichinana - + + AB Jackson 20 Pinus roxburghii - - + Royle 21 Quercus incana Lim - - + 22 Q. dilatata Lim - - + 23 Q. semicarpifolia - - + Lim 24 Rhododendron - - + companulatum D. Don 25 Rosa macrophylla + - - Lindle 26 Salix wallichinana + - + Andern 27 S. tetraspermum Roxb - + + 28 Spirea canescence D. - + - Don 29 Viburnum - + + grandiflorum Wall ex Dc 30 Taxus wallichinana - - + Zicc 31 Rubus fruticosis + - - Linn Key:- L. Fn = Live Fence H. Fn = Harvested Fence F. W = Fuel Wood
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|Title Annotation:||Original Articles|
|Author:||Habib, Tariq; Khan, Muhammad Qayyum; Hussain, Muhammad Altaf|
|Publication:||American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture|
|Date:||May 1, 2010|
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