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1 February 2017 Integrating Ecological and Ethnobotanical Knowledge to Promote Collaborative Conservation Planning in the Nepal Himalaya
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Abstract

The Manaslu Conservation Area in north-central Nepal is considered a biodiversity hotspot, but very little is known about the ecology of its forests and its residents' ethnobotanical practices. This study integrated data from ecological sample plots in 19 forest patches and an ethnobotanical inventory conducted with village residents to explore spatial patterns of diversity in woody plant species and their local uses. The study identified a total of 155 woody plant species in 103 genera and 54 plant families. Local residents named 96% (149) of these species and cited 404 uses for them. The uses involving the greatest number of species were fuel (104) and fodder (54). Seven forest community types were identified: 2, blue pine and rhododendron, primarily below 2200 m, and 5 communities (mixed laurel, oak–laurel, mixed maple, oak–ash and kharsu oak) mostly above 2200 m. Among the forest community types, the oak–laurel forest, at 1–3 km from the study villages, had the highest number of species, species used by humans, and different uses. These research findings provide a first assessment of ecological diversity and ethnobotanical resources for the region and highlight concerns for forest resources and opportunities for collaborative conservation planning.

© 2017. Shrestha and Medley. This open access article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Please credit the authors and the full source.
Sushma Shrestha and Kimberly E. Medley "Integrating Ecological and Ethnobotanical Knowledge to Promote Collaborative Conservation Planning in the Nepal Himalaya," Mountain Research and Development 37(1), (1 February 2017). https://doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-15-00081.1
Received: 1 July 2016; Accepted: 1 November 2016; Published: 1 February 2017
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