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Ethnobotany and Biodiversity Conservation in the Niger Delta, Nigeria

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Author(s): Rufus M. Ubom

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 310;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: communities | rural | Biodiversity | Niger Delta | conservation | ethnobotany | habitat diversity

ABSTRACT
A complimentary ethnobotanical uses of forest and homestead garden plant species in the Niger Delta are presented. A total of 339 plant species were identified in the forests and homestead gardens belonging to 88 families; all the species have at least, one reported use. Species with more uses are Elaeis guineensis (12), Raphia hookeri (12), Cocos nucifera (11) Irvingia gabonensis (11), Hevea brasiliensis (9), Lonchocarpus cyanescens (9), Pterocarpus santalinoides (9) and Dacryodes edulis (8). Ethnobotanical uses with more species include medicine (178/52%), fuel (107/31.6%), food/condiment (199/29.4%), timber (72/21.2%), fooder/feed (70/20.6%), commercial (58/17.1%), furniture (55/16.2%), fibre/cordage (55/16.2%), hometool (45/13.2%) and fence (38/11.2%). The presence o f commercial species (fruits, flavouring, beverages, thickeners, spices, timber) in the forests allows for the discussion of the importance of the lowland rainforests of Niger Delta and the suggestion that modern management technologies, if applied, could lead to cost effective conservation methods and sustainable production of animal food source, building materials for houses, economic and social benefits of the rural dwellers.
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