Table of Contents
Journal of Ecosystems
Volume 2014, Article ID 249807, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/249807
Research Article

Population Structure and Curative Uses of Invasive Plants in and around the Protected Forests of Bangladesh: A Means of Utilization of Potential Invasive Species

Bangladesh Institute of Social Research (BISR), Hasina De Palace, House No. 6/14, Block No. A, Lalmatia, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh

Received 26 June 2013; Accepted 22 December 2013; Published 12 February 2014

Academic Editor: Henry M. Page

Copyright © 2014 Md. Habibur Rahman and Bishwajit Roy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Invasive plants were planted in Bangladesh to improve the stand stock quickly and meet the country’s rapidly growing demand for timber. Although invasive species have negative impacts on local ecosystems, but some species are useful too. Therefore, the present study was conducted in and around two protected forests of Bangladesh to assess the status, species diversity, and curative uses of invasive plants. A total of 60 sample plots were surveyed from 5 habitat types, for example, forest, roadside, homestead, fallow land, and others. Plants uses data were collected through interviews and focus group discussions. Study recorded 43 invasive medicinal plant species belonging to 28 families, of which Asteraceae constituted the highest family importance value (21.9). Among the habitat types, fallow land (32 species) and roadside (29 species) possess the highest number of species. Based on people’s perceptions, plants were categorized into three level of invasion: low (11 species), moderate (19 species), and high (13 species). The use of aerial plant parts was higher (68%) than the whole plant (17%). Consensus of local community’s (ICF) was high in managing gastrointestinal (0.65) followed by respiratory (0.60) diseases. A number of biological diversity indices were applied to quantify definite diversity. Therefore, a national programme must be initiated to increased invasive plant inventory, monitoring, and research on distinguishing the harmful from the harmless species and identifying the potential uses of invasive species.