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The ethnobotany and ecological status of Albizia coriaria Welw. ex Oliv. in Budondo Sub-county, eastern Uganda

Authors


  • Both authors declare no conflicts of interest

*E-mail: jtabuti@botany.mak.ac.ug

Abstract

Useful trees are believed to be threatened. However, most evidence about these concerns is anecdotal. The objectives of this study were to document uses of Albizia coriaria Welw. ex Oliv., local harvesting patterns, perceptions about the species population dynamics, as well as local attitudes to its conservation. A further objective was to determine its availability, distribution and population structure. The study was carried out using ethnobotanical and quantitative ecological methods. The species was found to be multipurpose and produced fourteen different products and services. The most frequently mentioned products were herbal medicines, sawn timber and wood for construction. Individuals of the species were sometimes felled to harvest wood. Community responses indicated that the species was rare and was declining in the area. The quantitative inventory supported this community view: the species had a low density (33 individuals, >5 cm diameter at breast height per ha) and a flat size class distribution with a calculated least-squares regression slope of −0.0357. The species population appeared to be threatened by clearing of land for crop agriculture, human population growth, logging and a poor attitude to its conservation. Respondents claimed that they were not interested in conserving it because they had a low appreciation of its true value; lacked land, propagation material and skills; or because the species was slow growing.

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