|Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
ethobotany, utror valleys, gabral valleys, district swat, dicotyledons, monocotyledons, gymnosperms, pteridophytes, fungi, algae, colchicum luteum, dioscorea deltoidea, bistorta amplexicaulis, caltha alba, valeriana jatamansii, viola biflora, viola canescens, polygonatum verticilatum, acorus calamus, podophyllum emodi, saussorea lappa, paeonia emodi, geranium wallichianum
Present studies were carried out to investigate ethno botanical profile, conservation status and plant diversity of Utror and Gabral. The twin valleys are located in the remote northwestern part of District Swat. The area is gifted with diverse and unique flora, as it is adjacent to the confluence point of Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakorum. The people are mostly poor, illiterate and depend upon plant resources for their domestic needs. The inhabitants of Utror and Gabral utilize 176 plant species for more than 42 domestic needs. These include 148 sp. of Dicotyledons (54 families), 14 sp. of Monocotyledons (5 families), 8 sp. of Gymnosperms (3 families), 3 sp. of Pteridophytes (2 families), 2 sp. of Fungi and 1 sp. of Algae (1 family each). Most of the plants are used for multiple purposes. Some plants arc also sold in the local markets, thus providing an additional source of income. Morels are collected as they provide a valuable source of income. Morels are sold in the markets of Mingora, Madyan and Kalam, from where they are exported abroad.
Over exploitation of plant resources combined with improper harvesting and post harvesting techniques have intensified pressure on ethnobotanically priced flora of the area. Present study revealed that 17.61 % of the total utility plants of Utror and Gabral valleys are threatened, of which 4.54% are Endangered, 5.68% Vulnerable, 4.54% Rare and 2.84%, Near Threatened. An ex-situ conservation effort was made by cultivating 18 threatened plant species of the project area in lower Swat on trial basis. Only 10 plant species viz. Bergenia ciliata, Dioscorea deltoidea. Bistorta amplexicaulis. Primula denticulate,. Valeriana jatamansii., Valeriana pyrolifolia,. Viola biflora. Viola canescens. Salvia lanata and Berberis lycium survived and acclimatized to new .habitat, while Colchicum luteum. Acorus calamus. Caltha alba, Podophyllum emodi. Polygonatum verticilatum, Aconitum heterophyllum. Paeonia emodi and Geranium wallichianum even failed to germinate. Seeds of 10 medicinal plants were also collected from the wild and deposited at PGRI Gene Bank, Islamabad.
During present study, 9 plant species of Bryophytes (5 families), 34 species of Pteridophytes (6 families), 10 species of Gymnosperms (3 families) and 610 plant species of Angiosperms (94 families) were collected, preserved and presented as checklist.
The study confirmed that the area possesses great potential for cultivation and sustainable harvesting of economically important plant resources. Species like Colchicum luteum, Dioscorea deltoidea, Bistorta amplexicaulis, Caltha alba, Valeriana jatamansii, Viola biflora, Viola canescens, Polygonatum verticilatum, Acorus calamus, Podophyllum emodi, Saussorea lappa, Paeonia emodi and Geranium wallichianum can be introduced as marginal crops in the area. Conservation status of Acorus calamus, Podophyllum emodi. Saussorea lappa. Polygonatum verticilatum, Paeonia emodi, Ephedra gerardiana, Bunium persicum and Berberis vulgaris indicate that these plant species need special attention before they are eroded genetically.