Plant Species Suitable for Direct Human Use (Medicine and Wild Food) and Ecosystem Conservation In Adi Arkay Wereda, Amhara Region, Ethiopia: Ethnobotanical Approach

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Addis Ababa University


This ethnobotanical study on useful plant species known as medicinal and wild food for the community as well as their role in ecosystem conservation was carried out in Adi Arkay Wereda, Amhara Region, Ethiopia in 2020. The ethnobotanical data was collected from a total of 60 informants sampled from 6 study sites. Field observation, semi-structured interview, and group discussion methods were employed to collect ethnobotanical data and ranking methods including preference ranking, paired comparison, and direct matrix ranking were used to analyze the data. A total of 94 species of useful plants belonging to 86 genera and 54 families were found and of these 73 were recorded as medicinal plant species belonging to 69 genera and 44 families, and 46 of them used to treat only human, 11 of them used to treat only livestock and 16 of them used for both according to the informants. There was high preference for Zingiber officinale for treating stomachache in humans while Maesa lanceolata was found to be the most preferred species for treating the problem of leeches in livestock by traditional healers. Herbs were the most used habit, accounting for 32.87%. The most frequently used plant parts were leaf, accounting for 41.04%. Most of the medicines, about 67.93%, were used in fresh condition. The most widely used method of preparation was squeezing, accounting for 17.33%. Most of the prepared remedies, about 35% were applied by drinking. Thirty wild plant species that belong to 20 families and 24 genera were used as food by the community. Most of the wild edible plants, about 57% of species were trees in their growth form. Fruit was found to be the most widely eaten plant part, accounting for 83.33%, and mostly taken as raw. The preference ranking shows that Diospyros mespiliformis was found to be the most preferred WEP on the basis of its sweet taste. There are also 48 plant species belonging to 27 families and 42 genera that are useful for the ecosystem. The preference ranking showed that Anogeissus leiocarpa is the most preferred species for the ecosystem on the basis of its capacity to adapt the environment. Paired comparison analysis showed that agricultural expansion was the major threat to the plant diversity. In order to protect destruction of plants as well as the ecosystems, the local community could be involved in conservation practice.



Adi Arkay, Anogeissus Leiocarpa, Cordia Africana, Ecosystem Conservation