Ethnobotanical appreciation of three common tree species in Kaltungo, Nigeria - implications for conservation
Ethnobotanical knowledge has been in use across diverse cultures, but the lack of documentation of the ethnocultural uses of plants, constrains wide adoption of beneficial application of plants to meet the needs of people. This study was therefore focused on investigating the ethnobotanical practices, cultural values and uses of Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa and Tamarindus indica among the people of Kaltungo, Gombe State, Nigeria. A cross sectional survey was conducted in Yiri, Ture villages and Kaltungo metropolis all in Kaltungo Local Government Area from April to June 2017. Data was obtained from 116 structured questionnaires while the point centered method was used to determine species abundance in the study area. Species abundance was used as a proxy for public acceptance and conservation of the three tree species surveyed. Results indicate that species abundance varied with location reflecting the level of appreciation and protection of the species in each case. The result shows that P. biglobosa was the most abundant species in Kaltungo, T. indica in Ture and A. digitata in Yiri. The socio cultural and ethnobotanical appreciation of the three species was relatively similar across the three localities sampled. Our results emphasizes the utilitarian approach of humans to conservation, as each species was conserved because of its periodic returns to the locals by way of food, medicine and spiritual needs.
Keywords: Ethnobotany, Kaltungo, Species abundance, Indigenous knowledge, Conservation