Botanica Orientalis: Journal of Plant Science <p>The official journal of the Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.</p><p>Articles available in full text.</p> en-US © Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis (Dr Suresh K Ghimire) (Sioux Cumming) Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:49:05 +0000 OJS 60 Fuelwood resources and their use pattern by Bhotia community in Niti valley, Western Himalaya <p>The local communities of the Himalaya have been using fuel wood as one of the major sources of energy since millennia. Their dependency on these resources as primary source of fuel wood has resulted in unsustainable pressures on the forests. The present communication aims to access the fuel wood resource and consumption pattern of Bhotia, an ethnic community in a cold arid and buffer zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, i.e. Niti valley in the Western Himalaya. Within the Niti valley, 87 households in six villages were surveyed using open and close-ended structured questionnaire. Use Index (I%) of each fuel wood species was calculated to evaluate the key species used by the inhabitants and their preferences. The study revealed use of 10 species for fuel wood (five species each of tree and shrub) by the Bhotias. <em>Pinus wallichiana </em>(I = 96.6%) followed by <em>Cedrus deodara </em>(93.1%) were the preferred tree species for fuel wood, while among shrubs, <em>Juniperus indica </em>and <em>J. communis </em>were extensively used. Fuel wood consumption in the Niti valley was much lower (1.6±0.2 kg household-1 day-1) than other villages in the Greater Himalaya (4.9±0.4 kg household-1 day-1). The seasonally employed which formed 23% of the surveyed households, collected almost twice as much fuel wood than the employed households (9.2±0.4 and 5.2±0.4 quintals season-1, respectively). As the area is characterized by sparse vegetation cover, low primary productivity and short growing season, and is thus highly susceptible to irreversible changes of natural habitats. The study suggests that providing alternate and non-conventional energy sources such as solar cookers and fuel efficient portable ovens to the inhabitants at subsidized rates could reduce the pressure on nearby forests.</p><p> <strong>Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 1–6</p> Monideepa Mitra, Amit Kumar, B. S. Adhikari, G. S. Rawat Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Herbivory damage in native Alnus nepalensis and invasive Ageratina adenophora <p> There are numbers of invasive and naturalized alien species in Nepal but studies related to herbivory effects on such species are scarce. An issue of debate is whether invasive alien species get benefited by less herbivory damage in their introduced range. In this study, we investigated the level of herbivory damage in <em>Alnus nepalensis </em>in an area invaded by <em>Ageratina adenophora </em>in Nepal. The damage was compared between invasive <em>A. adenophora </em>and native <em>Alnus nepalensis. </em>Results showed that <em>A. adenophora </em>experienced lower level of leaf damage by herbivores than that of <em>A. nepalensis</em>. This indicated that the invasive <em>A. adenophora </em>might have benefited from reduced herbivory damage behind its successful invasion in Nepalese forest. Further studies are needed to confirm whether controlling of herbivores to lessen the damage in native <em>Alnus nepalensis </em>could enhance its competitive ability against <em>Ageratina adenophora </em>in native vegetation of Nepal.</p><p><strong>Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 7–11</p> Sujan Balami, Lal B Thapa Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Floodplain succession pattern along Budhi-Rapti River bank, Chitwan, Nepal <p class="Default"> Riverine floodplain is one of the most productive lowland ecosystems in Nepal. However, floodplain ecology is less understood due to its fluctuation. Budhi-Rapti River in Chitwan, central Nepal formed a floodplain along the Khorsor zone of Barandabhar corridor. This study was carried out to understand the floodplain ecosystem development after plant succession. The space for time substitution method of vegetation sampling was adopted in order to sample the floodplain created at different chronosequence. The floodplain that lies perpendicular to and 200 m away from the Budhi-Rapti river was sampled. Systematic sampling was done along two parallel transects, almost 200 m apart from each other. Sampling along the transect started right after 200 m away from the Budhi-River bank. Initial position of these transects towards Budhi-Rapti river was believed to be the youngest floodplain, which slowly getting older after passing away from the river. Abundance of vascular plant species was recorded in sample plots of 20 × 20 m each subdivided equally into 4 subplots (each of 100 m<sup>2</sup>). Along each transect, vegetation data was recorded from a series of 20 plots, placed 50 m apart from each other. Successional scores were calculated and utilized as environmental variables after applying non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (NMDS) through metaMDS. Total and life form (herbs, shrubs and trees) richness patterns were calculated. Altogether, 158 species of vascular plants under 60 families and 136 genera were recorded. Gramineae was the richest family followed by Leguminosae, Asteraceae and Cyperaceae. Total species richness showed significant negative correlation with the NMDS1 and NMDS2, which justified a convergent pattern of succession. Herb, orchid and shrub species richness also showed significant declining pattern with NMDS1. <em>Persicaria barbata, Parthenium hysterophorus, Ageratum conyzoides </em>and <em>Typha angustifolia </em>were early succession indicator species; whereas <em>Albizia lucidior, Miliusa velutina, Ficus hispida, Bauhinia purpurea </em>and <em>Brassaiopsis glomerulata </em>were the late succession tree species. This study agreed with the convergent model of succession.</p><p><strong>Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 12–26</p> Dhiraj Chhetri Kunwar, Chitra Bahadur Baniya Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Trade and conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants in western Nepal <p class="Default"> This paper quantifies the volume and value of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) traded from Baitadi district in western Nepal. Information related to trade, in the Fiscal Year 2014/015, was collected through pre-tested structured questionnaire. Harvesters (<em>n </em>= 24) and the entire population of sub-local (<em>n </em>= 35) and local (<em>n </em>= 7) traders were interviewed to quantify the value and volume of MAP trade from the district. Results showed that 15.2% households were engaged in harvesting of MAPs for trade, contributing 9.5% of the total cash income giving an impression that MAPs provide supplementary source of income. A total of 731.5 tons of MAPs, comprising 17 products (from 17 species) with total value of NRs 31.3 million (US$ 315,175) was traded from the district. Rittha (<em>Sapindus mukorossi</em>), tejpat (<em>Cinnamomum tamala</em>) and pakhanved (<em>Bergenia ciliata</em>) were traded in higher amounts, representing 356.5, 171.0 and 70.0 tons, respectively. The cumulative value of trade was highest for satuwa (<em>Paris polyphylla</em>) with NRs 7.7 million. Nepalgunj is the favoured ‘transit’ city for the export of MAPs to India accounting for more than 82% of MAPs sourced from Baitadi. Satuwa has been identified as the most vulnerable species mainly due to premature and over-harvesting in response to high price and growing regional demand coupled with slow growth and high habitat specificity that may results in impaired population growth, thus demanding a detailed bio-physical studies. The study finds that strict regulatory mechanism like ban proves to be less effective in species conservation and suggest adopting alternative management strategies.</p><p class="Default"><strong>Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 27–37</p> Dipesh Pyakurel, Indira Bhattarai Sharma, Suresh Kumar Ghimire Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Cytotoxic activity of crude extracts of Dendrobium amoenum and detection of bioactive compounds by GC-MS <p class="Default"> Dendrobium amoenum is an epiphytic orchid used as tonic because it has many derivatives of phenols. The crude extract of this orchid has been shown to have antioxidant activity. The objectives of this research are to explore the cytotoxic activity of antioxidant-rich crude extract against the human cervical carcinoma and glioblastoma cell lines by MTT assay and to detect the compounds by GC-MS. Methanol (DAM) extract of D. amoenum showed high cell growth inhibition percentage against the tested cell lines. DAM extract showed high cytotoxic activity against HeLa cells (IC50 – 110.22 μg/ml) and least activity against U-251 cells (IC50 – 550.55 μg/ml). Thirteen compounds were detected and identified in the extract. Based on abundance, four major compounds detected were: (E)-13-docosenoic acid; oleic acid; 11-octadecenoic acid, methyl ester; and hexadecanoic acid, 2,3-dihydroxypropyl ester. The cytotoxic activity of DAM extract is probably due to the presence of these bioactive compounds, confirmation of which needs further investigation. The result also highlighted the potential of this orchid as the source of natural anticancer drug and to explore their isolation, identification and characterization.</p><p class="Default"><strong>Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 38–42</p> Mukti Ram Paudel, Bijaya Pant Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Comparative study of macrofungi in different patches of Boshan Community Forest in Kathmandu, Central Nepal <p class="Default"> Macrofungi are considered as a group of high-value forest resources worldwide. In this paper, we report species richness and composition of macrofungi in three different forest patches (<em>Schima-Castanopsis</em>, <em>Pinus </em>and <em>Alnus </em>forest) of mid-hill, central Nepal, which were managed under Boshan Community Forest. A Systematic random sampling was applied where 20 rectangular plots of size 10 m x 10 m were laid at 1500 m to 1600 m elevation in each forest type. Species richness and composition of macrofungi were accessed in each forest type. <em>Schima-Castanopsis </em>forest was the richest in terms of macrofungal diversity (70 species), followed by <em>Alnus </em>forest (64) and <em>Pinus </em>forest (56). Polyporaceae was the largest family, followed by Amanitaceae. Agaricales (<em>Rusulla </em>and <em>Amanita</em>) were dominant in <em>Schima-wallichi </em>and <em>Alnus </em>forests, whereas Boletales were dominant in <em>Pine </em>forest. Macrofungal species richness increased with increasing canopy, soil moisture and soil pH. The species richness, however, had weak relationships with litter cover and disturbance. Based on the present study it can be concluded that the study area is rich in macrofungal diversity. Moist soil followed by litter and decaying wood assist the higher diversity of macrofungi. Species diversity is higher in moist and dense canopy forests (like, <em>Schima-Castanopsis </em>and alder) than in open and dry pine forest. Soil moisture, soil pH and tree canopy cover are the most important variables affecting macrofungal diversity.</p><p class="Default"><strong> Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 43–48</p><p class="Default"> </p> Bhawani Bhandari, Sanjay Kumar Jha Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 Variation of plant species richness at different spatial scales <p class="Default"> It is now realized that the variation in species richness is influenced by spatial and temporal scales. Pattern and scale are a central focus in ecology and biogeography. The species richness relationship depends on the scale of study and their correlated factors. The broad objective of this review is to elucidate how different scales are correlated with different explanatory variables to generate patterns of species richness. Addressing the problem of scale has both fundamental and applied importance in understanding variation in species richness along gradients. The understanding of pattern, its causes, and consequences is central to our understanding of processes such as succession, community development, and the spread and persistence of species. According to the hierarchical theory of species diversity there are mainly three categories of scales: local, landscape and regional. The local species richness or α-diversity is the diversity of individual stands. The β-diversity or species change is turnover between two elevational bands or between two plots or two sites. The regional or γ-diversity is the total richness of whole mountains or study systems and it has a combined influence from α<em>- </em>and β-diversity. The local species richness is affected by both local-scale processes (e.g., internal interactions) and broad-scale processes (e.g., evolutionary). Different explanatory variables according to the scales of study are necessary to explain variation at different spatial scales. Local factors (e.g., disturbance, grazing and tree cover) have been used to detect variation at a local scale. Generally, topographical factors are used to detect variation in species richness at a landscape scale; whereas climate, water-energy dynamics and historical processes are used to detect variation at a regional scale. However, it is not easy to separate strictly one scale from other because there is no clear boundary between them. The study of the whole elevation gradient from tropical to alpine zone or long latitude is a broad-scale study. The intermediate scale is a study on a local mountain, which covers the subtropical to warm temperate zones. To explain patterns of species richness, a pluralistic body of hypotheses, which incorporates historical, biological and climatic factors, is needed. This is depicted by the strong relationship between climate, biological interactions, and historical processes in influencing variation in species richness at different spatial scales.</p><p class="Default"><strong>Botanica Orientalis – Journal of Plant Science</strong> (2017) 11: 49–62</p> Khem Raj Bhattarai Copyright (c) 2018 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Botanica Orientalis Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000