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Structure, species composition and utilization of homestead forests in Gangni Upazila of Meherpur district, Bangladesh

Author Affiliations

  • 1Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline, Life Science School, Khulna University, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh
  • 2Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline, Life Science School, Khulna University, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 5, Issue (12), Pages 9-23, December,8 (2017)

Abstract

In Bangladesh, homestead forest is one of the most important natural resources and it comprises a mixture of diversified plant species. The study aims to explore the structure of homestead forest, species composition, species frequency and diversity, uses and importance of homestead forests. It particularly focuses on the some aspects of the study area like structure of homestead forest, status and species composition, species frequency and diversity, homestead size, demographic and socio-economic status of the respondents and household owners\' attitudes towards homestead forests, uses and importance of tree based products and services. This study was carried out by using mixed method followed by a semi-structure questionnaire and a homestead forest inventory form. The unions and villages were selected for the study by using a multistage random sampling. A total of 60 respondents homestead forests were selected by using snowball purposive sampling method. This study revealed that about 60% of the total homesteads were medium, 30% small and only 10% large size with reference to the size of homestead forests. Overall homesteads forest was within the ranges of 0.03 ha to 0.4 ha. The average of homesteads forest was 0.12 ha and the total study area was 7.05 ha. The study found that 73 plant species (including tree, shrub and herb) under 39 families identified and recorded in the study area. Trees and herbs species were predominated accounting for about 82% of all the identified species. Four canopy strata were observed by the researchers and fruit species were dominated near the living quarter in the respondents’ homesteads. They planted (68.33%) most of the species in their homestead in the border and interior parts. About 60% homestead forests contained the number of species ranges between 16-30 species. Moreover, mango (fruit species) and mahogany (timber) were the most important and dominant tree species in the study area. The study explored that among the 15 important plant species (5 trees, 5 shrubs and 5 herbs) 6 were native and 9 were exotic according to their origin, uses and relative frequencies. The majority of the respondents preferred fruit and timber species in their homesteads for future investment and as a reserve bank of resources.

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