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Exotic plant invasion in India through the lens of archaeobotanical evidences: An overview

Author Affiliations

  • 1Post-Graduate Department of Botany, S.S.V.P. Sansthas L.K. Dr. P.R. Ghogrey Science College, Dhule-424005, MS, India

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 9, Issue (4), Pages 83-94, November,10 (2020)

Abstract

The present author looked at archaeobotanical evidences particularly with the objective of plant invasion in India either through introduction and domestication of plant species and naturalisation of other wild species. India had religious and cultural contacts with other countries abroad in ancient period. The native Indian people appropriated, absorbed or bioprospected potentially beneficial exotic plant species and thereby made integral part of Indian culture. A literary survey was done knowing occurrence of exclusively exotic cultivated plant species revealed or depicted in archaeological sites and structures. Their exotic status has been verified by comparing relevant literature to decipher their respective nativity. Significant comments in botanical perspective are made. The exotic species appeared to have adapted for dietary needs, medicine, beautycare and even socio-religious purposes. Present attempt included total 74 exotic cultivated or wild taxa pertaining to 68 genera and 30 angiospermic families. These are evaluated for their nativity consulting recent and relevant literary sources. Apart from proximal Asian countries, exotic taxa from distant continents such as America, Africa, Europe and Australia predominated exotic flora of India in ancient past. Plant invasion in India in ancient period is discussed based on evidences borrowed from archeobotanical dataset. Ancient Indians inducted and domesticated plant species from different parts of the Old and New worlds for the concrete purposes. These have been also appropriated for religious purposes and thus also find place in Indian bioculture.

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