Differential utilization and Ethnobotany of trees in Kitulanghalo forest reserve and surrounding communal lands, eastern Tanzania

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This study documents the utilization aspects and distri- bution of ethnobotanical knowledge of the local people of Morogoro, Tanzania, as a first step towards sustainable utilization and conservation of tropical woodlands. A total of 133 arbo- rescent species in 31 families was identified of which 69% had a variety of uses. These uses were classified into 12 categories and major uses were charcoal, firewood, medicine, and poles. Most tree species have occasional uses, but a few are exceptionally useful and thus their levels of utilization may far exceed their regeneration and production. The questionnaire survey in- dicated that 62% of the respondents agreed that traditional medical services were more avail- able than modem services. Utilization surveys indicated that wooden poles are the building material used in 98% of the dwellings and storage structures, wild foods were useful for food security especially during drought years, and high quality timber trees have been depleted in the forest because of earlier exploitation by pit-sawing. The distribution of ethnobotanical knowledge indicated that much of the relevant ethnobotanical and utilization information was held by more aged members of the society and hence there is a clear need to capture this knowledge before it is lost. This study has shown that resources are defined by use and culture, and some components of ethnobotanical knowledge have potential for the sustainable manage- ment of miombo woodlands.


Economic Botany, 2000; 54(3):328-343 .


Participatory rural appraisal, Tree use values, Indigenous knowledge, Miombo woodlands, Tanzania