Rapid Threat Assessment of ethnomedicinal Pteridophytes used among tribals of Attappady, Palakkad, Southern Western Ghats, India

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Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-024-00920-5
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Keywords: Rapid Threat Assessment, Ethnomedicine, Pteridophytes, Attappady, Palakkad


Abstract


Pteridophytes have been utilized by humans for a very long time, but their uses and economic potential are still underutilized in contrast to flowering plants. Attappady is home to the biggest tribal communities in Kerala, inhabited by tribes including the Irulars, Mudugars, and Kurumbars. Residents of this region are heavily dependent on therapeutic plants because of reliable ethnomedical knowledge and  a lack of readily available medical facilities. As a result, many plants are now endangered in their natural environments and their threat intensity has not yet been measured. Multiple field surveys along the gradient of elevation were carried out for ecological evaluation. Rapid Threat Assessment (RTA) was used to determine the threat level. 18 ethnomedicinal Pteridophytes were found in the area. According to RTA findings, Lygodium flexuosum, Actiniopteris radiata, Adiantum caudatum and Adiantum capillus-veneris were identified as the most threatened ones. In conclusion, the present work offers a comprehensive picture of the ecological and risk status of ethnomedicinal Pteridophytes of the Attappady, Palakkad, Kerala, and Southern-Western Ghats of India for the first time, which can be efficiently used to establish effective conservation efforts.


Rapid Threat Assessment, Ethnomedicine, Pteridophytes, Attappady, Palakkad


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Acknowledgements


The authors thank The Principal, Government Victoria College, Palakkad, Kerala & The Director, Department of Collegiate Education, Kerala for supporting the work. The authors are grateful to curators of various herbaria (MH, XCH, CALI, GVCH) for granting permission to do reference work. Authors thank Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India for financially funding the work (08/0675(15371)/2022-EMR-1).


Author Information


Abhilash Kalathil Sethumadhavan
Department of Botany, Government Victoria College, University of Calicut, Palakkad, India

Alen Alex Philip
Department of Botany, Government Victoria College, University of Calicut, Palakkad, India


Gayathri Thekkekara Suresh
Department of Botany, Government Victoria College, University of Calicut, Palakkad, India


Leeja Lakshmanan
Department of Botany, Government Victoria College, University of Calicut, Palakkad, India

drleejapramod@gmail.com