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Distribution, use and ecological roles of the medicinal plants confined to freshwater ecosystems in South Africa
Expanded Title:The ecological role of medicinal plants associated with freshwater ecosystems has not yet been established and researched per se, although the ecological role or function of freshwater and wetland plants have been studied extensively (Dada et al. 2007, Dickens et al. 2003, Sainty and Jacobs 1994). The fact that some freshwater ecosystem plants are used as medicines does not imply that they have a unique ecological role or function. But if their habitat, ecological role and conservation status are known, they can be protected, both under the National Water Act (NWA and the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). The study explored a variety of indigenous plants associated with freshwater ecosystems (rivers, wetlands, etc.) that are used as herbal medicines and the team also recorded the known uses and ecological roles. The study supported the ’Farmer to Pharma‘ Grand Challenge of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) 10- year strategic plan. The grand challenge focuses on developing the bio-industry and indigenous knowledge to beneficiate indigenous biodiversity Plants utilized for medicinal purposes were then classified according to a Hydrogeomorphic Model. A list of medicinal plants occurring in freshwater ecosystems was compiled that contains more than 200 plants species (Appendix 3). These plant species were classified according the SANBI (2009) classification. The data were analysed to determine the most important or threatened plant group and to identify the most important habitats. Various areas of research were identified and discussed. The most pressing short-term aim should be the protection of the wild populations of medicinal plants that can ensure long-term sustainable utilisation
Date Published:01/08/2012
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Ecosystem - Biodiversity protection
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Consultant
WRC Report No:KV 300/12
ISBN No:978-1-4312- 0312-3
Authors:Wentzel J; Van Ginkel CE
Project No:K8/971
Originator:WRC
Document Size:2 643 KB
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