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Study on the Status and Various Uses of Invasive Alien Plant Species in a Biodiversity Hotspot Zone
Invasive alien species (IAS) have a significant impact on production costs and may even represent a major threat to global native ecosystem. Despite this, most of the rural people in the developing country use IAS for their daily purposes. An exploratory survey was conducted on the status, uses and role of IAS to local livelihoods in the Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, located in biodiversity hotspot zone of north-eastern Bangladesh. A total of 17 alien plant species belonging to 10 different families, of which Leguminosae constituted the highest number (5 species) including tree (53%) followed by herb, shrub and others. The majority of identified species were found to be used for fuel, followed by timber production, medicinal or curative uses, fodder, and many others. In addition to providing various forest products, alien tree species planted in forest plantation help provide many vital ecosystem services such as soil amelioration through nitrogen fixation, shade provider. It is true that the so-called invasive alien species have some negative impacts on local ecosystems, but not all of them are harmful or useless. Therefore, a national programme must be initiated to distinguish the harmful from the harmless species and to identify the use and impacts of the former and latter.
Native species, Invasive alien species, biodiversity, livelihoods, Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, Bangladesh
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