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Rhodes University (2021)

Ethnobotany and conservation biology of Warburgia salutaris (G.Bertol.) Chiov., a threatened medicinal plant in southern Mozambique

Senkoro, Annae Maria

Titre : Ethnobotany and conservation biology of Warburgia salutaris (G.Bertol.) Chiov., a threatened medicinal plant in southern Mozambique

Auteur : Senkoro, Annae Maria

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2021

Résumé partiel
Warburgia salutaris, locally known as “chibaha” (Ronga, Tsonga), “isiBhaha” (Zulu) and “siBhaha” (Siswati), is one of the most highly-valued medicinal plant species in southern Africa. Its bark has long been employed to treat bacterial and fungal infections, and it is often a front line herbal treatment for malaria. The species is popular in rural and urban areas due to its lower price compared to commercial pharmaceuticals and because of its long-standing spiritual and symbolic significance. Consequently, W. salutaris is threatened in Malawi, South Africa and Swaziland and is believed to be extincted in the wild in Zimbabwe. In Mozambique, where the tree is confined to the southern part of the country, it is considered vulnerable due to high local demand and cross-border export. Although there is limited research, further work is urgently needed to provide the basis for options and strategies to achieve desired outcomes. This study aimed to explore different approaches for the conservation of W. salutaris in the Lebombo Mountains (LM), the Tembe River (TR) and the Futi Corridor (FC) areas, in southern Mozambique. For this, potential distribution, socio cultural factors that influenced sustainable management of the species, demography, harvest impact, genetic diversity and population differentiation were considered. The kuenm package in R, 2 846 occurrence and 11 environmental data were used to model the potential current and future distribution in 2050 and 2070 using four general circulation models (CESM1(BGC), ACCESS1.3, FIO-ESM and IPSL-CM5A-MR) under representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. The extent of occurrence (EOO) and habitat suitability (HS) were also determined. Stratified random semi-structured interviews with 182 heads of households were carried out to explore cultural and socio incentives of use, compared knowledge distribution, determine local management practices and explore local ecological knowledge related to the species in the three study areas. In addition, 17 focus group discussion were conducted to clarify issues raised during household interviews. One hundred and twenty four quadrants were used to determine the abundance and population structure.

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