Abstract The term "ethnobotany" was first coined in 1896 by the American botanist John Harshberger as the study of plants used by primitive and aboriginal people. Since then it has been defined as the traditional knowledge of indigenous communities about the surrounding plant diversity and the study of how the people of a particular culture and region make use of indigenous plants. Indigenous communities of the Lesser Himalayas are heavily dependent on plant resources as medicines, food, fuel, fodder, and tools in beekeeping. But at the same time, due to the overuse of these plant resources, certain species are threatened. Some common threats to the floral diversity of the region include forest fire, grazing and browsing, tree cutting, climatic fluctuation, earthquake, and flooding. In order to avoid further loss of endangered, endemic, and rare species, conservation methods should be practiced as part of a long-term conservation program. Reforestation trends have been lacking among the local communities; along with regeneration activities, an alternate source should be provided to reduce the pressure on flora.
Keywords Agriculture implements • Anthropogenic pressure • Beekeeping • Ethnobotany • Fodder • Food • Fuelwood • Marketing • Medicinal plants • Timber wood
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