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Conservation of Mangifera sylvatica: a Wild Fruit Species for Health and Livelihoods

Akhter, Sayma (2016) Conservation of Mangifera sylvatica: a Wild Fruit Species for Health and Livelihoods. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

Many wild and underutilised plants contribute to food and nutrition. However, overexploitation due to ever increasing demand for wood products has frequently led to declines in populations of these species. Enhanced knowledge of the status of such species is necessary for livelihood security and conservation of these valuable species. The present study considers an underutilised and threatened species of Bangladesh, namely wild mango (Mangifera sylvatica Roxb.). Although this wild mango is one of the genetically closest species to the common mango (Mangifera indica L.) research is very limited and mostly focused on wood quality and phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, this study investigated the conservation potential of wild mango considering its contribution for food, nutrition and livelihoods. To do so, an assessment was made of the current and future distribution of the species, which is a crucial first step towards mitigation and management of future species losses or habitat shifts. The study characterized fruit quality by profiling morphological, nutritional and medicinal values. Finally, farmers’ preferences, and the agroforestry potential of this unutilized native fruit species were explored. The study conveyed five key messages: 1. Wild mango may become extinct under future climate change scenarios so it is high time to start thinking about conservation initiatives. 2. Wild mango is a small sized mango with a large kernel in relation to other Mangifera species which provides significant nutritional and medicinal advantages that can contribute to nutrition and health of local people. 3. Wild mango fruit kernels producing a butter which has the potential to be used as a Cocoa Butter Alternative (CBA) thus providing new market potential. 4. Wild mango is a considered as a food for wildlife but local people are also appreciative of the taste and colour of the fruits and consume them. The unripe fruit is also sold to the pickle industry and can generate income during the fruiting season. 5. The crown architecture of wild mango is similar to other popular agroforestry species (M. indica, Artocarpus heterophyllus and Acacia auriculiformis). Therefore, urgent conservation initiatives are required to evaluate its potential as a new native agroforestry tree species. It is concluded that these attractive properties of wild mango could be promoted by a coalition of land use planners, climate change policy makers, government or non-government organizations, commercial breeder, potential investors (chocolate, butter, nutraceuticals, flavourings), food industries, food technologists, minister responsible for foreign direct investment in Bangladesh and Bangladesh forestry department to promote more widespread cultivation of this wild fruit species to realise its full potential.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 16:10
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2017 16:10
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/9781
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