Legume Research

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Legume Research, volume 45 issue 12 (december 2022) : 1501-1505

Investigation through Bangladesh Flora: Critically Endangered Medicinal Species of Fabaceae

I. Jahan1,*, M.A. Rahman1
1Department of Botany, University of Chittagong, Chattogram-4331, Bangladesh.
  • Submitted10-02-2020|

  • Accepted10-12-2020|

  • First Online 11-02-2021|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-4350

Cite article:- Jahan I., Rahman M.A. (2022). Investigation through Bangladesh Flora: Critically Endangered Medicinal Species of Fabaceae . Legume Research. 45(12): 1501-1505. doi: 10.18805/LR-4350.
Background: Species threatening is of great concern now-a-days, for Bangladesh as well as the whole world. Present research work has been carried out to make an inventory of the medicinal species of family Fabaceae, determine their status in the flora of Bangladesh and assess their probable threat. 

Methods: Research was carried out at the University of Chittagong during the period 2014-2016 by the first author as part of her thesis work. Previous records of species were collected from different literatures dating back to 1814 and their place of occurrence was recorded as well. Medicinal literatures were consulted for screening of medicinal species of Fabaceae. Herbarium specimens preserved at different herbaria were examined for updating the time of their collection. Finally field trips were made to relevant localities for assessing their status in the field condition. 

Result: The present study reveals that out of 254 total species, 169 species under 61 genera have medicinal properties. In this investigation, 7 species under 7 genera were identified and documented as Critically Endangered according to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources criteria. Enumeration of these threatened taxa is provided with updated nomenclature and short annotation with data on medicinal value, recorded locality, global distribution, first and last authentic record and list of specimens available at different herbaria.
Bangladesh is enriched with high plant diversity, since it lies in a transition of two mega-biodiversity hot spots, viz., Indo-Himalayas and Indo-Chinese. Historically, Bangladesh forests are highly vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. The aromatic medicinal plant contains large amount of secondary metabolites and essential oils of traditional and therapeutic importance. So many desirable drugs are isolated from various parts like root, leaf and stem. The important advantages claimed for therapeutic uses of medicinal plants in various ailments are their safety besides being economical, effective and easy availability (Atal and Kapoor, 1989).
 
The species of the Fabaceae are widely used as health component for their potential medicinal properties in many countries of Africa and Asia like China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and other Arabs. China itself uses more than 50 leguminous species as sources of medicines for the treatment of about 40 ailments (Quattrocchi, 2012). Likewise India itself uses about 55% species of the Fabaceae as medicines (Quattrocchi, 2012). Pulses are the cheapest source of proteins and Indians fulfill 20 to 30 per cent of their protein requirement from pulses (Grover and Singh, 2015). In Bangladesh, the Fabaceae is represented by 254 species (Ahmed et al., 2009) of which 169 i.e., 67% are medicinal and potentially used for the treatment of about 90 diseases (Jahan, 2016). But unfortunately, this family is facing immense threat which is proved by the extinction of 15 species (Rahman and Jahan, 2016) from the flora which were assessed by the authors.
 
A taxon is Critically Endangered (CR) when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in immediate future (IUCN, 2010). According to Sarasan et al., (2006), more than 8000 plant species were added to IUCN during the period 1996-2004. During the same period, these authors noted that, the number of plants recorded as “critically endangered” are increased by over 60%. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and IUCN estimated that up to 60,000 higher plant species could become extinct or nearly extinct by the year 2050, if current trends of utilization continues.
 
The present investigation was carried out to explore the distribution and status of threatened medicinal species of Fabaceae in Bangladesh. This kind of plant families need proper conservation and management plans to ensure their sustainable use.    
Inventory of the threatened medicinal taxa has been made to the family Fabaceae of Bangladesh through long term field investigations in the flora, examination of the collected herbarium specimens and consultation of the relevant floristic and medicinal literature. Species growing in wild conditions were only considered in this study. The places of occurrence of the recorded taxa has been documented by consulting Roxburgh (1814, 1824, 1832), Wallich (1828-49), Hooker (1872-1897), Kurz (1877), Prain (1903a, 1903b), Heinig (1925), Cowan and Cowan (1929), Raizada (1941), Datta and Mitra (1953) and Sinclair (1956).       
 
The previously collected specimens of Fabaceae preserved in different herbaria of Bangladesh, viz., BNH (Bangladesh National Herbarium), DUSH (Dhaka University Salar Khan Herbarium), BFRIH (Bangladesh Forest Research Institute Herbarium), BCSIRH (Herbarium, Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), HCU (Herbarium of Chittagong University), have been examined critically to record the data of each species. The relevant and up to date floristic literature published since Sinclair (1956), such as,  Khan and Afza (1968), Khan and Banu (1972), Khan et al., (1984), Huq and Begum (1984), Huq (1988), Khan et al., (1996), Rahman and Uddin (1997), Yusuf et al., (1997), Dey et al., (1998), Uddin and Rahman (1999), Das and Alam (2001), Khan and Huq (2001), Hossain et al., (2005), Alam et al., (2006), Islam et al., (2009), Ahmed et al., (2009), Barbhuiya and Gogoi (2010), Rahman et al., (2010, 2012), Rahman and Jahan (2016), Rahman et al., (2015), Arefin et al., (2011), Uddin et al., (2013)  have been surveyed to trace the report of collection/occurrence of the taxa of the Fabaceae. The assessment and recognition of the taxa as threatened is based on the criteria of IUCN (IUCN 2010)
 
Determination of the recorded species as medicinal have been made by consulting medicinal books and published articles, e.g., Dunn (1912), Gillett (1958), De Kort and Thijsse (1984), Ambasta (1986), Kaur and Kapoor (1990), Jain (1991), Ghani (2003), Yusuf et al., (2009), Kim et al., (2010), Quattrocchi (2012), Ren et al., (2019), Arvind Kumar et al., (2017).
Inventory of the threatened medicinal species of the Fabaceae for determining their conservation status in the flora revealed that 7 recorded species belonging to 7 genera are critically endangered according to IUCN criteria. Examination of the herbarium specimens preserved at different herbaria revealed that they are very limited in their distribution. Survey of all published relevant and local floristic literature also ensured the findings. Each species, as cited in the enumeration, revealed that threat to individual species is mostly habitat loss. All these species, recognized as threatened to Bangladesh, are found to be widely distributed in many countries and highly potential for their medicinal properties and uses.
 
Enumeration of the threatened taxa of Fabaceae
 
Enumeration of threatened taxa is prepared where each species is cited with current nomenclature, synonym(s), medicinal use(s), status of occurrence, probable threat, first and last authentic record, occurrence in Bangladesh, global distribution and list of examined herbarium specimens. The abbreviation Inc is used here to denote “locality not cited.”
 
1. Canavalia maritima Thou. in Desv., Journ. Bot. 1:80 (1813). Ahmed et al., (2009).
 
Canavalia obtusifolia DC. (1825), Dolichos obcordatus (Roxb.) Voigt (1832), Canavalia podocarpa Dunn. (1922).
 
Medicinal uses
 
Boils, Cold, Labor, Leprosy, Malaria, Poisonous, Rheumatic pain.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Prain (1903) first recorded it from Sundarban (lnc) and Chittagong (lnc). Recently it was reported also from Sundarban (lnc) area by Rahman et al., (2015) after a long time. No colletion of the species is available at BNH, BFRIH, DUSH, HCU and BCSIRH.
 
Threat to the species
 
Restricted occurrence. Neither any collection nor any report from Chittagong could be made since Prain (1903).
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
Sundarban (lnc).
 
Global distribution
 
Cosmopolitan.
 
Specimen examined
 
No specimen available in BNH, BFRIH, DUSH, HCU and BCSIRH.
 
2. Derris ferruginea (Roxb.) Benth. in Miq., Pl. Jungh. 1: 252 (1852). Ahmed et al., (2009).
Robinia ferruginea Roxb. (1832).
 
Medicinal uses
 
Fish poison.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Baker (1878) first recorded it from Sylhet (lnc). Thereafter it was reported by Cowan and Cowan (1929) from North Bengal (lnc). Since then, there is no other published report regarding its occurrence in Bangladesh but only one collection made by Alam in 1982 from Rangamati (Kaptai) is available at BFRIH.
 
Threat to the species
 
Habitat degradation. Rare in specific areas.
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
North Bengal (lnc), Rangamati (Kaptai), Sylhet (lnc).

Global distribution
 
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar.
 
Specimen examined

Rangamati
 
Kaptai, 17.07.1982, Alam 4409 (BFRIH).
 
3. Desmodium concinnum DC., Prodr. 2:335  (1825). Ahmed et al., (2009).
Desmodium paucinervium DC. (1825), D. pendulum Wall. (1829), D. concina (DC.) O. Kuntze (1891).
 
Medicinal uses
 
Indigestion.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Khan et al., (1996) first recorded it’s occurrence in Bangladesh from Sylhet (lnc). There is no other published report of its occurrence from elsewhere in the country is available but three collections from Chittagong (Hathazari, Korerhat) and Rangamati (Raikhali) are available at BFRIH.
 
Threat to the species
 
Loss of habitat.
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
Chittagong (Hathazari, Korerhat), Rangamati (Raikhali), Sylhet (lnc).
 
Global distribution
 
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Pakistan.
 
Specimen examined

Chittagong
 
Hathazari, 24.09.1988, Das 6151 (BFRIH), Korerhat, 08.09.1983, Alam 4703 (BFRIH);
 
Rangamati
 
Raikhali, 26.09.1988, Das and Alam 6161 (BFRIH).
 
4. Indigofera linifolia (L.f.) Retz., Obs. Bot. Fasc. 4:29 (1786). Ahmed et al., (2009).
Hedysarum linifolium L. f. (1781).
 
Medicinal uses
 
Amenorrhoea, Boils, Bowel complaints, Febrile eruptions, Fractured bone, Liver diseases, Menstrual troubles, Scorpion bite, Sores and Wounds.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Datta and Mitra (1953) recorded this species from Dhaka (lnc). No other published report of its occurrence from elsewhere in Bangladesh is available but Huq et al., collected it from Dinajpur (Kantanagar, Ramsagar) in 1980 and Mia et al., collected it from Rajshahi (RU campus) in 1991 which are available at BNH.
 
Threat to the species
 
Habitat destruction.
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
Dhaka (lnc), Dinajpur (Kantanagar, Ramsagar), Rajshahi (RU campus).

Global distribution
 
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Africa and Australia.
 
Specimen examined

Dinajpur
 
Kantanagar, 19.10.1976, Huq et al., H. 2874 (BNH), Ramsagar, 11.10.1980, Huq et al., H. 4724 (BNH);
 
Rajshahi
 
RU Campus, 01.05.1991, Mia et al. M. 2827 (BNH).
 
5. Millettia extensa (Benth.) Baker in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2:109 (1876). Ahmed et al., (2009).
 
Robinia macrophylla Roxb. (1832), Otosema extensa Benth. (1852), Millettia auriculata Baker ex Brandis (1876), M. macrophylla (Roxb.) Kurz (1877).
 
Medicinal uses
 
Used for poisoning, menstrual problems.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Cowan and Cowan (1929) first recorded its occurrence from North Bengal without citing any locality. No other published report of its occurrence from elsewhere in Bangladesh is available but one collection made by Huq et al., (1983) from Madhupur forest of Mymensingh is available at BNH.
 
Threat to the species
 
Habitat degradation. Only one location is known.
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
Mymensingh (Madhupur).
 
Global distribution
 
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Indo-China, Sri Lanka.
 
Specimen examined
Mymensingh
 
Madhupur N/P area, Rasulpur, 12.05.1983, Huq et al., H. 5710 (BNH).
 
6. Smithia sensitiva Ait., Hort. Kew. ed. 1(3): 496 (1789). Ahmed et al., (2009).
       
Medicinal uses
 
Fever, Headache, Gravel, Difficulty in Micturition.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Its occurrence was first recorded by Roxburgh (1814) from Bengal (lnc). Thereafter, it was recorded by Prain (1903) from all over the Bengal, Datta and Mitra (1953) from Dhaka (lnc) and Sinclair (1956) from Cox’s Bazar (lnc). There is no other published report of its occurrence from elsewhere in Bangladesh. It was collected by Khan and Mia in 1996 from Cox’s Bazar (St. Martin’s Island) which is available at BNH.
 
Threat to the species
 
Habitat degradation.
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
Dhaka (lnc), Cox’s Bazar (St. Martin’s Island).

Global distribution
 
Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, tropical Asia and Africa.
 
Specimen examined
Cox’s Bazar
 
St. Martin’s Island, 27.10.1996, Khan and Mia K. 9672 (BNH).
 
7. Vigna luteola (Jacq.) Benth. in Mart., Fl. Bras. 15:194, t. 50, f. 2 (1850). Ahmed et al., (2009).
Dolichos luteolus Jacq. (1770), Vigna glabra DC. (1825).
 
Medicinal uses
 
Boils, Cuts, Coughs, Cold, Control lipid and Cholesterol level, Syphilis, Ulcer.
 
First and last authentic record
 
Baker (1878) first recorded its occurrence from Sundarban (lnc). Prain (1903) also recorded it from Sundarban (lnc). Rahman et al., (2015) recorded its occurrence from Sundarban (lnc). There is no other published report of its occurrence from elsewhere in Bangladesh. Collection from DUSH from Khulna made by Khan in 1963 also support its occurrence in only Sundarban.
 
Threat to the species
 
Restricted occurrence.
 
Occurrence in Bangladesh
 
Khulna (Chadpai, Sundarban).
 
Global distribution
 
Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Israel, Kenya, Sudan, Argentina, Costa Rica and the USA.
 
Specimen examined
Khulna
 
Chadpai, 10.02.1963, Khan 543 (DUSH).

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