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The availability, fruit yield and harvest of myrica esculenta in Kumaun (west Himalaya), India

  • Bhatt, I. D.
  • Rawal, R. S.
  • Dhar, U.
  • Summary

Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don is a popular, potentially income-generating wild edible in the Indian Himalaya. The species prefers Pinus roxburghii Sarg., Quercus leucotrichophora A. Cam., and mixed Quercus forests, contributing 15–26% of total tree density in the forests. It performs best in Pinus roxburghii forests, where its density correlates with Pinus tree biomass. The regeneration of Myrica is poor in all the habitats. However, recruitment of species increases consistently from abundant Myrica to no-Myrica stands. The fruit yield increases with tree size category and differs between habitats. The potential yield at different sites is 2.0–4.2 tonnes/ha, of which 2.8–7.2% is harvested for income generation. The income generated from Myrica fruit is significant, considering the regional annual per capita income. The possible impact of fruit harvesting and other disturbance factors on the regeneration of the species is discussed. There are significant options for enhancing the income-generating potential through value addition.

  • Published in:
    Mountain Research and Development, Vol.20, No. 2
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