Biodiversity of medicinal and aromatic plants in modern and traditional date palm farms in Northern and central Oman

K. Al-Hashmi, R. Al-Yahyai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sustainable agriculture in traditional farms has diverse and rich plant species that have multiple uses, including functional medicinal, aromatic and utility values. Oman has eight million date palms (Phoenix dactylifera), which makes date palm a significant crop in the country. Moreover, about 81% of the total cultivated lands irrigated by traditional flood irrigation systems including the date palm farms, thus encourages the growth of a variety of plant species. A survey of naturally growing plants was carried out on modern and traditional date palm farms in northern and central Oman. The survey included nine date palm farms from three governorates (Ad Dakhliyah, Al Batinah South, and Muscat) and one modern farm located in Muscat. The data were analyzed using PAST software to determine the diversity parameters. A total of 51 medicinal and aromatic plants from 16 different plants species and 13 different families were found on traditional system farm while none of them were found in the modern system farm. Al Batinah South Governorate had the highest number of individuals and plant species followed by Ad Dakhliyah Governorate. The data analysis showed a high evenness index (0.92) and a low dominance index (0.12), and a high similarity among the species which is expressed by the Simpson index (0.88). Although modern irrigation and cultural practices may reduce farming costs and increase farm revenue, plant biodiversity is best with traditional farming systems, including flood irrigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-419
Number of pages5
JournalActa Horticulturae
Volume1299
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agroecology
  • Desert climate
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Traditional farming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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