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Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Rana P.,University of Eastern Finland
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management

Bamboo is one of the most important non-timber forest products in Bangladesh. Previous research, however, has focused mainly on its silvicultural aspects, with its socio-economic aspects remaining underexplored. In a study conducted between January and March in 2008, we surveyed 30 randomly selected bamboo-based entrepreneurs in a regional market in southern Bangladesh to identify employment and trade patterns, financial contributions, and marketing of bamboo and its products. Bamboo was found to be important in generating profits for entrepreneurs and employment for low-skilled rural workers. Bambusa balcooa, Melocanna baccifera, Bambusa tulda, and Bambusa vulgaris were found to be the most traded species, with Bambusa balcooa constituting 39% of the market. Major uses of (secondary products from) bamboo were found to be construction, fences, mats, and domestic baskets and utensils. Operating costs varied across the enterprises according to their sales, workforce size, and purchases. Estimated net average incomes of the large, medium, and small enterprises were around Tk. 43,000 ($625), Tk. 30,000 ($435), and Tk. 19,300 ($280), respectively, during the year 2007. Medium-sized enterprises earned the most (32%) from the sale of secondary products. Three marketing channels were identified, with most of the bamboo in the area being found to be collected through intermediaries. Our discussion highlights the importance of bamboo and its secondary products in generating employment and profits in the area and also the presence of problems such as income variability throughout the year. Promoting the trade of bamboo and bamboo-based enterprises through appropriate technical and financial assistance to growers and entrepreneurs could be an effective strategy to improve local economies in Bangladesh. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Uddin M.B.,University of Bayreuth | Uddin M.B.,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology | Steinbauer M.J.,University of Bayreuth | Jentsch A.,University of Bayreuth | And 3 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management

Introduction of exotic plant species in the tropics has occurred since the colonial period, and has mostly been for timber production. However, due to uncontrolled distribution and lack of awareness, many of these species became invasive, and have been increasingly reported as a source of threats to native ecosystems. We investigated the exotic species richness, their traits, and biogeographic origin in the Satchari Forest in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, one of the very few intact terrestrial ecosystems remaining in the country. Boosted Regression Trees and Detrended Correspondence Analysis were performed to determine the contribution of various environmental attributes, protection regimes, and disturbances to explain the distribution of exotic species within Satchari Forest. Among the environmental variables, native species richness, elevation gradient, and soil nutrient parameters were found as good predictors of both exotic species' presence and richness in the area. In our analysis, number of exotic species showed a unimodal relationship with native species in the reserved forest, where the relationship was negative in the surrounding area. An increase in exotic species with the presence of higher anthropogenic disturbance events, thereby with lower conservation restrictions as well as with lower protection status, was also evident. Our study suggests that enforcing greater protection status and preventing human use can be the best ways to protect native species composition in forest ecosystems with greater conservation values in tropical developing countries. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Rashid A.Z.M.M.,University of Western Sydney | Rashid A.Z.M.M.,Bangladesh University | Uddin M.B.,Bangladesh University

The conservation of biodiversity is developing into one of the biggest challenges of the century. Rapidly declining forests and the degradation of wild habitats are a direct result of a lack of public awareness and participation in the process of conservation. However, in small land areas in undeveloped countries characterised by high population density and poor public awareness, local religious and/or spiritual beliefs favour conservation of biodiversity at both species and habitat levels. This paper attempts to explore this practice based on case studies from Bangladesh where for generations some local beliefs have been protecting important wildlife species such as the Black Soft-shell Turtle, Mugger Crocodile, Rock Pigeon and Rhesus Macaque. The paper also offers a SWOT analysis of the potential role and challenges of these religious shrines as a refuge for biodiversity. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Pavel M.A.A.,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology | Pavel M.A.A.,University of Padua | Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,University of The Sunshine Coast | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Mountain Science

We investigated the effect of tree cover, forest patch and disturbances on tree species richness in a highly diverse conservation area of northeast Bangladesh. A systematic sampling protocol was adopted and 80 sub-plots from twenty five 1 ha plots were used for the vegetation survey. Linear regression analysis was performed to understand the effect of patch area, disturbances and tree cover on tree species richness. Ordination using Redundancy analysis (RDA) and Non-metric Multi Dimensional Scaling (NMDS) were also performed to explore the tree species compositional similarities along the stand characteristics gradient and locations of the sample plots. Our study revealed that, forest patch size has greater influence on species richness. Areas with medium level of disturbances have shown greater species richness. In constrained ordination the selected explanatory variables regulated the richness of common species. Our findings can be useful for better forest management and restoration of landscapes of conservation needs using ecologically important species. © 2016, Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Sohel M.S.I.,University of Queensland | Ahmed Mukul S.,University of Queensland | Ahmed Mukul S.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Burkhard B.,University of Kiel | Burkhard B.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research
Ecosystem Services

Land uses/land covers (LULC) are closely related to the integrity of ecosystems and associated provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services (ES). Anthropogenic activities continuously influence ecological integrity and ES through changes in LULC. An integrative approach is essential to understand and measure the relations between ecosystem functioning, associated ES and the relative contributions of the different system components. Here, using a locally justified ES scoring matrix, we linked different LULC types to ecological integrity and ES supply in the Lawachara National Park of Bangladesh. The results were used to compile spatially explicit ES maps. Our analysis revealed relatively high capacities of mixed tropical evergreen forests to supply a broad range of ES and to support ecological integrity, followed by tea (. Camellia chinesis) gardens and rubber (. Hevea brasiliensis) plantations. Other LULC types located on the edge or on the periphery of the park showed comparably lower ES supply capacities. Our study is the first of its type carried out in Bangladesh and can be seen as a first screening study of available ES and their supply capacities. The results can be used to form the base for ES based landscape management and future conservation priorities in the area. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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