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Science and research of plant resources in Bach Ma NP

Last modified on 19/3/2009 at 1:27:00 PM. Total 1230 views.

Applied forestry research

Following the reunification of Vietnam in 1976, logging by state forest enterprises saw the removal of most of the commercially valuable timber in the area during the ensuing ten years and several valuable tree species were almost driven to extinction. The establishment of the national park in 1991 could stop these negative trends, but illegal harvesting of forest products is still a prominent problem the park management has to cope with. Furthermore the forest has suffered the effects of being sprayed with "Agent Orange" - a defoliating herbicide - during the Vietnam war. To study its impact on the regeneration of the forest is important to know when steps of reforestation are to be undertaken.

The staff of scientific department is responsible to manage tree nurseries producing seedlings for reforestation of areas of degraded forest within the national park boundaries as well as promoting the establishment of village nurseries in order to to plant trees for economic purposes in the buffer zone. Use of local species in nurseries and plantations is still a subject not yet practiced for long so research is needed how to propagate those tree species successfully.

Recent researches assess the distribution and natural regeneration of three endangered species listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam  as there are Dacrydium elatum (Bach Ma pine), Cinnamomum parthenoxylon (a Cinnamon species) and Illicium parvifolium (an anise species). One part of the research is also studying the success of cutting propagation and the effect of different nutritive substances in terms of growth and survival rates. The results of the study will contribute to the conservation of those species in the wild. 


In order to give the visitors a glimpse on the flora diversity of the national park the scientific department started to collect plant specimen for compiling a herbarium to be seen at the visitor centre. 

Medicinal plants

Of the 1400 plants identified in Bach Ma, 432 are known to be used as medicine. The ethnic minority groups of Ka Tu and Van Kieu, living near the park's boundaries, have a remarkable knowledge about using plants for medicinal purposes. The collecting, processing and trading of medicinal plant resources is built upon experience which has been accumulated from generation to generation for hundreds of years. 

The main source of medicinal plants derives from wild gathering within the boundaries of the national park, and only a small part is obtained from home gardens and managed areas. The highland areas of Bach Ma National Park, above 900 m in altitude, appear to be the most prominent natural habitat for medicinal plants. The local medicinal plant resource has been sustainably harvested in the past but since the development of the market economy in Vietnam, this system is threatened by commercial exploitation. 

Source: Bach Ma NP


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