Uses of trees in paddy fields in Champasak Province, southern Lao PDR
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The species and uses of trees located in paddy fields were investigated in three villages in Champasak Province, Lao PDR. The villages were different in their distance from Pakse City, the capital of the province, and age since foundation. A total of 71 species were recorded, and most were used by local people. The most frequent use was for fruit, firewood, and medicine, though most trees also offered shade for cattle and people. Species composition differed among villages. The youngest paddy supported more trees, remnants of the original forest, for timber. Older paddies supported fewer trees for timber but more for fruit and firewood. The introduced species increased according to the age of the paddy. Products other than timber obtained from the trees were common among villages. The significance of trees in rice cultivation in Laos was compared with that in the Satoyama landscape of Japan.
KeywordsAgroforestry Biodiversity Cultural landscape Satoyama
We acknowledge Dr. Sikhamtath Mitaray, Dr. Bounmy Phonesavanh, and Dr. Shintaro Kobayashi for their management of the exchange program between Champasack University and Kyoto University. We also acknowledge Dr. J.F. Maxwell who identified several specimens collected in this study, Mr. Bounsuan Phomvongsa, Mr. Keobuason Razkhanty, Dr. Yasuo Mukai, Dr. Ueru Tanaka, Dr. Kei Mizuno, Dr. Izuru Saizen, and Dr. Yukihiro Morimoto for their advice and cooperation. This study was supported by the Global Environment Research Fund (F-094) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan and Grants in Aid for Scientific Research (20241009) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
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