Role of lac culture in biodiversity conservation: Issues at stake and conservation strategy

  • Sharma K
  • Jaiswal A
  • Kumar K
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Abstract

Lae insects are exploited for their products of commerce, viz. resin,dye
and wax. Cultivation of lac not only provides livelihood to millions of
lac growers, but also helps in conserving vast stretches of forests and
biodiversity associated with lac insect complex. The lac ecosystem is a
complex multi-trophic web of flora and fauna; of the 87 species falling
under nine genera recorded from the world, 19 species belonging to two
genera, namely Kerria and Paratachardina are found in India. Lac insects
thrive on more than 400 plant species generally growing in the forests
which have varied economic, medicinal and social significance.
Twenty-two species of lac predators, 30 species of primary and 45
species of secondary parasites, besides several fungal pathogens,
represent a rich biodiversity of this ecosystem. Moreover, this natural
lac complex also maintains a variety of other tree flora, macro fauna
and soil microorganisms. Several of the insect fauna associated with lac
insects are species-specific (exclusive to the ecosystem) and hence,
loss of even one species of lac insect poses a danger of losing many
other related species. Many lac insects and associated fauna have become
endangered where lac cultivation has been abandoned or habitat
destroyed. Promoting and encouraging lac culture will not only check
environmental degradation but also conserve associated fauna and flora
for posterity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Kerria lacca
  • Lac culture

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  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-33750432131
  • ISSN: 00113891
  • SGR: 33750432131
  • PUI: 44654604

Authors

  • K. K. Sharma

  • A. K. Jaiswal

  • K. K. Kumar

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