Article

Poisonous plants of veterinary and human importance in southern Africa

Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3). 08/2008; 119(3):549-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.07.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Southern Africa is inherently rich in flora, where the habitat and climatic conditions range from arid environments to lush, sub-tropical greenery. Needless to say, with such diversity in plant life there are numerous indigenous poisonous plants, and when naturalised exotic species and toxic garden varieties are added the list of potential poisonous plants increases. The economically important poisonous plants affecting livestock and other plant poisonings of veterinary significance are briefly reviewed. In addition, a synopsis of the more common plant poisonings in humans is presented. Many of the plants mentioned in this review are also used ethnobotanically for treatment of disease in humans and animals and it is essential to be mindful of their toxic potential.

  • Source
    • "Diagnosis of plant poisoning of livestock depends on the history, clinical syndrome observed, post-mortem lesions, evidence that plants have been grazed, and remains of toxic plants in the gastro intestinal tract. Where the toxic principle is known, confirmatory laboratory tests may be possible (Botha and Penrith, 2008). Good pasture management is one of the most important steps in preventing animal suffering or loss from toxic plants. "

    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2016
  • Source
    • "observ.). Due to its content of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and flavonoid glycosides of the aerial parts (Wanjala and Majinda, 1999) C. podocarpa is unpalatable and can even cause livestock poisoning (Botha and Penrith, 2008), while seeds of C. podocarpa do contain other alkaloids, which are not further described (Pilbeam et al., 1983) and therefore the impact on seed predators remains unclear. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Plant recruitment can be constrained by processes shaping its seed fate, such as pre- and post-dispersal seed predation, while facilitated by higher seed production and more effective dispersal. These activities are controlled by specific predator and disperser guilds that respond to different microsite conditions such as vegetation density with varying predation and removal rates. In Namibia’s arid rangelands, the native, annual herbaceous legume Crotalaria podocarpa has considerably increased after several years of elevated rainfall, thereby reducing density and vitality of economically important fodder grasses. To investigate whether this proliferation entails the risk of a permanent establishment, we studied pre- and post-dispersal seed predation, as well as primary and secondary seed dispersal of the legume and quantified the impact of different predator groups on post-dispersal seed removal. We experimentally excluded (i) neither vertebrates nor invertebrates, (ii) birds, (iii) vertebrates (birds and rodents), and (iv) vertebrates and large invertebrates on plots with different C. podocarpa density (0–35% cover). Seed predation was mainly caused by invertebrates, with 30% pre-dispersal seed predation in pods and up to 90% post-dispersal seed removal for free seeds on the ground which is the most persistent seed stage. Crotalaria podocarpa density did not affect post-dispersal seed removal or secondary seed dispersal. As main dispersal mode for the study species explosive dehiscence was identified, with seeds reaching dispersal distances of up to 4 m, while wind or rolling dispersal played a minor role. Subsequent secondary dispersal by animals accounted for dispersal distances up to 19 m. Our findings highlight the combined effects of pre- and post-dispersal seed predation to determine the total seed fate. With a contribution of about 370 seeds m-2 to the species persistent soil seed bank, seed numbers seems to be more important for the annual C. podocarpas vagility than the species dispersal ability. Supplemented by seedling fate and adult mortality, this data can contribute to reliably predict the risk of a further spread of the species.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics
  • Source
    • "Diagnosis of plant poisoning of livestock depends on the history, clinical syndrome observed, post-mortem lesions, evidence that plants have been grazed, and remains of toxic plants in the gastro intestinal tract. Where the toxic principle is known, confirmatory laboratory tests may be possible (Botha and Penrith, 2008). Good pasture management is one of the most important steps in preventing animal suffering or loss from toxic plants. "

    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015
Show more