Benefits, threats and potential of Prosopis in South India

Kurt Walter, Karen Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Among scientists there is an on-going discussion about the impact of invasive alien species. Prosopis juliflora was introduced into South India to benefit the drylands economy. It has become naturalized and supports rural livelihoods in various ways, especially as a source of fuelwood. This paper reviews the positive and negative impacts of P. juliflora. Several labour opportunities are offered through harvesting and collecting the wood for bio-power plants. The conversion of the wood into charcoal adds additional income opportunities through the preparation and guarding of the burning places, transportation of the wood to the charcoal production sites as well as the delivery of charcoal to the resale agencies in the urban areas. There is a great potential for the usage of P. juliflora as a natural sustainable and renewable resource for energy production, for instance through the process of gasification. Other benefits can be obtained by reclaiming degraded lands and remediating heavy metal-contaminated soils. The pods are a valuable source as fodder for livestock. Nevertheless, in view of its invasive character, an increased usage of the wood of P. juliflora through proper silvicultural management is recommended as it would help control its invasions and maintain its benefits to livelihood.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForests, Trees and Livelihoods
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)232-247
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry
  • Prosopis juliflora, invasive alien species, fuelwood, livelihood, drylands

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