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Ethnobiology and Conservation
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Print) 2238-4782 - ISSN (Online) 2238-4782
     Published by Universidade Estadual da ParaĆ­ba Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Historical ethnobotany: an overview of selected studies

    • Authors: Taline Cristina Silva, Patrícia Muniz Medeiros, Alejandro Lozano Balcázar, Thiago Antônio de Sousa Araújo, Analia Pirondo, Maria Franco Trindade Medeiros
      Abstract: Historical Ethnobotany is an area of research responsible for understanding past interrelationships between people and plant using written records and iconography. The literature on this topic is scattered, and many of these studies are not recognised as such; therefore, it is difficult to compile historical ethnobotanical data. Accordingly, this study attempted to draw a general picture of the publications in this field. The Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge and Scirus databases were used to search for articles with such keywords as “Ethnobotany + History” and “Historical Ethnobotany” among others. After the studies were selected, information was extracted that included the continents addressed and historical ages. Most studies encompassed a time frame that began in the Modern Age (54.7%), and 46% of the studies were focused on the American continent. With regard to the nature of the source, 98% of the studies included written records, and publications that used the documental analysis as a secondary data in their scope of research were among the most frequent types of studies that were found. In respect to iconographic sources, paintings were used in 6% of the studies. A total of 66% of the studies involved a species or species group as the study object. Our survey revealed the vast scope of these Historical Ethnobotany studies. We believe that this scientific field has great potential for future development and that its findings will only grow in importance considering the current ethnobotanical debate. 
      PubDate: 2014-06-12
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2014)
  • Two decades of ethnobotanical research in Southern Ecuador and Northern

    • Authors: Rainer W. Bussmann, Sharon Douglas
      Abstract: This paper is the compiltion of a talk given during the “Advanced Topics in Ethnobiology 2013” workshop in Recife, Brazil, under the title “A decade of ethnobotany in Northern Peru - healers and markets, bioassays, paleobotany and considerations of the Nagoya Protocol” Northern Peru represents the “Health Hub” of the Central Andes, with roots going back to traditional practices Cupisnique culture (1000 BC). During almost two decades of research semi-structured interviews with healers, collectors and sellers of medicinal plants, and bioassays to evaluate the effective and plant toxicity were carried out. Most (83%) of the 510 species used were native to Peru. 50% of the plants used in colonial times disappeared from the pharmacopoeia. Common and exotic plants were mostly used for common ailments, while plants with magical purposes were only employed by specialist healers. About 974 preparations with up to 29 ingredients treated 164 conditions. Almost 65% of the medicinal plants were applied in mixtures. Antibacterial activity was confirmed in most plants used for infections. The aqueous extract 24% and 76% ethanolic extracts showed toxicity. Traditional preparation methods take this into account when choosing the appropriate solvent for the preparation of a remedy. The increasing demand did not increase the significant cultivation of medicinal plants. Most plants are wild-collected, causing doubts about the sustainability of trade. Dedicated programs aim to establish in-situ collections of important species, as well as to repatriate traditional knowledge in local language, under the guidelines of the Nagoya Protocol.
      PubDate: 2014-06-10
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2014)
  • Urban Ethnobotany in Argentina: Theoretical advances and methodological

    • Authors: Julio Hurrell
      Abstract: Urban Ethnobotany is a discipline of relatively recent development, allowing new questions and interesting challenges from both theoretical and methodological point of view. This has become evident from the development of a research line in the metropolitan area Buenos Aires-La Plata, the largest in extension and population of Argentina. This research was carried out in the Laboratorio de Etnobotánica y Botánica Aplicada (LEBA), Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. In this frame, the ongoing investigations constitute an example of feedback between theory and practice in ethnobotanical studies. How the botanical knowledge is composed in urban pluricultural contexts? Is it possible to find traditional botanical knowledge in these contexts? How is the local botanical knowledge transmitted? How is its dynamic? Assuming the premise that knowledge guides the actions, then how botanical knowledge guides the selection and utilization strategies of plants and its products in urban areas? The aim of this contribution is try to answer these, and other relevant questions. Some basic principles about Ecology, Biocultural Ecology, and Ethnobotany as different levels of approximation within a unified field were discussed. Later, advances in the theoretical field of urban ethnobotany were considered, as reflection product on complexity of the obtained results. These advances were translated into methodological strategies based on different criteria to evaluate the urban botanical knowledge underlying the circulation of plant products (exclusivity and visibility of these products, re-signification of its uses in contexts of change). Finally, a reflexive discussion on complexity of theoretical and methodological contexts allows us to rethink the developments in Urban Ethnobotany, and Ethnobotany in general.
      PubDate: 2014-06-10
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2014)
  • A cultural consensus regarding the king vulture': preliminary findings
           and their application to Mexican conservation

    • Authors: Nora Haenn, Birgit Schmook, Yol Monica Reyes, Sophie Calmé
      Abstract: Ecosystem management regularly requires bridging diverse cultural perspectives. As a result, researchers commonly assert that including local ecological knowledge in conservation strategies is essential to crafting enduring environmental solutions. Using the case of the king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), we take preliminary steps in asking how ethnoecology and field biology might be combined in conservation practice. The paper reports on a questionnaire applied to sixty-six local experts in southern Yucatán, home to Mexico’s largest expanse of tropical forest and the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Local experts included forest workers, i.e. hunters, loggers, and gum tappers, some of whom worked as guides for field biologists. The research results point to the possibility of a cultural consensus among these experts regarding the bird’s natural history. After outlining this preliminary consensus and contrasting it with academic findings, the paper considers the implications of a consensus for conservation programming.
      PubDate: 2014-01-10
      Issue No: Vol. 3 (2014)
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