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Dioscorea divaricata (dioscoreaceae) as a cultural keystone species of the Magbukún Ayta community of Morong, Bataan, Philippines : implications for biocultural diversity conservation

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Item Summary

Title: Dioscorea divaricata (dioscoreaceae) as a cultural keystone species of the Magbukún Ayta community of Morong, Bataan, Philippines : implications for biocultural diversity conservation
Authors: Tongco, Ma Dolores Cui
Keywords: Dioscorea divaricata
Issue Date: Aug 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011]
Abstract: Due to the rapid loss of both biodiversity and cultural diversity, which are intricately linked, collaborative conservation efforts are needed from both local and conservation fronts. One approach to biocultural diversity conservation is to use cultural significance. This dissertation looks at the cultural keystone species concept in the context of the Magbukún Ayta community, a semi-hunter-gatherer group in the Philippines, and their relationship with buloy (Dioscorea divaricata Blanco, Dioscoreaceae), a local species of wild yam. The yam is investigated in its ecological, cultural, and nutritional contexts. The preferred habitat of the yam (primary forest) was characterized to have 262 species of trees, herbs and lianas in an area of 0.2 ha, including endemic and threatened species. Tree diversity was high, with a Fisher's alpha value of 58.27 and a Shannon's diversity index value of 4.376. Using key informant interviews, participantobservation and semi-structured interviews, the traditional ecological knowledge of the Aytas concerning buloy was documented. Buloy was then shown to be a cultural keystone species of the community. Knowledge distribution and transmission were also studied through multiple regressions, revealing that age was the most predictive factor of knowledge regarding buloy.
Harvesting practice, as well as Magbukún language use, was also shown to decline with younger generations. Using interview results, an intimacy matrix was developed as a tool to assess the potential persistence of a plant-people relationship based on exposure, knowledge and practice.
Nutritional analysis was also done for buloy to assess its importance as a food. Buloy was shown to have nutritive properties comparable to rice, the current staple in the community. The persistence of buloy as a culturally important food to the Aytas is likely due to the persistence of its habitat, its symbolism of cultural identity, and its nutritive properties. The buloy's important position in the Ayta culture, and its preferred habitat being undisturbed forest allows it to be used in conservation of biocultural diversity.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101637
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Botany



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