2014 - Volume 12 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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    Wine, Beer, Snuff, Medicine, and Loss of Diversity - Ethnobotanical travels in the Georgian Caucasus
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Bussmann, Rainer W. ; Zambrana, Narel Y Paniagua ; Sikharulidze, Shalva ; Kikvidze, Zaal ; Kikodze, David ; Jinjikhadze, Tamar ; Shanshiashvili, Tamaz ; Chelidze, Dato ; Batsatsashvili, Ketevan ; Bakanidze, Niki
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    Ethnobotany of Wild and Semi-Wild Edible Fruit Species used by Maale and Ari Ethnic Communities in Southern Ethiopia
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Kidane, Berhane ; van der Maesen, L.J.G. ; van Andel, Tinde ; Asfaw, Zemede ; Sosef, M.S.M.
    Wild and semi-wild tree fruit species are important resources in combating food insecurity and providing supplementary diet to rural people. We studied wild and semi-wild fruit species used by the Maale and Ari communities in southern Ethiopia and the conservation status of these resources. We used focus group discussions (n = 18) and individual interviews (n = 144) in three rural kebeles. In total, the two communities used 52 species of wild and semi-wild fruit species which were especially important for their diet in times of food shortage. The most important species were, for the Maale community, Balanites rotundifolia (Tiegh.) Blatt. and Dobera glabra (Forssk.) Juss. ex Poir. and, for the Ari community, Carissa spinarum L. and Vitex doniana Sweet. No significant variation in ethnobotanical knowledge regarding fruit species existed among gender and age groups. The main traded fruit species were B. rotundifolia, Ximenia caffra Sond., and Vangueria madagascariensis J.F.Gmel. The major threats reported by informants to the availability of wild and semi-wild fruit species were tree felling and conversion of forest to agricultural land. In addition to preserving the local knowledge and implementing conservation strategies that protect the remaining fruit trees, maintenance and enrichment planting of the most important species are plausible management interventions.
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    Sendera-clandi (Xenostegia tridentata, Convolvulaceae): A medicinal creeper
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Austin, Daniel Frank
    In 1692 Rheede reported vines in India by the Malayalam name sendera-clandi. Soon afterward, the medicinal species was in London, imported from India and West Africa. Subsequent exploration of Africa and Asia revealed that these diminutive creepers were widespread and that they were considered medicinal throughout the Old World tropics. Now known scientifically as Xenostegia tridentata, people have long recognized two distinct morphotypes, one African and one Asian. Recent research confirms that these two represent subspecies of X. tridentata whose ranges overlap in southern India and Sri Lanka. Historical data indicate that the overlap was caused, or at least enhanced, by traders moving between Asia and Africa.
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    Ecological Apparency Hypothesis and Availability of Useful Plants: Testing different seu values
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Ribeiro, João Everthon Silva ; Carvalho, Thamires Kelly Nunes ; Alves, Carlos Antonio Belarmino ; Ribeiro, João Paulo Oliveira ; Guerra, Natan Medeiros ; Pedrosa, Kamila Marques ; Silva, Núbia ; Sousa Júnior, Severino Pereira ; Nunes, Alissandra Trajano ; Souto, Jacob Silva ; Lima, José Ribamar Farias ; Oliveria, Rodrigo Silva ; Lucena, Reinaldo Farias Paiva
    The present study tested the ecological apparency hypothesis in a Brazilian rural community. It used the use value to test the information gained through three types of calculations (UVchange, UVgeneral, UVpotential). A vegetation inventory was performed in two areas near Capivara, Paraíba, Brazil, and 112 informants were interviewed. For the hypothesis test, the Spearman correlation coefficient was used to correlate the phytosociological (vegetation) and ethnobotanical data (use value). The study recorded 25 useful species in the first site and 20 in the second site. Positive correlations were found in the first site, between the UVg to basal area and dominance, and between the UVc and basal area, dominance, and importance value. In the second site, between the UVg and both basal area and dominance and between UVc and basal area, density, and dominance. Apparency explained the local importance of useful plants in construction, technology, and fuel, but was not explanative of medicine. Also, important responses were observed for the different use values.
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    Ethnobotanical Uses of Some Plants of Bhattiyat Block in District Chamba, Himachal Pradesh (Western Himalaya)
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Rani, Savita ; Rana, Jai Chand
    In this study an ethnobotanical survey of plant diversity was carried out at Bhattiyat block of District Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India. The study was mainly focused on the medicinal plants used for treatment of various ailments/diseases by the nearby village inhabitants. The information was collected by questionnaire and consulting local elders. The present paper provides information on the indigenous therapeutic application and other traditional uses of 22 plant species that are commonly used by the natives of Bhattiyat block of District Chamba.
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    Promoting the Use of Ethnoveterinary Practices in Livestock Health Management in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Mudzengi, Clarice Princess
    This study evaluated the contributions and potential of ethnoveterinary practices to livestock health management in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. Causes of non-adoption of ethnoveterinary practices were also determined, and recommendations for the way forward suggested. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in the study. High costs and unavailability of pharmaceuticals, poor communication networks, and disintegrating government livestock health facilities were cited as some of the problems in livestock health management. Adoption of ethnoveterinary practices which are cheap, locally available, and sustainable is an alternative, especially in the face of climate change and variability. However, the respondents cited lack of documentation, inadequate diagnosis, and lack of knowledge of application rates or side effects of these practices as some of the challenges in using them. Ethnoveterinary practices are therefore mostly used in combination with pharmaceuticals rather than on their own. Scientific validation of indigenous medicinal plants is therefore important to increase their adoption in livestock health management. The knowledge of traditional healers, seasoned stockmen, hunters, and other experienced elderly people should be tapped to gather information on these practices so that it gets documented for the benefit of future generations.
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    Floristic Features, Distribution, and Ethnobotany of Plants Gathered and Used by Local People from the Mediterranean Forest in Northern Jordan
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Nawash, Oraib ; Al-Assaf, Amani ; El-oqlah, Ahmad ; Omari, Mohammad
    Understanding the distribution and floristic features of native forest plants, as well as the reasons that lead local people to collect them, is of great value for planning and implementing forest conservation and rehabilitation projects in the Mediterranean forest involving local communities. The aims of this study were to (1) investigate the distribution pattern, (2) analyze the floristic features, and (3) investigate the main uses of plants gathered from three Mediterranean forest ecosystems in Northern Jordan. We sampled 14 villages that were selected according to their location on the edge and within the three Mediterranean forest types in Northern Jordan. Three hundred informants were interviewed face to face using a semi-structured questionnaire. The data obtained included a list of plants collected and their uses. A Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was carried out to investigate the distribution of plant species collected from the three forest types. Also, important indices were calculated including Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Fidelity Level (FL%), and uses totaled. The DCA showed that there are common plant species gathered intensively from all three forest types, namely Origanum syriacum L., Malva parviflora L., and Arum palaestinum Boiss., and that some plant species are collected from a particular forest type. The main uses of the collected plants are food and medicine. The study results suggest value in taking into account the behavior of people who collect native forest plants when designing fragile forest ecosystem restoration programs. These programs should be community-based in order to achieve ecosystem sustainability and prevent biodiversity erosion.
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    Prehistoric Plant Use at Beaver Creek Rock Shelter, Southwestern Montana, U.S.A.
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Dexter, Darla ; Martin, Kathleen ; Travis, Lauri
    The 2011 Carroll College Archaeological Field School conducted an exploratory excavation within the Beaver Creek Rock Shelter in southwestern Montana, U.S.A. The excavation exposed four cultural occupation layers dat-ing to over 2,500 years ago. Pollen retrieved from the pa-leoenvironmental record included a wide variety of plants. Seven plant families were found in three of the occupa-tion layers and in only one natural layer. This research reviewed the traditional Native American ethnobotanical uses of those seven plant families. They were used pri-marily for medicinal purposes. Although archaeologists have traditionally viewed botanical remains as evidence of prehistoric subsistence, this research demonstrates ar-chaeologists’ need to use caution in assuming plant re-mains in the archaeological record are predominately tied to subsistence.
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    An Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants in Amaro Woreda, Ethiopia
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Mesfin, Fisseha ; Seta, Talemos ; Assefa, Abreham
    An ethnobotanical study was conducted in Amaro Wereda, Southern Nations Nationalities and peoples Region (SNNPR), Ethiopia. The objective was to document indigenous knowledge of the people on the use of medicinal plants and investigate plant species that are used as medicines for the treatment of human health problems, document indigenous knowledge for the conservation of biological and cultural diversities and threatening factors of plant species. Vegetation data was collected along with ethnobotanical information from purposefully selected  areas of the wereda. A total of 17 traditional healers with most of them aged from 28 to 70 years from different parts of the wereda  were purposefully selected and information was collected through the use of questionnaires and personal interviews during field trips in the Korre ethnic group from August to December 2012. Descriptive analysis was made for the data collected. A total of 56 plant species were reported by traditional healers of the Korre ethnic groups for their medicinal uses, representing 52 genera and 32 families. The majority (76.8%) were wild. Of the plants, 21 were herbs (37.5%) and 19 shrubs (34%). Thirty-one human ailments were identified by the traditional healers of the study area. Leaves constituted 33 % of the total uses followed by roots (27 %). Fifty seven percent of the healer remedies were applied through oral tract while 23% were applied on the skin. The Korre plants were the ones with the highest fidelity level (FL) values, an indication of their high healing potential. Priority should, therefore, be given to these plants to test their efficacy and their toxicity. Conservation priority should be given for identified threatened medicinal plants, promoting in-situ and ex-situ conservation of medicinal plants in Korre community of Amaro wereda.
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    An Ethnobotany of Firewood in Osage Big Moon Peyotism: Practical knowledge, ritual participation, and aesthetic preference
    (Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014) Swan, Daniel ; Simons, Lauren
    This article examines firewood in the context of the modern practice of the Big Moon Peyote Religion by the Osage Indian community of Osage County, in northeastern Oklahoma, U.S.A. The fire and its ritual maintenance is a major component of the all night ceremony of Peyotism. The selection and preparation of the wood used in the ritual fire incorporates botanical knowledge, ceremonial experience, and aesthetic considerations to satisfy a range of preferences and criteria. We also discuss the manners in which firewood, through its ritual use and sacred properties, extends the spiritual benefit and social relationships of Peyotism to the greater Osage community.