Local Uses of Native Plants in an Area of Caatinga Vegetation (Pernambuco, NE Brazil)

de Lucena, Reinaldo Farias Paiva
do Nascimento, Viviany Teixeira
de Lima Araujo, Elcida
de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
The present work sought to identify the utilitarian potential of woody plant species in a fragment of caatinga (semi-arid) vegetation located in the “Agreste” region of Pernambuco State, NE Brazil. The study was undertaken in two stages: a floristic inventory was made of a forest fragment adjacent to the community examined in order to identify the species present in the area; this being followed by an ethnobotanical survey employing semi-structured interviews with 98 informants of both sexes in order to gather information concerning the uses attributed to each of those species. A total of 43 woody species were encountered in the forest fragment area, of which 36 were considered to be useful by the local population. These 36 species were distributed among eight use-categories, among which the most important were fuel, construction, and medicinal uses, with more than 20 species among them. The wood and the bark are the most utilized plant parts, reinforcing the importance that forest products have for the community. The community examined demonstrated a significant knowledge of the woody species in the area that can be used to satisfy local needs, and especially for wooden materials. In spite of the total plant diversity observed, utilitarian potential was concentrated in a reduced number of species demonstrating high relative importance values.
woody plant species, caatinga, Agreste, Pernambuco State, Brazil, ethnobotanical survey
De Lucena RFP, do Nascimento VT, de Lima Araujo E, de Albuquerque UP. 2008. Local uses of native plants in an area of caatinga vegetation (Pernambuco, NE Brazil). Ethnobotany Research and Applications 6:003-013.
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