Article

What works in the field? A comparison of different interviewing methods in ethnobotany with special reference to the use of photographs

Economic Botany (Impact Factor: 1.93). 04/2007; 61(4):376-384. DOI: 10.1663/0013-0001(2007)61[376:WWITFA]2.0.CO;2

ABSTRACT Ethnobotanists use a variety of interview techniques to collect ethnobotanical data. Drawing upon the results from a quantitative
ethnobotanical study in five Yuracaré and Trinitario communities in the Bolivian Amazon, the pros and cons of the following
methods are evaluated: (1) interviews in situ during transects, walk-in-the-woods, and homegarden sampling; and (2) interviews ex situ with fresh plant material, voucher specimens, or plant photographs as reference tools. Although the systematic use of plant
photographs for ethnobotanical interviews is poorly documented in literature, the results show that indigenoùs participants
in our study recognize significantly more plant species from photographs than from voucher specimens. It is argued that, especially
in remote and isolated study sites, photographs might be advantageous over voucher specimens.

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