[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose a new quantitative measure that enables the researcher to make decisions and test hypotheses about the distribution of knowledge in a community and estimate the richness and sharing of information among informants. In our study, this measure has two levels of analysis: intracultural and intrafamily.
Using data collected in northeastern Brazil, we evaluated how these new estimators of richness and sharing behave for different categories of use.
We observed trends in the distribution of the characteristics of informants. We were also able to evaluate how outliers interfere with these analyses and how other analyses may be conducted using these indices, such as determining the distance between the knowledge of a community and that of experts, as well as exhibiting the importance of these individuals' communal information of biological resources. One of the primary applications of these indices is to supply the researcher with an objective tool to evaluate the scope and behavior of the collected data.
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 03/2012; 8:11. · 2.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study assessed the intracultural knowledge of the use of medicinal plants in an urban-rural community in an Atlantic forest fragment in northeastern Brazil. We examined the importance of native and exotic species and the effects of gender and age on that knowledge. We also compared data obtained from different groups of informants (local experts and general community). We conducted 194 interviews between June 2007 and January 2008, using the freelist technique and semistructured forms to collect ethnobotanical data. Information obtained from the community was compared with that from six local experts who participated in a survey in 2003. From a total of 209 ethnospecies, exotic and herbaceous plants presented higher richness. With respect to the number of citations, women and older informants were shown to know a higher number of medicinal plants. Comparing knowledge of local experts with that of the general community, we noted that experts know a similar wealth of plant families and therapeutic indications, but the community knows a greater species richness. These results indicate that local experts may provide useful information for studies that search for a quick diagnosis of the knowledge of a given community.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2012; 2012:679373. · 1.72 Impact Factor