Ethnobotany Research and Applications

Publisher: Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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ISSN 1547-3465

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Traditional agricultural landscapes support substantial levels of biological and cultural diversity. Tropical homegardens, which represent sustainable agro-ecosystems, are important components of such landscapes. In this study, homegardens of Basketo Special Woreda of Southwestern Ethiopia have been investigated. The study aims at understanding organization of homegardens, their role in maintenance of biological diversity and also the impact of ongoing changes on the composition and function of the gardens. A total of 60 homegardens (households) were sampled from 12 k’ebele (the smallest administrative unit) selected by employing a combination of purposive and stratified sampling methods. In the study, issues that pertain to local resource perception, management, and use norms as well as plant diversity of the different land-use systems in the landscape are addressed. A total of 207 species, of which 149 are maintained in the homegardens, were recorded from the managed landscape. Biodiversity has been cultivated in these farming units as a result of the farmers’ innate perception of biodiversity value and also due to the characteristic organization of the gardens which promote concentration of plant species. Currently, Basketo homegardens are undergoing unusual dynamics mainly due to market-driven factors. Some crops such as coffee/buna (Coffea arabica L.), which bring better economic return, are expanding and displacing enset/uuts (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheeseman) (which traditionally forms the basic element of the garden) and other long-existed crops. Drastic alteration of these crop production units could lead to unwanted impacts including a serious deterioration of biological diversity and loss of the sustainability feature of the agro-ecosystems.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Ethnobotany Research and Applications
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid loss of indigenous ethnobotanical traditions has created a need to triage research efforts to preserve this traditional knowledge. A triage process, however, is best led by those who understand the cultural context of historical data and are keenly aware of the community’s pressing needs—the indigenous community itself. Non-community researchers can be involved by lending research skills and connections towards the community-established research goals. This study described a process by which two non-indigenous community researchers supported an indigenous, Myaamia (Miami) research scholar in triaging Myaamia ethnobotanical research priorities and in conducting a focused study on the highest priority plant according to that community: corn (Zea mays L.). Data gathered regarding Myaamia corn traditions allowed the reconstruction of the traditional corn cultivation cycle. Description of traditional corn processing techniques, recipes, and identifying traditional corn varieties is helping the Myaamia community in their efforts to preserve cultural historical knowledge associated with planting of corn and in so doing revitalize Myaamia language and culture.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Ethnobotany Research and Applications
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    ABSTRACT: Oxytenanthera abyssinica (A.Rich.) Munro is known to be one of the lowland perennial grass species in Ethiopia with tremendous products and ecological services. It is uncommon to find O. abyssinica at the homestead as it was commonly found in the study area as part of an agroforestry system. This study was conducted to assess socioeconomic benefits of O. abyssinica and factors that influence farmers’ decision to use homestead agroforestry systems, based on a survey of 153 households in Serako kebele, Tselemti woreda, Ethiopia. This paper evaluates, using descriptive statistics, propensity score matching and logit regression analysis. The analysis demonstrates that farmers make decisions to grow O. abyssinica as homestead agroforestry systems based on household and field characteristics. The factors that significantly influenced growing decisions include homestead land holding size, total livestock owned, extension advice, and distance to local market. The average treatment effect (ATT) results show that the households with an O. abyssinica grower had significantly higher annual household income, annual expenditure, and number of months with enough food when compared to the control group. Therefore, we conclude that development of infrastructures that link producers with consumers, availability of large homestead land size, and expansion of extension facilities may enhance engagement of domestication of O. abyssinica at the homestead for sustainable livelihood options.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Ethnobotany Research and Applications
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    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Ethnobotany Research and Applications
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    ABSTRACT: The present study documents dynamics and patterns of knowledge about the use of native plants in a rural community, according to the age and gender of its members, in a semi-arid region of Paraíba State, northeastern Brazil. Socioeconomic factors and ethnobotanical data were registered from 123 household heads through semi-structured interviews. Comparisons between the knowledge of males and females, and between age groups about species richness, number of citations mentioned, and species plant use knowledge measures were made to determine intracultural variations. These outcomes show that differentiation of botanical knowledge from a gender and age perspective reinforces the importance of recognizing specific activities and needs in males and females in the design and definition of sustainable management strategies, policies, and economic interventions over vegetation legacy, and act as a priority inclusion indicator of certain species in conservation processes as a contribution to the culture and biodiversity conservation.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Ethnobotany Research and Applications