ResearchPad - Cultural Studies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A QUALITATIVE REVIEW OF OLDER ADULT PERSPECTIVES ON HEALTHY AGING IN THE CIRCUMPOLAR NORTH]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nd8b01f9b-6ed9-4f0f-a19a-ee6f2bfaade2

Abstract

Cross-cultural research has shown marked variation in health outcomes across the world’s older adult populations. Indeed, older adults in the Circumpolar North experience a variety of health disparities. Because aging is a biological process rooted in sociocultural context, there exists great variation in the ways older adults define and experience healthy, or “successful,” aging in their communities. The aim of this analysis was to synthesize qualitative research among older residents (aged 50+ years) in the Circumpolar North to identify a definition of healthy aging common in the region. The Circumpolar North is defined as the Arctic and subarctic regions of Canada, Finland, Denmark, Greenland & the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. A thorough review was conducted across a variety of academic search databases for peer-reviewed, qualitative studies conducted among community-dwelling older adults. The search strategy initially identified 194 articles; 22 articles met the inclusion criteria. Included studies were coded and analyzed using Grounded Theory to examine underlying themes of healthy aging in the Circumpolar North. The findings reveal the importance older adults place on incorporating social, environmental, and personal resilience factors into multidimensional models of healthy aging. This research also highlights the need for increased translational research with populations in the Circumpolar North that are under-represented in the gerontological literature.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of psychometric properties of needs assessment tools in cancer patients: A systematic literature review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c3e4f5bd5eed0c484d7473c

Background

Although a wide range of needs assessment tools for cancer patients have been developed, no standardized and commonly accepted instruments were recommended to use in clinical care. This systematic review was conducted to assess the quality of psychometric properties of needs assessment tools among cancer patients in order to help oncology healthcare professionals select the most appropriate needs assessment tools in routine clinical practice.

Methods

Searches were conducted in the electronic databases of PUBMED from 1966, CINAHL from 1960, EMBASE from 1980 and PsychINFO from 1967 as well as additional sources. The quality of psychometric properties of the recruited needs assessment tools was evaluated using the agreed quality criteria for measurement properties of health status questionnaires.

Results

Thirty-seven studies which evaluated the psychometric properties of 20 needs assessment tools were identified. Internal consistency was tested in 32 studies with 9 studies indicating negative rating and 4 studies intermediate rating. Less than half of the studies (13 studies) assessed test-retest reliability, and only 4 studies reported positive rating. Content validity was the most tested psychometric property appraised in 33 studies and indicated positive rating in all the evaluated studies. Structural validity was adequately evaluated in 28 studies with 23 studies reporting intermediate rating. More than half of the studies (29 studies) tested hypothesis testing and 13 studies were rated positive. Cross-cultural validity results were obtained in 13 studies with 7 studies showing negative rating. No data was available on measurement error and criterion validity. Only one study appraised responsiveness and showed intermediate rating. The Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form (SCNS-SF) is the most widely used instrument for needs assessment in cancer patients. It had strong evidence for internal consistency, content validity, structural validity and hypothesis testing, and moderate evidence for reliability and cross-cultural validity. Cancer Survivors’ Unmet Needs Measure (CaSUN) reported strong or moderate evidence for internal consistency, reliability, content and structural validity, and hypothesis testing. Furthermore, Supportive Cancer Care Needs Assessment Tool for Indigenous People (SCNAT-IP) had strong evidence for content validity, and moderate evidence for internal consistency, structural validity and hypothesis testing.

Conclusions

Despite several needs assessment tools exist to assess care needs in cancer patients, further improvement of already existing and promising instruments is recommended.

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<![CDATA[The association between cross-cultural competence and well-being among registered native and foreign-born nurses in Finland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c141ea0d5eed0c484d277c1

Background

A growing body of research indicates that cross-cultural competence in nurses can improve migrant patients’ health-related outcomes, but little is known about the potential benefits of cross-cultural competence on the nurses’ own well-being.

Objective

To examine whether cross-cultural competence (empathy, skills, positive attitudes, and motivation) is associated with perceived time pressure at work, psychological distress, and sleep problems among registered nurses in Finland, and whether there are differences in these potential associations between native and foreign-born nurses.

Methods

The present cross-sectional study was based on a sample of 212 foreign-born nurses licensed to practice in Finland and a random sample of 744 native Finnish nurses. Data were collected with a questionnaire and analyzed using multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling (SEM).

Results

Of all four dimensions of cross-cultural competence, only empathy was associated with perceived time pressure (β = –0.13, p = .018), distress (β = –0.23, p < .001), and sleep problems (β = –0.14, p = .004) after the adjustment for gender, age, employment sector, and frequency of interacting with patients and colleagues from different cultures. There were no differences between native and foreign-born nurses in these observed associations (all ps > .05).

Conclusions

Cross-cultural empathy may protect against perceived time pressure, distress, and sleep problems in both native and foreign-born nurses. Thus, the promotion of this component of cross-cultural competence among nursing personnel should be encouraged.

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<![CDATA[Medical student preferences for the internal medicine residency interview day: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b4a28a1463d7e4513b89810

Background

Applicant recruitment is an essential part of a residency program’s activities with valuable resources dedicated to ensuring its success. Most programs design interview days based on a mix of tradition, budget availability and perception of applicant preferences. There is a paucity of available data on preferences of applicants for interview days.

Objective

We sought to investigate Internal Medicine applicant preferences for a residency recruitment day in aggregate and stratified by medical school background: United States vs. International Medical School Graduate.

Methods

A survey was developed and used in a cross-sectional study of Internal Medicine categorical and preliminary medicine candidates. Applicants ranked different facets of the interview day using a Likert scale. Variables included interview type, start time, length of interview day, number of interviews, length of each interview, background of interviewers, types of questions, interaction time with residents, month of interview, and components of interview day.

Results

265 applicants received the surveys and 215 completed them correctly (81%). Overall, applicants tended to favor an 8–9 am start time (81.9%) and an optimal duration of four hours (82.8%). The interview was the most preferred component of the day (80.0%) with one-on-one (98.1%) and 15–30 min (95.3%) interviews preferred. Several statistically significant differences were found between the United States and International students as well as Categorical and Preliminary applicants.

Conclusion

Our findings offer insights into various factors of the interview day that may appeal to Internal Medicine candidates. This information will be useful to graduate medical education departments engaged in recruitment.

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<![CDATA[Doing comic geographies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b58d186463d7e51d5394776

This article reflects on how notions of ‘the comic’ may be of added value to geographers’ research. It is formed around the idea that there are aspects of space and society that are by nature incongruous and unsuitable to be understood through frameworks of scholarship that privilege ‘reason’ and objectivity above all else. The author thus reflects on how these notions of ‘the comic’ as a mode of thought can be applied to understanding different fields of research. Ultimately, the article draws out how using this comic mode also forms an ‘inward’ reflective process which can help to understand the often complicated positions that researchers hold. This article thus calls for an inclusion of the often otherwise ignored comic aspects of the world into scholarship so that we, as geographers, may provide fuller and more human critical analyses of space, culture and society.

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<![CDATA[Ethnobotanical survey of cooling herbal drinks from southern China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db02ab0ee8fa60bc6f23

Background

Liáng chá (“cooling tea”, “herbal tea” or “cool tisane” in Chinese) are herbal drinks widely produced in southern China and consumed by billions of people worldwide to prevent and treat internal heat as well as a range of associated health conditions. Globalization and renewed interest in botanical remedies has attracted growing attention in cooling herbal drinks by industry, scientists and consumers. However, there is a knowledge gap on the plant species used and commercialized for cooling herbal drinks in southern China and their associated ethnobotanical use, habitat and conservation status. This is the first study to document plant species used and commercialized as liáng chá in southern China’s Lingnan region and associated ethnomedical function, preparation methods, habitat and conservation status.

Methods

Three hundred market surveys were conducted between 2010-2012 in the largest herbal drink producing region of China to record plants used for liáng chá and to document knowledge on their medicinal function, habitat and conservation status. Product samples and voucher specimens were collected for taxonomic identification.

Results

All informants harvest and cultivate plants for preparing herbal drinks for their medicinal, cultural and economic values. A total of 222 ethnotaxa corresponded to 238 botanical taxa (species, varieties or subspecies) belonging to 86 families and 209 genera were recorded as liáng chá to treat health conditions in the study area. Recorded remedies consisted of one or several plant species to treat conditions classified into 27 major health conditions with clearing internal heat being the most common medicinal function. The habitat types of plants documented for use as liáng chá include 112 wild harvested species, 51 species that are either wild harvested or cultivated, 57 cultivated species, and 2 naturalized species. According to China’s Red List and CITES on conservation status, one of these species is endangered, one species is critically endangered, eight species are vulnerable, one is listed in CITES II, three are listed in Regional Red Data Book and the remaining 224 species are in the least concerned conservation category.

Conclusions

The liáng chá industry of southern China reflects the plant species richness and cultural diversity of the region. Future research on safety and efficacy of herbal drinks as well as ecological and cultural conservation efforts are needed for the sustainable growth of China’s botanical industry.

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<![CDATA[Vulnerability and risk management of Agave species in the Tehuac&#225;n Valley, M&#233;xico]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da14ab0ee8fa60b7a98c

Background

Our study analysed the vulnerability of the useful Agave species of the Tehuacán Valley, Mexico, considering ecological, cultural and economic aspects, and management types. We hypothesized that management intensity is proportional to the degree of risk of a species in order to decrease its vulnerability.

Methods

Distribution of Agave species was monitored in 36 types of plant associations. Ethnobotanical studies were conducted in 13 villages and six markets. The vulnerability of each species was calculated by assigning risk values to the variables analysed. The vulnerability and management intensity indexes were estimated through the scores of the first principal component of PCA. Variation of management data explained by ecological, cultural and economic information were analysed through canonical correspondence analyses (CCA). A linear regression analysis identified the relation between vulnerability and management intensity.

Results

We recorded presence of agave species in 20 of 36 vegetation types. Out of 34 Agave species, 28 were recorded to have one to 16 use types; 16 species are used as food, 13 for live fences, 13 for producing ‘pulque’, 11 for fibre and ornamental, 9 for construction. Seven species are used for preparing mescal, activity representing the highest risk. Seven Agave species are exclusively extracted from the wild and the others receive some management type. Incipient cultivation was identified in A. potatorum whose seedlings are grown in nurseries. Intensive cultivation through vegetative propagation occurs with domesticated species of wide distribution in Mexico. The highest management intensity values were recorded in widely distributed, cultivated and domesticated species, but the regionally native species more intensively managed were those with higher demand and economic value, protected by collective regulations because of their scarcity. The regression analysis indicated significant relation (R2=0.677, P<0.001) between vulnerability and management indexes. CCA explained 61.0% of variation of management intensity, mainly by socio-cultural factors (30.32%), whereas ecological data explained 7.6% and the intersection of all factors 21.36%.

Conclusions

The highest vulnerability was identified in wild species restrictedly distributed and/or highly extracted. Social pressures may increase the natural vulnerability of some species and these species are particularly those native species receiving some management form.

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<![CDATA[Fish-based remedies in Spanish ethnomedicine: a review from a historical perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989dac1ab0ee8fa60bb0dec

Background

Fish-based therapeutics is fundamentally based on a dietary use, but these vertebrates have also been employed in the treatment of infectious and parasitic diseases, during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum and to deal with diseases of the different systems.

Methods

An overview of the ethnomedical and historical Spanish literature has been carried out. Automated searches in the most important national and international databases have been performed. All related works have been thorough examined.

Results

We examine the historical use of 54 medicinal fish species, 48 marine and six from inland waters. As useful, in Ancient times 39 species have been recorded (of which only 21 have been collected in subsequent periods), seven in the Middle Ages, 18 in Modern times and 17 in the contemporary period. Anguilla anguilla, Engraulis encrasicolus or Scyliorhinus canicula are species that have survived over time as an ingredient in Spanish folk remedies. Most remedies used in the last century and currently are empirical remedies based on the humorism theory and the principle of contraria contrariis curantur (74%), and the rest (26%) are magical type remedies that complete the popular therapeutic arsenal.

Conclusions

In the last century we find a progressive decrease in the number of fish species used in ethnomedicine. Only seven taxa have been documented as surviving therapeutic resources since centuries ago. The existence of a dynamic Spanish ethnomedicine has also been detected which has managed to generate new therapeutic resources in recent times. It is important to validate the remedies by ethnopharmacology and evidence-based medicine. In order to recover as much data as possible, it will be necessary to draw up an inventory of ethnoichthyological uses.

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<![CDATA[Evaluating different methods used in ethnobotanical and ecological studies to record plant biodiversity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da0dab0ee8fa60b786de

Background

This study compares the efficiency of identifying the plants in an area of semi-arid Northeast Brazil by methods that a) access the local knowledge used in ethnobotanical studies using semi-structured interviews conducted within the entire community, an inventory interview conducted with two participants using the previously collected vegetation inventory, and a participatory workshop presenting exsiccates and photographs to 32 people and b) inventory the vegetation (phytosociology) in locations with different histories of disturbance using rectangular plots and quadrant points.

Methods

The proportion of species identified using each method was then compared with Cochran’s Q test. We calculated the use value (UV) of each species using semi-structured interviews; this quantitative index was correlated against values of the vegetation’s structural importance obtained from the sample plot method and point-centered quarter method applied in two areas with different historical usage. The analysis sought to correlate the relative importance of plants to the local community (use value - UV) with the ecological importance of the plants in the vegetation structure (importance value - IV; relative density - RD) by using different sampling methods to analyze the two areas.

Results

With regard to the methods used for accessing the local knowledge, a difference was observed among the ethnobotanical methods of surveying species (Q = 13.37, df = 2, p = 0.0013): 44 species were identified in the inventory interview, 38 in the participatory workshop and 33 in the semi-structured interviews with the community. There was either no correlation between the UV, relative density (RD) and importance value (IV) of some species, or this correlation was negative.

Conclusion

It was concluded that the inventory interview was the most efficient method for recording species and their uses, as it allowed more plants to be identified in their original environment. To optimize researchers’ time in future studies, the use of the point-centered quarter method rather than the sample plot method is recommended.

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<![CDATA[Diversity, local knowledge and use of stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) in the municipality of Nocup&#233;taro, Michoacan, Mexico]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db23ab0ee8fa60bcfaed

Background

Stingless bees were significant resources managed by Mesoamerican peoples during pre-Columbian times and remain important in particular areas. Our study aimed at inventorying stingless bees’ species, traditional knowledge and forms of use and management of them at the municipality of Nocupetaro, Michoacán, Mexico, a region of the Balsas River Basin.

Methods

We inventoried the stingless bees of the municipality of Nocupétaro, Michoacán, México, through extensive collecting of bee specimens in different vegetation types. We then conducted semi-structured interviews to local experts in order to document their knowledge and management techniques of stingless bees’ species.

Results

We identified a total of eight stingless bees’ species in the study area as well as three additional unidentified taxa recognized by people through the local names. Our inventory included one new record of species for the region (Lestrimelitta chamelensis Ayala, 1999). The taxa identified are all used by local people. Scaptotrigona hellwegeri Friese, 1900; Melipona fasciata Latreille, 1811; Frieseomelitta nigra Cresson, 1878 and Geotrigona acapulconis Strand, 1919 are particularly valued as food (honey), medicinal (honey and pollen), and material for handcrafts (wax). All species recorded are wild and their products are obtained through gathering. On average, local experts were able to collect 4 nests of stingless bees per year obtaining on average 6 L of honey and 4 Kg of wax but some came to collect up 10–12 hives per year (18 L of honey and 24 Kg of wax).

Conclusions

Local knowledge about use, management and ecological issues on stingless bees is persistent and deep in the study area. Information about this group of bees is progressively scarcer in Mexico and significant effort should be done from ethnobiological and ecological perspectives in order to complement the national inventory of bee resources and traditional knowledge and management of them.

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<![CDATA[Being a woman researcher in an Anatolian village]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db45ab0ee8fa60bd85b4

This essay represents the first editorial of the series "Recollections, Reflections, and Revelations: Ethnobiologists and their First Time in the Field". In this memoir, the author details the evolvement and intellectual progression of her research focusing on wild food plant consumption within a remote community in the high steppes of Central Anatolia during the early Nineties. The author conveys a human learning journey as a woman and an ethnobiologist, reflecting on the methodological bottlenecks and solutions during her first ethnographic experience in the field.

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<![CDATA[Values, animal symbolism, and human-animal relationships associated to two threatened felids in Mapuche and Chilean local narratives]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da95ab0ee8fa60ba188b

Background

The Chilean temperate rainforest has been subjected to dramatic fragmentation for agriculture and forestry exploitation. Carnivore species are particularly affected by fragmentation and the resulting resource use conflicts with humans. This study aimed at understanding values and human-animal relationships with negatively perceived threatened carnivores through the disclosure of local stories and Mapuche traditional folktales.

Methods

Our mixed approach comprised the qualitative analysis of 112 stories on the kodkod cat (Leopardus guigna) and the puma (Puma concolor) collected by students (9-14 years) from 28 schools in the Araucania region within their family contexts, 10 qualitative in-depth interviews with indigenous Mapuche people, 35 traditional Mapuche legends, and the significance of naming found in ethnographic collections.

Results

We revealed a quasi-extinction of traditional tales in the current knowledge pool about pumas and kodkods, local anecdotes, however, were present in significant numbers. Values associated to both felids were manifold, ranging from negativistic to positive values. While pumas played an important role in people’s spirituality, negative mythological connotations persisted in kodkod stories. Four prominent relationships were derived: (1) Both felids represent threats to livestock, pumas even to life, (2) both felids are symbols for upcoming negative events, (3) pumas are spiritual creatures, and (4) kodkods are threatened by humans. Recommendations are provided for stimulating new ways of perceiving unpopular and threatened carnivores among those who live in vicinity to them.

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<![CDATA[Recollections, reflections, and revelations: ethnobiologists and their &#8220;First Time&#8221; in the field]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da91ab0ee8fa60ba0223 ]]> <![CDATA[Knowledge and valuation of Andean agroforestry species: the role of sex, age, and migration among members of a rural community in Bolivia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd95ca

Background

Agroforestry is a sustainable land use method with a long tradition in the Bolivian Andes. A better understanding of people’s knowledge and valuation of woody species can help to adjust actor-oriented agroforestry systems. In this case study, carried out in a peasant community of the Bolivian Andes, we aimed at calculating the cultural importance of selected agroforestry species, and at analysing the intracultural variation in the cultural importance and knowledge of plants according to peasants’ sex, age, and migration.

Methods

Data collection was based on semi-structured interviews and freelisting exercises. Two ethnobotanical indices (Composite Salience, Cultural Importance) were used for calculating the cultural importance of plants. Intracultural variation in the cultural importance and knowledge of plants was detected by using linear and generalised linear (mixed) models.

Results and discussion

The culturally most important woody species were mainly trees and exotic species (e.g. Schinus molle, Prosopis laevigata, Eucalyptus globulus). We found that knowledge and valuation of plants increased with age but that they were lower for migrants; sex, by contrast, played a minor role. The age effects possibly result from decreasing ecological apparency of valuable native species, and their substitution by exotic marketable trees, loss of traditional plant uses or the use of other materials (e.g. plastic) instead of wood. Decreasing dedication to traditional farming may have led to successive abandonment of traditional tool uses, and the overall transformation of woody plant use is possibly related to diminishing medicinal knowledge.

Conclusions

Age and migration affect how people value woody species and what they know about their uses. For this reason, we recommend paying particular attention to the potential of native species, which could open promising perspectives especially for the young migrating peasant generation and draw their interest in agroforestry. These native species should be ecologically sound and selected on their potential to provide subsistence and promising commercial uses. In addition to offering socio-economic and environmental services, agroforestry initiatives using native trees and shrubs can play a crucial role in recovering elements of the lost ancient landscape that still forms part of local people’s collective identity.

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<![CDATA[Encounters with fierce dogs and itchy bedbugs: why my first field work failed]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b69d6b

This essay, which is the fifth in the series “Recollections, Reflections, and Revelations: Personal Experiences in Ethnobiology”, is a personal reminiscence by the researcher on his first field experience in Turkey in the late 1970s, which was a failure from an ethnobiological point of view but a success for a social scientist pursuing Turkic studies. The author later returned to ethnobiology during subsequent fieldwork on the Faroes.

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<![CDATA[Local and scientific knowledge for assessing the use of fallows and mature forest by large mammals in SE Brazil: identifying singularities in folkecology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da92ab0ee8fa60ba068f

Background

Local ecological knowledge (LEK) has been discussed in terms of its similarities to and its potential to complement normative scientific knowledge. In this study, we compared the knowledge of a Brazilian quilombola population regarding the habitat use and life habits of large mammals with in situ recordings of the species. We also tested the hypothesis that quilombola LEK has a special focus on the anthropogenic portion of the landscape.

Methods

The habitats investigated were anthropogenic secondary forests and mature forests in the southeastern Atlantic coast of Brazil. We conducted the faunal survey using the camera-trap method. The sampling effort consisted of deploying 1,217 cameras/day in the mature forests and 1,189 cameras/day in the secondary forests. Statistical comparisons regarding the habitat use of the species were based on the randomization procedure. We interviewed 36 men who were more than 40 years old in the three communities studied. Informal, semi-structured and structured interviews were used. Two variables were considered in the LEK analyses: level of internal agreement and level of convergence with the scientific data.

Results

The camera trap sampling resulted in a total of 981 records. Animals such as opossums, tayras, armadillos and deer showed a non-selective pattern in the use of habitats. In contrast, the coati was more common in mature forests. We found that nearly 40% of the interviewees’ responses converged with the scientific data on the use of habitats. However, the LEK on the species’ life habits was highly convergent with the scientific data. The hypothesis that secondary forests would have a greater relevance for local knowledge was validated for four of the five analyzed species.

Conclusions

We suggest two principal considerations of ecological and ethnoecological interest: (1) In the Atlantic Forest of the Ribeira Valley, the secondary forests resulting from shifting cultivation were as attractive to the species as the mature forests; (2) The LEK has a special focus on the more anthropogenic portion of the landscape studied. Finally, we argue that this environmental focus in LEK is part of what makes it different from scientific knowledge and unique in its approach toward local environments.

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<![CDATA[Ethnomedicine use in the war affected region of northwest Pakistan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da97ab0ee8fa60ba2481

Background

North-West of Pakistan is bestowed with medicinal plant resources due to diverse geographical and habitat conditions. The traditional use of plants for curing various diseases forms an important part of the region’s cultural heritage. The study was carried out to document medicinal plants used in Frontier Region (FR) Bannu, an area affected by the “War on Terror”.

Methods

Fieldwork was carried out in four different seasons (spring, autumn, summer and winter) from March 2012 to February 2013. Data on medicinal plants was collected using structured and semi-structured questionnaires from 250 respondents. The voucher specimens were collected, processed and identified following standard methods.

Results

Of the 107 species of ethnomedicinal plants reported, fifty percent species are herbaceous. The majority of the reported species were wild (55%) but a substantial proportion are cultivated (29%). For most of the plant species (34%), leaves are the most commonly used part in the preparation of ethnomedicines. The most common use of species is for carminative purposes (14 species), with the next most common use being for blood purification (11 species). The main methods used in the preparation of ethnomedicinal recipes involves grinding and boiling, and nearly all the remedies are taken orally along with ingredients such as water, milk or honey for ease of ingestion. Traditional healers prepare plant remedies using one or more plants. There was a significant correlation (r2 = 0.95) between the age of local people and the number of plants known to them, which indicates that in the coming 20 years, an approximate decrease of 75% in the indigenous knowledge may be expected.

Conclusion

Traditional medicines are important to the livelihoods of rural communities in the region affected by the Global war on Terrorism. The medicinal recipes are indigenous; however, there is a threat to their future use on account of rapid modernization and terrorist activities. Documentation of medicinal plants and recipes may help in the conservation of the regional indigenous medicinal knowledge for future generations and to provide a baseline for further studies.

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<![CDATA[&#8220;I eat the manof&#234; so it is not forgotten&#8221;: local perceptions and consumption of native wild edible plants from seasonal dry forests in Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da91ab0ee8fa60ba0024

Background

There is little information available on the factors influencing people’s selection of wild plants for consumption. Studies suggest a suitable method of understanding the selection of edible plants is to assess people’s perceptions of these resources. The use and knowledge of wild resources is disappearing, as is the opportunity to use them. This study analyzes people’s perceptions of native wild edible plants in a rural Caatinga (seasonal dry forest) community in Northeast Brazil and the relationships between the use of these resources and socioeconomic factors.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews with 39 people were conducted to form a convenience sample to gather information regarding people’s perceptions of 12 native wild edible plant species. The relationships between variables were assessed by simple linear regression analysis, Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses, and in the case of nominal variables, contingency tables. The discourse of participants regarding their opinions of the use of wild plants as food was analyzed through the collective subject discourse analysis technique.

Results

Perceptions were classified into 18 categories. The most cited category was organoleptic characteristics of the edible part; more specifically, flavor. Flavor was the main positive perception associated with plant use, whereas the negative perception that most limited the use of these plants was cultural acceptance. Perceptions of the use of wild edible plants were directly correlated with both interviewee age and income.

Conclusion

Within the studied community, people’s perceptions of native wild edible plants are related to their consumption. Moreover, the study found that young people have less interest in these resources. These findings suggest that changing perceptions may affect the conservation of plants, traditional practices and the associated knowledge.

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<![CDATA[Perceptions of environmental change and use of traditional knowledge to plan riparian forest restoration with relocated communities in Alc&#226;ntara, Eastern Amazon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da7fab0ee8fa60b99fb5

Background

Riparian forests provide ecosystem services that are essential for human well-being. The Pepital River is the main water supply for Alcântara (Brazil) and its forests are disappearing. This is affecting water volume and distribution in the region. Promoting forest restoration is imperative. In deprived regions, restoration success depends on the integration of ecology, livelihoods and traditional knowledge (TEK). In this study, an interdisciplinary research framework is proposed to design riparian forest restoration strategies based on ecological data, TEK and social needs.

Methods

This study takes place in a region presenting a complex history of human relocation and land tenure. Local populations from seven villages were surveyed to document livelihood (including ‘free-listing’ of agricultural crops and homegarden tree species). Additionally, their perceptions toward environmental changes were explored through semi-structured interviews (n = 79). Ethnobotanical information on forest species and their uses were assessed by local-specialists (n = 19). Remnants of conserved forests were surveyed to access ecological information on tree species (three plots of 1,000 m2). Results included descriptive statistics, frequency and Smith’s index of salience of the free-list results.

Results

The local population depends primarily on slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture to meet their needs. Interviewees showed a strong empirical knowledge about the environmental problems of the river, and of their causes, consequences and potential solutions. Twenty-four tree species (dbh > 10 cm) were found at the reference sites. Tree density averaged 510 individuals per hectare (stdv = 91.6); and 12 species were considered the most abundant (density > 10ind/ha). There was a strong consensus among plant-specialists about the most important trees. The species lists from reference sites and plant-specialists presented an important convergence.

Conclusions

Slash-and-burn agriculture is the main source of livelihood but also the main driver of forest degradation. Effective restoration approaches must transform problems into solutions by empowering local people. Successional agroforestry combining annual crops and trees may be a suitable transitional phase for restoration. The model must be designed collectively and include species of ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic value. In deprived communities of the Amazon, forest restoration must be a process that combines environmental and social gains.

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<![CDATA[The apparency hypothesis applied to a local pharmacopoeia in the Brazilian northeast]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9f0ab0ee8fa60b6e58f

Background

Data from an ethnobotanical study were analyzed to see if they were in agreement with the biochemical basis of the apparency hypothesis based on an analysis of a pharmacopeia in a rural community adjacent to the Araripe National Forest (Floresta Nacional do Araripe - FLONA) in northeastern Brazil. The apparency hypothesis considers two groups of plants, apparent and non-apparent, that are characterized by conspicuity for herbivores (humans) and their chemical defenses.

Methods

This study involved 153 interviewees and used semi-structured interviews. The plants were grouped by habit and lignification to evaluate the behavior of these categories in terms of ethnospecies richness, use value and practical and commercial importance. Information about sites for collecting medicinal plants was also obtained. The salience of the ethnospecies was calculated. G-tests were used to test for differences in ethnospecies richness among collection sites and the Kruskal-Wallis test to identify differences in the use values of plants depending on habit and lignifications (e.g. plants were classes as woody or non-woody, the first group comprising trees, shrubs, and lignified climbers (vines) and the latter group comprising herbs and non-lignified climbers). Spearman’s correlation test was performed to relate salience to use value and these two factors with the commercial value of the plants.

Results

A total of 222 medicinal plants were cited. Herbaceous and woody plants exhibited the highest ethnospecies richness, the non-woody and herbaceous plants had the most practical value (current use), and anthropogenic areas were the main sources of woody and non-woody medicinal plants; herbs and trees were equally versatile in treating diseases and did not differ with regard to use value. Trees were highlighted as the most commercially important growth habit.

Conclusions

From the perspective of its biochemical fundamentals, the apparency hypothesis does not have predictive potential to explain the use value and commercial value of medicinal plants. In other hand, the herbaceous habit showed the highest ethnospecies richness in the community pharmacopeia, which is an expected prediction, corroborating the apparency hypothesis.

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