Books  Botany & Plant Science  Economic Botany & Ethnobotany 

Applied Ethnobotany: People, Wild Plant Use and Conservation

Handbook / Manual

Series: People and Plants Conservation Series

By: Anthony B Cunningham

300 pages, B/w photos, figs, tabs, maps


Paperback | Dec 2000 | #39761 | ISBN: 1853836974
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £34.99 $45/€38 approx

About this book

Produced in association with, and sponsored by, the WWF, UNESCO, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this book provides practical guidelines for work in regional floras of ethnobotanical importance. It describes the botanical, anthropological, phytochemical, linguistic and ecological approaches used to collect information on useful plants, and the essential collaborative nature of ethnobotany which links scientific and folk knowledge. An essential reference.

From the publisher's announcement:

Wild or non-cultivated plants are crucial to the lives of a large portion of the world's population, providing low-cost building materials, fuel, food supplements, medicines, tools and sources of income. Despite their importance, their vulnerability to harvesting and other social impacts is not well understood. Applied Ethnobotany is the first practical guide to be published on how to manage wild plant species sustainably.

This detailed manual on wild plant resources sets out the approaches and field methods involved in participatory work between conservationists, researchers and the primary resource users. Supported by extensive illustrations, it explains how local people can learn to assess the pressures on plant resources and what steps to take to ensure their continued availability.

For all those involved in resource management decisions regarding plant species and diversity, and in particular those studying or working in conservation, rural development and park management, this guide is invaluable.

What people have said about the book:

'The numerous diagrams, tables of data, information flow charts, fieldwork sketches etc. give a great vibrancy to the work.It deserves a wide readership.'

'Supported by 97 excellent illustrations, 16 tables and 22 text boxes, it explains how local people can learn to assess the pressures on plant resources and what steps to take to ensure their continued availability. This guide is invaluable for all those involved in resource management decisions regarding plants and diversity, and in particular those studying or working in conservation, rural development and park management.'

`Its wise and sensitive approach to working with local people will be relevant in situations throughout the world.'
ECOS, A Review of Conservation, Vol 23, No 2, 2002 ECOS

`The advice given can be used by ethno and conservation biologists for research in every part of the world'

One of the book's most important strengths is the excellent didactical presentation of the material.. the numerous maps and other figures provide excellent visual material. The book can be highly recommended to anyone interested in the conservation and sustainable use of tropical landscapes and is particularly useful in the context of biological approaches. -- Journal of Ethnopharmacology


Part 1 Conservation and context - different times, different views: Introduction; Historical context; Management myths and effective partnerships; Vegetation and change - spatial and time scales; Human influence - landscapes and species. Part 2 Local inventories, values and quantities of harvested resources: Introduction; Local priorities - vegetation types, resource categories and species; Choosing the right methods; Before starting - attitudes, time spans and cross-checking; Taxonomy with all your senses - the use of field characters; Potentials and pitfalls - combining skills in inventories; Local to international units. Part 3 Settlement, commercialization and change: Introduction; Local markets - order within "chaos"; Location and mapping of marketplaces; Characteristics of markets; Market schedules; Marketing chains and types of seller; Inventory and frequency of plants on sale. Part 4 Measuring individual plants and assessing harvesting impacts: Introduction; Necessary equipment; Measuring diameter, height and bark thickness; Methods for ageing plants; Harvesting impacts. Part 5 Opportunities and constraints on sustainable harvest - plant populations: Introduction; Plant populations and practical constraints - selecting species; Bridging gaps in knowledge - life forms, plant architecture and reproductive strategies; Plant life forms; Costs and complexity - inventory, management and monitoring; Yields - supply versus demand; Population modelling using transition matrices. Part 6 Landscapes and ecosystems - patterns, processes and plant use: Introduction Tools for the "big picture" - aerial photographs and satellite images; Distribution, degree of threat and disturbance; Local knowledge, landscapes and mapping. Part 7 Conservation behaviour, boundaries and beliefs: Introduction; Conservation and the ingredients for common property management; Ecological factors, land use, tenure and territoriality; Property rights - land and resource tenure; Boundaries and tenure, meaning and mapping; Ritual, religion and resource control; Who are the stakeholders? Part 8 Striving for balance - looking outward and inward: Introduction; Looking outward; Looking inward; examining innovative local approaches.

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