Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Acta Botanica Brasilica]]> vol. num. AHEAD lang. <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Wild vegetables do not lie: Comparative gastronomic ethnobotany and ethnolinguistics on the Greek traces of the Mediterranean Diet of southeastern Italy]]> ABSTRACT Bio-cultural and historical aspects of the “wild plant” portion of the Mediterranean Diet are still very much understudied despite the large number of bio-medical studies on the topic. The current gastronomic ethnobotanical and ethnolinguistic field study focused on the wild leafy vegetables used among Greek populations in SE Italy and NE Greece. A total of 52 folk taxa, corresponding to 58 wild botanical species, were recorded. The frequency of consumption of these wild ingredients was higher in NE Greece than in SE Italy, although approximately one-third of the recorded wild taxa overlapped in the two study sites. Most of these common species were designated by cognates, having in most cases a clear Greek origin, while one-third of the recorded wild vegetables in SE Italy were also used by another Greek diaspora living in SW Italy. The majority of the original Greek wild vegetables are synanthropic weeds. It is likely that the culinary uses of these species originated in the Near East during the post-Neolithic period before they migrated west to Italy and the Mediterranean Basin via Greece and Greek diasporas. <![CDATA[<em>Cereus jamacaru</em> DC. (Cactaceae): From 17 <sup>th</sup> century naturalists to modern day scientific and technological prospecting]]> ABSTRACT Mandacaru (Cereus jamacaru DC - Cactaceae) possesses peculiar physiological and morphological characteristics that allow it to withstand long periods of scarcity and to adapt to different environments. Several uses have also been reported for the species from the 17th century to the present day. Given this history and the importance of the usage of mandacaru, the present investigation aimed to gather information about its uses from different documentary sources, and to perform a comparative analysis between past and present uses. Historia Naturalis Brasiliae by Piso and Marcgrave (17th century) served as the primary source, while information on labels of exsicates in botanical collections, basic scientific literature, and applications for patent filing at INPI, EPO, USPTO, WIPO (until October 2017), served as secondary sources. According to established categories of use, both the primary source and secondary sources revealed that mandacaru has had several applications, among which use for food and medicinal purposes stand out. Other uses, such as ornamental, magical-religious, civil construction and rural fences, were also reported. Despite the numerous references of usage in the documentary sources, knowledge about the potential use of C. jamacaru is not widely spread nor well protected. <![CDATA[Market integration does not affect traditional ecological knowledge but contributes additional pressure on plant resources]]> ABSTRACT Market integration can affect the manner in which individuals learn about and use natural resources. The present study explores the influence of market integration on the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and use of natural resources in handicraft production among the Fulni-ô indigenous people of Northeast Brazil. We collect data from 67 artisans about their traditional and non-traditional handicrafts, which are mainly produced for external trade demand (our proxy for market integration). Data regarding the distribution of knowledge among different segments of the population, according to socioeconomic variables, and the comparison of plant biomass used for traditional and non-traditional handicrafts, reveals that integration does not affect the distribution of TEK but leads to a higher consumption of native plant resources, which can negatively affect the populations of the species used. The present findings indicate a future scenario of the replacement of TEK with knowledge that yields higher economic returns. The most experienced artisans have greater traditional ecological knowledge of traditional handicrafts and can play a fundamental role in maintaining traditional knowledge in the context of market integration. Finally, temporal evaluation studies in particular are needed to better understand changes in knowledge derived from market integration. <![CDATA[What matters in free listing? A probabilistic interpretation of the salience index]]> ABSTRACT Free listing is a data collection technique used in different subject areas to characterize a given cultural domain. Analysis of a set of lists from a human population allows inferences to be made about the cultural salience of the items in that domain. However, the challenge that the salience index presents is establishing a threshold value for determining whether an item can be considered salient or not. The present analysis reveals how to determine which items of a list have non-randomly determined citation frequency and order. Monte Carlo techniques were used to create a hypothetical null scenario. The present analysis not only objectively identifies which items stand out in relation to the others, it also reveals which items can be considered idiosyncratic and how order and frequency independently influence the salience index. The present analysis represents a useful tool for analyzing data collected through free listing. It also can contribute to understanding processes related to the cultural relevance of items and to the test future hypotheses in different areas of knowledge. <![CDATA[Ten important questions/issues for ethnobotanical research]]> ABSTRACT For at least 30 years researchers have called for a deeper reflection on the paths we desire for ethnobotanical research. Although the discipline of ethnobotany is growing, as measured by the number of publications in the area, there is still work to be done regarding the homogeneity of theoretical and methodological approaches and the implications of ethnobotanical research findings for society as a whole. In this article we present 10 questions/issues that we believe can guide the research and actions of ethnobotanists for the coming years. <![CDATA[Legacies of intensive management in forests around pre-columbian and modern settlements in the Madeira-Tapajós interfluve, Amazonia]]> ABSTRACT Amazonian peoples use and manage plant populations in previously domesticated landscapes, but the extent of landscape transformation remains uncertain, especially in interfluvial areas. We tested the hypothesis that useful plant communities vary in richness, abundance and basal area around pre-Columbian and current settlements independent of the distance to a major river. Nine plots were established at different distances from settlements in the Humaitá National Forest and the Jiahui Indigenous Land, where trees and palms with DBH ≥ 10 cm were sampled. Interviews were used to identify species, their uses and management practices. We found high values of richness, abundance and basal area of useful species around settlements both close to and 70 km from the major river. Different use categories presented different responses to current management, which shows that management by current and past populations is selective. We showed that areas of intensive management and landscape transformation are not limited to the margins of major rivers, but also occur in interfluvial areas within a radius of 5 km from pre-Columbian and current settlements. Indigenous people and local communities manage forests around their settlements over time, showing that they are key actors in the sustainable use of Amazonia. <![CDATA[The role of kinship in knowledge about medicinal plants: evidence for context-dependent model-based biases in cultural transmission?]]> ABSTRACT The similarity in traditional knowledge of medicinal plants was evaluated to draw inferences about the most important models for local knowledge transmission. The following questions were addressed: (1) Do related individuals possess greater similarity in knowledge of medicinal plants than unrelated individuals? (2) Do related individuals of the same generation possess greater similarity in knowledge than do related individuals of different generations? Semi-structured interviews were conducted on the medicinal plants known by the residents of a rural community in western Bahia. Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare Jaccard similarity values between related and unrelated individuals and between relatives of the same generation and relatives of different generations. Related individuals were found to have more similar knowledge than unrelated individuals, and relatives of the same generation were found to have more similar knowledge than relatives of different generations. These findings suggest that there are factors that favor cultural transmission between relatives of the same generation other than just vertical transmission. <![CDATA[Useful plants referenced by the naturalist Richard Spruce in the 19<sup>th</sup> century in the state of Pará, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The present work sought to study the biocultural collections made by the naturalist Richard Spruce in the 19th century while in the state of Pará, Brazil. The material is largely deposited in the Herbarium and the Museum of Economic Botany at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. Complementary studies were undertaken in Brazilian institutions to gather more information about the useful plants cited by Spruce for Pará and their respective vernacular names and uses in the 19th century. Information was also gathered concerning the current uses of the plants by analyzing contemporary ethnobotanical studies. A total of 54 vernacular names of useful plants were recovered, including 51 native species of which 33 are used for construction purposes, 18 as food resources, eight for medicinal purposes, and one species as an ichthyotoxin. It is interesting to note that 80 % of the uses described for these plants in the 19th century in Pará continue into the present day. It is hoped that the present work will serve to promote future studies involving biocultural collections that document the history of local populations and recognize the importance of traditional knowledge in the Amazon region. <![CDATA[Spores of <em>Plagiochila</em> (Dumort.) Dumort.: the taxonomic relevance of morphology and ultrastructure]]> ABSTRACT Plagiochilaceae is a family of leafy liverworts that are distributed worldwide. It is of great importance due to its taxonomic and ecological implications among bryophytes. Most species of the family belong to the genus Plagiochila, but there is no consensus regarding its infrageneric circumscription. There have been few palynological studies involving Plagiochilaceae and Plagiochila. Here, we describe the spore morphology of seventeen species of Plagiochila and discuss the taxonomic value of palynological characters for these taxa. The spores were processed by standard palynological techniques and analyzed using light and electron microscopy. The spores were found to be apolar, spheroidal, released monads that vary in size from 13µm to 58µm (small to large size). The sporoderm comprises an intine (stratified), a nexine, and a sexine. The spore surface is ornamented with granules that vary in shape and morphology, thus allowing the studied species to be grouped into four spore types: regular and delicate granulate, irregular and coarse granulate, long granules with flattened apices, and long and straight granules. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed five different groups of species, evidencing the importance of spore information for taxonomic and phylogenetic studies.