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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0603

Abstract

HANAZAKI, Natalia et al. Ecologic salience and agreement on the identification of tree species from Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotrop. [online]. 2010, vol.10, n.1, pp. 77-84. ISSN 1676-0603.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032010000100007.

This study aims to investigate the consensus among informants in the naming of tree species from a high diversity environment, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Sete Barras, SP), through a methodological procedure based on standardized stimuli. Seven selected local experts on tree species used for timber and handicrafts were asked to walk individually across the same area of 1.72 ha and identify and name all the known trees of more than 4 cm DBH (diameter at breast height) using common names. All trees were botanically identified, and their DBH and height were measured. The ecologic salience of tree species, expressed in terms of abundance, average height and DBH, was tested in relation to the informants' knowledge and species naming. The guided walks resulted on 708 identification events, with common names corresponding to 122 botanical species, or 68% of all tree species present. Both the reduced abundance and ecological salience of rare species can explain their recognition. The highest concordances in naming a tree were related only to the species abundance and not to their size (given by diameter and height). In some cases, there is no single common name for a botanical species, reflecting the intrinsic variation in local knowledge, which must be considered in ethnobotanical studies, in ecological assessments based on local knowledge, as well as in community-based conservation and management programs.

Keywords : ethnobotany; ethnoecology; local knowledge; parataxonomy.

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