Ethnobotany for Beginners (SpringerBriefs in Plant Science 1st ed. 2017)

Ethnobotany for Beginners (SpringerBriefs in Plant Science 1st ed. 2017)

By: Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque (author)Paperback

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Designed for new scholars, this book features a quick and easy-to-read discussion of ethnobotany along with its major developments. The language is clear and concise, objective and straightforward, and structured to lead the reader from the beginning of this science to the most recent developments. While there are some books on ethnobotany, mainly dealing with methods, this book covers the topic in an introductory and comprehensive text that prepares the reader for more advanced study of ethnobotany.

About Author

Ulysses Paulino AlbuquerqueUniversidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco Departamento de BiologiaRecife, PernambucoBrazil Marcelo Alves RamosUniversidade de Pernambuco Recife, PernambucoBrazil Washington Soares Ferreira JuniorUniversidade de Pernambuco Petrolina, PernambucoBrazil Patricia Muniz MedeirosUniversidade Federal de Alagoas Maceio, AlagoasBrazil


CHAPTER 1: HISTORY AND CONCEPTS The term ethnobotany was formally designated in 1885 by the American researcher John William Harsberger. In an article published in 1896 (entitled The purposes of ethno-botany), Harshberger considered that ethnobotany could help to elucidate the cultural position of the tribes that use plants for food, shelter or clothing, and such elucidation could clarify the problem of plant distribution in the past. Harshberger understood that it would be possible to understand an entire culture from the use of plants, idea rejected by many researchers since the relationship with the nature is only a part of the components of a complex cultural system. Today we understand that the use and knowledge of plants, as part of complex social-ecological systems, can help us to understand how we relate to nature and how this relationship evolves over time and space. In this chapter, as we briefly tell the story of ethnobotany, we also present some key concepts for a newcomer scholar in the field. CHAPTER 2: INTERESTS OF THE ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH Traditionally, the ethnobotanists from around the world have been busy recording the plants and their uses (including therapeutic forms in the case of medicinal plants) by human populations. This type of procedure has provided enormous advances in basic, applied, phytochemical and pharmacological research since the ethnobotanists supplied raw material to the investigators from related fields and data required for the intended analysis. In practice, the study of the interrelationships between culture and plants basically has received this kind of treatment. But the scenario has changed completely and today we are interested in understanding various aspects of these relations. For example, what happens to the botanical knowledge of a cultural group when it migrates to other regions of your country or even to other countries? How does the knowledge of plant resources change in relation to socioeconomic variables (such as gender and age)? What can explain these variations? In this chapter, we present some of the approaches that have most occupied the ethnobotanists worldwide. CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODS Understanding the relationships between people and plants is not an easy task, since many variables can interfere with this relationship. To account for this complexity, ethnobotany has been used in a variety of methods from different scientific disciplines such as anthropology, botany, ecology and economy. It is the experience of many researchers who have favored the use of methods from other disciplines, considering that the definition of the methods of any science depends on theoretical concepts defined by it, as well as realized research goals. In this chapter we discuss quickly those methods and emphasize the importance of developing well-defined and relevant research questions. CHAPTER 4: CLASSICAL APPROACHESEthnobotany is an interdisciplinary science. Throughout its development, there were different approaches that made the connection of ethnobotany with other scientific disciplines. Our goal in this chapter is to present the classical approaches of the area, such as folk taxonomy studies. Although we indicated that the approaches presented herein are classic, it is important to make clear that they are not temporally delimited (or with a marked end), that is, they can be still found in recent studies. CHAPTER 5: CURRENT TRENDS IN RESEARCH ON ETHNOBOTANY Currently, what have the ethnobotanists thought about ethnobotany? More than 100 years of formal definition of this area of knowledge, it is possible to imagine that some things have changed in this trajectory. So in this chapter we will seek to address some of the current reflections on the path that ethnobotany has traveled, or which still have to go, to strengthening their identity as science. Of course, such thoughts do not match necessarily a consensus among all ethnobotanists, but emerge from concerns presented by some research groups. We will address the ethnical and scientific challenges for a science engaged in social demands. CHAPTER 6: ETHNOBOTANY, SCIENCE AND SOCIETY Within the dynamic developed by the relationships people/plants and the multitude of issues and interactive levels that surround it, this forms a complex ethnical, social, philosophical, ideological, biological and practical set of implications that ensure the ethnobotany as a science that aims to the human progress. Thus, the results of an ethnobotanical research can/should return, in an elaborate and systematic way, to the social environment from which the information was collected. In this chapter, we discuss these complex interactions. COMMENTED LITERATURE AND ONLINE RESOURCES Selection of references ad online materials (videos, websites, etc.) with comments and a brief summary to guide the newcomer reader in the area.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9783319528717
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 71
  • ID: 9783319528717
  • weight: 1416
  • ISBN10: 3319528718
  • edition: 1st ed. 2017

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