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Botanical Sciences

versão On-line ISSN 2007-4476versão impressa ISSN 2007-4298

Resumo

GARCIA-FLORES, Juana; GONZALEZ-ESPINOSA, Mario; LINDIG-CISNEROS, Roberto  e  CASAS, Alejandro. Traditional medicinal knowledge of tropical trees and its value for restoration of tropical forests. Bot. sci [online]. 2019, vol.97, n.3, pp.336-354. ISSN 2007-4476.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2122.

Background:

Traditional medicinal knowledge (TMK) accounts for attending nearly 80 % of the worldwide needs of health and may guide biodiversity restoration efforts in tropical regions where the greatest diversity of medicinal plants occurs.

Questions:

Can TMK become a strategy to be used in identifying medicinal tree species, with both cultural and ecological importance, that should be considered in tropical forest restoration actions?

Study site and dates:

The study was conducted during 2015 in four communities of the Sierra region of southern Tabasco, Mexico.

Methods:

We obtained from the literature a checklist of medicinal trees native to the study region. We conducted semi-structured interviews and a workshop in each community; we obtained ethnobotanical data about the most common illnesses and the most frequently used plant species for attending them. We identified priority species for forest restoration, and calculated indexes of knowledge richness (IKR) and cultural significance (ICS).

Results:

We recorded a total of 45 tree species. Adult and elder women showed the highest TMK. The main illnesses detected were gastrointestinal (93-97 %) and those related with pain and fever (67-97 %), which were treated with 13 and 16 species, respectively. On average, the IKR was less than 50 % of all species recorded. Gliricidia sepium, Bursera simaruba and Piper auritum had high ICS values, while Brosimum alicastrum, Ceiba pentandra and Castilla elastica had low values and are considered high priority for forest restoration actions.

Conclusions:

TMK is important to select tree species in tropical forest restoration actions in southeastern Mexico.

Palavras-chave : ethnobotany; forest restoration; medicinal trees; traditional medicinal knowledge; tropical forests.

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