Economic Botany

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 358–376 | Cite as

Forest use at the pacific coast of chocó, colombia: A quantitative approach

  • Gloria Galeano


Forest use by Afro-American people on the Pacific coast of Chocó, Colombia, was investigated using a quantitative methodology based upon informant consensus. Information was obtained for all species ≥ cm dbh in three plots totaling 1.8 ha. Eighty-nine uses were recorded; 62.8% of the species, 74% of the families and 83.3% of the individuals have some use. Most uses involve subsistence activities The most important uses were selective extraction of wood for construction, firewood, and materials for technological application. Use values for species and families were dependent on their abundance. For some particularly useful species and families (Lauraceae, Annonaceae, and Sapotaceae), however, use value was higher than expected from their abundance. This may suggest overexploitation of those species and families. Demographic studies of those species are recommended. All recorded uses are listed and information on the use values of the species is provided.

Key words

Afro-Americans Chocó Colombia quantitative ethnobotany 

Uso del bosque en la costa pacífica del chocó, colombia: Un enfoque cuantitativo


Se investigó el uso del bosque por los Afroamericanos en la costa Pacifica del Chocó, Colombia, utilizando metodología cuantitativa basada en el consenso de informantes. Se obtuvo información para las especies ≥ cm dap encontradas en tres parcelas, para un total muestreado de 1.8 ha. Se registraron 89 usos; 62.8% de las especies, 74% de las familias y 83.3% de los individuos tienen algún uso. La mayoría de usos del bosque está relacionada con actividades de subsistencia. Los usos más importantes involucran la extraction selectiva de modera para constructión, leña y material para aplicaciones tecnológicas. Los valores de uso para especies y familias fueron dependientes de su abundancia. Sin embargo, el valor de uso para algunas especies y familias utiles (Lauraceae, Annonaceae y Sapotaceae) fue más alto que lo esperado dada su abundancia. Esto sugiere que esas especies y familias están siendo sobreexplotadas. Se recomiendan estudios demográficos de esas especies. Se da una lista de los usos e information sobre las especies utiles.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Adu-Tutu, Y., M. Afful, D. Asante-Appiah, J. Lieberman, B. Hall, and M. Elvin-Lewis. 1979. Chewing stick usage in southern Ghana. Economic Botany 33:320–328.Google Scholar
  2. Alexiades, M. N. 1996. Introduction,in M. N. Alexiades, ed., Selected guidelines for ethnobotanical research: a field manual. The New York Botanical Garden, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, A. B. 1990. Extraction and forest management by rural inhabitants in the Amazon Estuary. Pages 65–85in A. B. Anderson, ed., Alternatives to deforestation: steps toward sustainable use of the Amazon Rain Forest. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. —,and D. A. Posey. 1989. Management of a tropical scrub savanna by the Gorotire Kayapó of Brazil. Advances in Economic Botany 7:159–173.Google Scholar
  5. Balée, W. 1986. Análise preliminar de inventario florestal e a etnobotânica Ka’apor (Maranhâo). Boletim do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi. Botanica 2(2): 141–167.Google Scholar
  6. Balick, M. J. 1981. Jessenia bataua and Oenocarpus species: Native Amazonian palms as new sources of edible oil. Pages 141–155in Pride, Princen and Mukhja, eds., New sources of fats and oils. American Oil Chemist’s Society, Champaign, IL.Google Scholar
  7. —. 1988. Jessenia and Oenocarpus: Neotropical oil palms worthy of domestication. FAO Plant Production and Protection, Paper No. 88. FAO, Rome.Google Scholar
  8. Bernai, R. 1992. Colombian palm products. Pages 158–172in M. Plotkin and L. Famolare, eds., Sustainable harvest and marketing of rain forest products. Conservation International, Washington.Google Scholar
  9. Boom, B. M. 1989. Use of plant resources by the Chacobo. Advances in Economic Botany 7:78–96.Google Scholar
  10. —. 1990. Useful plants of the Panara Indians of Venezuelan Guayana. Advances in Economic Botany 8:57–76.Google Scholar
  11. Borgtoft Pedersen, H., and H. Balslev. 1990. Ecuadorian Palms for Agroforestry. A AU Reports 23: 1–122.Google Scholar
  12. Caballero, R. 1996. La Etnobotánica de las Comunidades Negras e Indígenas del Delta del Río Patía. Editorial Abya-Yala, Quito, Ecuador.Google Scholar
  13. Cayón, E., and S. Aristizábal. 1980. Lista de plantas utilizadas por los indígenas Chamí de Risaralda. Cespedesia 9(33–34):6–113.Google Scholar
  14. Duke, J. A. 1970. Ethnobotanical observations on the Chocó Indians. Economic Botany 24(3):344–366.Google Scholar
  15. —. 1975. Ethnobotanical observations on the Cuna Indians. Economic Botany 29:278–293.Google Scholar
  16. Forero, L. E. 1980. Etnobotánica de las comunidades indigenas Cuna y Waunana, Chocó (Colombia). Cespedesia 9(33–34): 116–301.Google Scholar
  17. —,D. Murillo, L. E. Sánchez, and J. F. Otero. 1996. Observaciones etnobotánicas sobre plantas medicinales en comunidades afrocolombianas del Bajo Calima (Cuenca baja del río San Juan-Valle del Cauca, Colombia). Cespedesia 20(66):67–106.Google Scholar
  18. Galeano, G., J. Cediel, and M. Pardo. 1998. Structure and floristic composition of a one hectare plot of wet forest at the Pacific Coast of Chocó, Colombia. Pages 551–558, chapter 28in F. Dallmeier and J. Comiskey, eds., Forest biodiversity in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean: research and monitoring. Man and the Biosphere Series. Parthenon Publishing, Washington.Google Scholar
  19. —,S. Suárez, and H. Balslev. 1998. Vascular plant species count in a wet forest in the Chocó area on the Pacific coast of Colombia. Biodiversity and Conservation 7:1563–1575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grenand, P. 1992. The use and cultural significance of the secondary forest among the Wayapi Indians. Pages 27–40in M. Plotkin and L. Famolare, eds., Sustainable harvest and marketing of rain forest products. Conservation International, Washington.Google Scholar
  21. Johns, T., J. O. Kokwaro, and E. K. Kimanani. 1990. Herbal remedies of the Luo of Siaya District, Kenya: Establishing Quantitative criteria for consensus. Economic Botany 44(3):369–381.Google Scholar
  22. —,E. B. Mhoro, P. Sanaya, and E. K. Kimanani. 1994. Herbal remedies of the Ngorongoro District, Tanzania: A quantitative appraisal. Economic Botany 48:90–94.Google Scholar
  23. Kainer, K. A., and M. l. Duryea. 1992. Tapping women’s knowledge: plant resource use in extractive reserves, Acre, Brazil. Economic Botany 46(4):408–425.Google Scholar
  24. Olinto, P. 1993. Población y poblamiento. Pages 464–486in P. Leyva, ed., Colombia Pacífico. Tomo II. Fondo FEN-COLOMBIA, Bogotá.Google Scholar
  25. Pardo, M. 1987. Indigenas del Chocó. Pages 251–261in Institute Colombiano de Antropología, ed., Introduction a la Colombia Amerindia. Bogotá.Google Scholar
  26. Paz y Miño, G., H. Balslev, R. Valencia, and P. Mena. 1991. Lianas utilizadas por los indígenas Siona-Secoya de la Amazonía del Ecuador. Reportes Técnicosl. Ecociencia, Quito, Ecuador.Google Scholar
  27. Pesce, C. 1985. Oil palms and other oilseeds of the Amazon. Reference Publications. Inc., Michigan.Google Scholar
  28. Peters, C. M. 1996. Beyond nomenclature and use: A review of ecological methods for ethnobotanists. Pages 241–276in M. N. Alexiades, ed., Selected guidelines for ethnobotanical research: a field manual. The New York Botanical Garden, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Phillips, O. L. 1996. Some quantitative methods for analyzing ethnobotanical knowledge. Pages 171–197in M. N. Alexiades, ed., Selected guidelines for ethnobotanical research: a field manual. The New York Botanical Garden, New York.Google Scholar
  30. Phillips, O. L., and A. H. Gentry. 1993a. The useful plants of Tambopata, Peru: I. Statistical hypotheses tests with a new quantitative technique. Economic Botany 47(1): 15–32.Google Scholar
  31. —. 1993b. The useful plants of Tambopata, Peru: II. Additional hypotheses testing in quantitative ethnobotany. Economic Botany 47(l):33–43.Google Scholar
  32. —,C. Reynel, P. WUkin, and C. Gálvez-Durand. 1994. Quantitative ethnobotany and Amazonian conservation. Conservation Biology 8: 225–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pinedo-Vásquez, M., D. Zarin, P. Jipp, and J. Chota-Inuma. 1990. Use-values of tree species in a communal forest reserve in northeast Peru. Conservation Biology 4:405–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Prance, G. T. 1991. What is ethnobotany today?. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 32:209–216.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. —. 1996. Forewordin M. N. Alexiades, ed. Selected Guidelines for Ethnobotanical Research: A Field Manual. The New York Botanical Garden, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Prance, G. T., W. Balée, B. M. Boom, and L. R. Carneiro. 1987. Quantitative ethnobotany and the case for conservation in Amazonia. Conservation Biology l(4):296–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Salick, J. 1992a. The sustainable management of nontimber rain forest products in the Si-a-Paz Peace Park, Nicaragua. Pages 118–124in M. Plotkin, and L. Famolare, eds., Sustainable harvest and marketing of rain forest products. Conservation International, Washington.Google Scholar
  38. —. 1992b. Amuesha forest use and management: An integration of indigenous forest use and natural forest management. Pages 305–332in K. H. Redford, and C. Padoch, eds., Conservation of neotropical forests: working from traditional resource use. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  39. Trotter, R. T., and M. H. Logan. 1986. Informant consensus: a new approach for identifying potentially effective medicinal plants. Pages 91–112in N. L. Etkin, ed., Plants in indigenous medicine and diet. Redgrave Publishing Company, Bedford Hill, NY.Google Scholar
  40. West, R. 1957. The Pacific Lowlands of Colombia. A Negroid Area of the American Tropics. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden Press, Bronx, NY 10458-5126 U.S.A 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gloria Galeano
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute de Ciencias NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaBogotáColombia

Personalised recommendations