Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 687–699 | Cite as

Diversity of locally useful tropical forest wild-plants as a function of species richness and informant culture

Original Paper

Abstract

Different conservation values and perspectives can lead to divergent conservation objectives. Understanding such differences is crucial to developing more comprehensive and inclusive conservation approaches. Using plots, we assessed how numbers of useful species as reported by indigenous forest-dwelling people relate to plant species richness. We used 173 plots recording both trees and herbaceous vegetation and the knowledge of both Merap- and Punan-dominated communities in Malinau, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). We used general linear models (GLMs) to characterise the relationships. Useful species increase with species richness in all cases. The relationship varied across culture and community and was not always linear. The proportion of tree species reported as useful by Merap (primarily agriculturalist) informants was not constant but declined significantly as plot diversity increased; this was not the case for Punan (primarily hunter-gatherer) informants. There was no decline for the reported proportion of useful herbs as richness increases, as assessed by either ethnic group. Communities with less wealth and less schooling generally reported a higher proportion of the useful species. We interpret these results in terms of how landscape patterns of plant diversity are experienced. Understanding of these relationships can help us develop a more explicit approach to weighing and reconciling different conservation values and management objectives in changing forest landscapes.

Keywords

Ethnobotany Value-systems Importance Indigenous knowledge 

Supplementary material

10531_2011_208_MOESM1_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 49 kb)

References

  1. Akaike H (1974) A new look at the statistical model identification. IEEE Trans Autom Control 19:716–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brooks TM et al (2006) Global biodiversity conservation priorities. Science 313Google Scholar
  3. Basuki I et al (2011) A decade of change in livelihoods and the role of tropical production forests, in Indonesia. Growth Change J. http://www.inderscience.com/coming.php?ji=10&jc=ijesd&np=8&jn=International%20Journal%20of%20Environment%20and%20Sustainable%20Development
  4. Barr C et al (2001) The impacts of decentralisation on forests and forest-dependent communities in Malinau district, East Kalimantan. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  5. Basuki I, Sheil D (2005) Local perspectives of forest landscapes: a preliminary evaluation of land and soils, and their importance in Malinau, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  6. Begossi A (1996) Use of ecological methods in ethnobotany: diversity indices. Econ Bot 50:280–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernstein JH, Ellen R, Antaran BB (1997) The use of plot surveys for the study of ethnobotanical knowledge: a Brunei Dusun example. J Ethnobiol 17:69–96Google Scholar
  8. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference: a practical information-theoretic approach, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Byg A, Balslev H (2001) Diversity and use of palms in Zahamena, eastern Madagascar. Biodivers Conserv 10:951–970CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Byg A, Vormisto J, Balslev H (2007) Influence of diversity and road access on palm extraction at landscape scale in SE Ecuador. Biodivers Conserv 16:631–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Caniago I, Siebert SF (1998) Medicinal plant ecology, knowledge and conservation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Econ Bot 52:229–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de-Albuquerque UP, de-Lucena RFP (2005) Can apparency affect the use of plants by local people in tropical forests? Intersciencia 30:506–511Google Scholar
  13. Eghenter C et al (2003) Social science research and conservation management in the interior of Borneo: unravelling past and present interactions of people and forests. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  14. Godoy Rl et al (2009) Long-term (secular) change of ethnobotanical knowledge of useful plants—separating cohort and age effects. J Anthropol Res 65:51–67Google Scholar
  15. Kaimowitz D, Sheil D (2007) Conserving what and for whom? Why conservation should help meet basic human needs in the tropics. Biotropica 39:567–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ladio AH, Lozada M (2004) Patterns of use and knowledge of wild edible plants in distinct ecological environments: a case study of a Mapuche community from northwestern Patagonia. Biodivers Conserv 13:1153–1173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lawrence A et al (2005) Local values for harvested forest plants in Madre de Dios, Peru: towards a more contextualised interpretation of quantitative ethnobotanical data. Biodivers Conserv 14:45–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Levang P, Sitorus S, Dounias E (2007) City life in the midst of the forest: a Punan Hunter-Gatherer’s vision of conservation and development. Ecol Soc 12Google Scholar
  19. Lynam T, Cunliffe R, Mapaure I (2004) Assessing the importance of woodland landscape locations for both local communities and conservation in Gorongosa and Muanza Districts, Sofala Province, Mozambique. Ecol Soc 9Google Scholar
  20. McCullagh P, Nelder JA (1989) Generalized linear models. Chapman & Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Okushima M (2006) Ethnohistory of the Kayanic Peoples in Northeast Borneo. Borneo Res Bull 37:86–126Google Scholar
  22. Padmanaba M, Sheil D (2007) Finding and promoting a local conservation consensus in a globally important tropical forest landscape. Biodivers Conserv 16:137–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paiva De Lucena RF, Araujo ED, De Albuquerque UP (2007) Does the local availability of woody Caatinga plants (northeastern Brazil) explain their use value? Econ Bot 61:347–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pawitan Y (2001) In all likelihood. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Phillips O, Gentry A (1993) The useful plants of Tambopata, Peru: I. Statistical hypothesis tests with a new quantitative technique. Econ Bot 47:15–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pilgrim S, Smith D, Pretty J (2007) A cross-regional assessment of the factors affecting ecoliteracy: implications for policy and practice. Ecol Appl 17:1742–1751PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Puri R (1998) Bulungan ethnobotany handbook. Center for International Forestry Research, BogorGoogle Scholar
  28. Puri RK (2005a) Deadly dances in the Bornean rainforest hunting knowledge of the Penan Benalui. KITLV Press, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  29. Puri RK (2005b) Post-abandonment ecology of Penan fruit camps: anthropological and ethnobiological approaches to the history of a rainforested valley in East Kalimantan. In: Dove MR, Sajise PE, Doolittle A (eds) Conserving nature in culture: case studies from Southeast Asia. Yale University Council on Southeast Asia Studies, New Haven, pp 25–82Google Scholar
  30. Reyes-García V et al (2006) Cultural, practical, and economic value of wild plants: a quantitative study in the Bolivian Amazon. Econ Bot 60:62–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ruiz-Pérez M et al (2004) Markets drive the specialization strategies of forest peoples. Ecol Soc 9(2). http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss2/art4
  32. Salick J et al (1999) Whence useful plants? A direct relationship between biodiversity and useful plants among the Dusun of Mt. Kinabalu. Biodivers Conserv 8:797–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sellato B (1997) Agricultural practices, social organization, settlement patterns, and ethnogenetic processes in East Kalimantan. In: Sørensen KW, Morris B (eds) People and Plants of Kayan Mentarang. World Wide Fund for Nature & UNESCO, London, pp 27–57Google Scholar
  34. Sellato B (2001a) Forest, resources and people in Bulungan; Elements for a history of settlement, trade, and social dynamics in Borneo, 1880–2000. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  35. Sellato B (2001b) Forest, resources and people in Bulungan: elements for a history of settlement, trade, and social dynamics in Borneo, 1880–2000. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  36. Sheil D (2002) Biodiversity research in Malinau (Chapter 5). In: Kartawinata K (ed) Technical Report, Phase I (1997–2001) Forest, science and sustainability: The Bulungan Model Forest. ITTO Project PD 12/97 Rev.1 (F). CIFOR, MOF and ITTO Bogor, pp 58–107Google Scholar
  37. Sheil D, Liswanti N (2006) Scoring the importance of tropical forest landscapes with local people: patterns and insights. Environ Manage 38:126–136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sheil D, Wunder S (2002) The value of tropical forest to local communities: complications, caveats, and cautions. Conserv Ecol 6. http://www.consecol.org/vol6/iss2/art9
  39. Sheil D, Sayer JA, O’Brien T (1999) Tree diversity and conservation in logged rainforest. Science 284:1587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sheil D, Ducey MJ, Sidiyasa K, Samsoedin I (2003) A new type of sample unit for the efficient assessment of diverse tree communities in complex forest landscapes. J Trop For Sci 15:117–135Google Scholar
  41. Sheil D et al (2004) Exploring biological diversity, environment and local people’s perspectives in forest landscapes, 2nd edn. CIFOR, MOF (Indonesia) and ITTO, Bogor, IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
  42. Sheil D et al (2006) Recognizing local people’s priorities for tropical forest biodiversity. Ambio 35:17–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sheil D, van Heist M, Liswanti N, Basuki I, Wan M (2008) Biodiversity and landscapes: a local perspective. In: Moelino M, Wollenberg E, Limberg G (eds) The decentralization of forest governance: politics, economics and the fight for control of forest in Indonesian Borneo. Earthscan, London, pp 61–90Google Scholar
  44. Sheil D et al (2010) The lowland forest tree community in Malinau, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo): results from a one-hectare plot. Plant Ecol Divers 3(1):159–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Slik JWF et al (2008) Wood density as a conservation tool: quantification of disturbance and identification of conservation-priority areas in tropical forests. Conserv Biol 22:1299–1308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Thomas E et al (2008) The relationship between plant use and plant diversity in the Bolivian Andes, with special reference to medicinal plant use. Human Ecol 36:861–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Thomas E et al (2009) The relation between accessibility, diversity and indigenous valuation of vegetation in the Bolivian Andes. J Arid Environ 73:854–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Voeks RA (2004) Disturbance pharmacopoeias: medicine and myth from the humid tropics. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 94:868–888Google Scholar
  49. Wilson EO (1994) The diversity of life. Penguin Books Ltd., LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation – Mbarara University of Science and TechnologyKabaleUganda
  2. 2.Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)BogorIndonesia
  3. 3.School of Environmental Science and ManagementSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH)National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations