Human Ecology

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 653–661 | Cite as

Five Problems in Current Ethnobotanical Research—and Some Suggestions for Strengthening Them

  • Ulysses Paulino de AlbuquerqueEmail author
  • Natalia Hanazaki

The relationships between plant diversity and cultural diversity, as well as the perception, use, and management of plant resources, are central issues in ethnobotany research. This apparently simple statement masks the complexity of a field of investigation that has borrowed methods from many scientific traditions, especially botany and anthropology (Bridges and Lau 2006). Ethnobotany has incorporated different theories from areas such as anthropology, ecology, genetics, evolution, and economy, and this interdisciplinary exchange has become definitively allied with the studies documenting traditional botanical knowledge. Some basic principles of the integrative approaches that blend theories from these different areas have been published in the last 40 years, especially after the seminal publications of Conklin (1954) and Berlin et al. (1966, 1968, 1973) [for an historical overview, also see Clément (1998)]. Other important publications include that of Johns (1996), for example, who...


Local Knowledge Global Strategy Traditional Ecological Knowledge Deductive Reasoning Scientific Writing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank the CNPq for financial support (“Edital Universal”) and for grants awarded to U.P. Albuquerque, N. Hanazaki for fruitful discussions with her students at the Laboratory of Human Ecology and Ethnobotany (UFSC), and especially Dr. Daniel Moerman for valuable comments and criticisms.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natalia Hanazaki
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia, Area de Botânica. Laboratório de Etnobotânica AplicadaUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Laboratório de Ecologia Humana e EtnobotânicaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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