Economic Botany

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 17–29 | Cite as

Relationship between Use Value and Ecological Importance of Floristic Resources of Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in the Balsas River Basin, México

  • Belinda Maldonado
  • Javier Caballero
  • Alfonso Delgado-Salinas
  • Rafael Lira
Article

Relationship between Use Value and Ecological Importance of Floristic Resources of Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in the Balsas River Basin, México. The use of seasonally dry tropical forest in the Balsas River Basin, Mexico was utilized as a model to study the relationship between the use value and the ecological importance of wild flora in nine study sites that have an indigenous-Mestizo cultural gradient. Ethnobotanical data from the area were used to obtain the use value per species and correlate it with the ecological importance value of the species found in 0.9 ha. We test the hypothesis that the most used species are the most ecologically important and that this relationship is affected by the changing cultural process that occurs in Mexican rural communities. We registered 320 species, 56.25 % of which are useful and fall into twelve use categories. The study sites showed similar percentages of useful plants. We found relationships between the use value of the species and of the main categories (medicinal, construction, firewood, and food) with the ecological importance value. The frequency was the ecological attribute that determined the use of species in the main categories of use, while the density and dominance attributes were related respectively to the medicinal and food categories. There were differences regarding cultural groups. Indigenous groups mentioned the use of medicinal, edible, and firewood plants more frequently, whereas the Mestizo group pointed out more species used for construction.

Key Words

Useful plants use value ecological importance value seasonally dry tropical forest ethnobotany 

Relación entre valor de uso e importancia ecológica de los recursos vegetales del bosque estacional seco en la cuenca del Rio Balsas, Mexico. El uso de la bosque tropical caducifolio de la Cuenca del Río Balsas, México, se utilizó como modelo para estudiar la relación entre el valor de uso y la importancia ecológica de la flora silvestre de nueve sitios de estudio que tienen un gradiente cultural indígena-mestizo. Se consideró información etnobotánica del área para estimar el valor de uso de las especies y se relacionó con el valor de importancia ecológica de las especies encontradas en 0.9 ha. Ponemos a prueba la hipótesis de que las especies más utilizadas son las de mayor importancia ecológica y que esta relación se ve afectada por el proceso de cambio cultural que se presenta en las comunidades rurales mexicanas. Se registraron 320 especies, 56.25 % de ellas son útiles y corresponden a 12 categorías de uso. Los sitios de estudio mostraron el mismo porcentaje de plantas útiles. Encontramos relación entre el valor de uso de las especies y de las principales categorías (medicinal, construcción, leña y alimentos) con el valor de importancia ecológica de las diferentes especies. La frecuencia fue el atributo ecológico que determinó el uso de las especies en las principales categorías, mientras que los atributos de densidad y dominancia se relacionan con las categorías de medicina y alimentos, respectivamente. Hubo diferencias con respecto a los grupos culturales, los grupos indígenas mencionan más especies con usos medicinal, alimenticio y para leña, mientras que el grupo mestizo señaló más especies usadas para construcción. En términos generales, las especies más notables son las más frecuentemente mencionadas como útiles.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belinda Maldonado
    • 1
    • 2
  • Javier Caballero
    • 1
  • Alfonso Delgado-Salinas
    • 3
  • Rafael Lira
    • 4
  1. 1.Jardín Botánico, Instituto de BiologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico D.F.México
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y ConservaciónUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosCuernavacaMéxico
  3. 3.Departamento de Botánica, Instituto de BiologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico, D.F.México
  4. 4.Laboratorio de Recursos Naturales, UBIPRO, F.E.S.-IztacalaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoTlalnepantlaMéxico

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