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The Shuiluo Valley
Questions and aims

Biocultural diversity, i.e. the mutual influence of biodiversity and cultural diversity, are the main topic of our research in the Shuiluo Valley. The objectives of the ethnobotanical research are:

  1. to investigate the influence of plant accessibility and traditional culture on the use of plants by local communities,
  2. to examine the ecological impact of repeated harvesting of wild plants on different habitats or ecological zones.

The following questions will be addressed:

  • Is plant use mainly influenced by the accessibility of certain plants around the villages or by the traditional culture of ethnic groups?
  • Can any difference be found among different plant categories in this respect, e.g., are ritual plants stronger influenced by traditions while preference for wild collected food additives depends more on the ease of accessibility?
  • What effect has recurring plant collecting on specific taxa? Is there a difference between plant gathering for local use and trading purposes?

The ethnobotanical research is part of a two-year postdoc project at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and lasts until spring 2006. It is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).

 

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9/06/10