Abstract Detail


Hart, Robbie [1].

Biodiversity and ethnobotany of Himalayan homegardens.

From the summits of Yulong Mountain, in Southwest China, elevation drops almost 3000m to Lijiang Valley in 25 km. This slope structures plant communities, and influences diverse settlement types for the indigneous Naxi people, ranging from urban Lijiang city to mountain villages.
We documented the identity, origins, nomenclature and ethnobotanical uses of Naxi courtyard garden plants in 60 households along this gradient of elevation and urbanization to address how indigenous plants, uses, and names are interwoven, whether wild collection drives use patterns, and how urbanization affects botanical and ethnobotanical composition.
We found that courtyard gardens of all sizes were rich in species, with 15-40 genera, and that wild-collected plants represented a third of the taxa. Wild-collected plants were 3 times more likely to have a medicinal use reported than plants purchased from the market, and most of these medicinal uses had not been previously recorded in published Naxi materia medica. Plants reported with a Naxi language name were twice as likely to have a use as food or medicine than those reported with only a Chinese name. Richness was not significantly different along the urban to rural gradient, but rural gardeners reported a greater percentage of Naxi names, a greater percentage of wild plants collected and – particularly for the most remote villages – a greater percentege of plants used as medicine.
Our results show that while historical events and new plants and practices have driven changes, Naxi gardens remain repositories of unique local mountain flora and knowledge. Home cultivation practices may contribute to the sustainability of useful plant harvest, while broader patterns of use may inform theories about how ethnobotanical knowledge is generated, conserved and transmitted across the Himalayan region.

1 - Missouri Botanical Garden, William L. Brown Center, 4344 Shaw Blvd, Saint Louis, MO, 63110, United States

non-timber forest product
elevational gradient

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ethnobotany Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Time and date to be determined
Number: PET004
Abstract ID:699
Candidate for Awards:None

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