Are Gender and Age Important in Understanding the Distribution of Local Botanical Knowledge in Fishing Communities of the Parnaiba Delta Environmental Protection Area?

Rosemary da Silva Sousa, Natalia Hanazaki, João Batista Lopes, Roseli Farias Melo de Barros


The Parnaiba Delta Environmental Protection Area is home to artisanal fishers, which despite the growing urbanization, still depend on biodiversity in everyday life. The distribution of local botanical knowledge and plant use was researched according to gender and age group. Semi-structured interviews about plants known and used were undertaken with 161 fishers, selected using snowball sampling. Botanical specimens were collected and identified using the guided-tour method. Based on this data, quantitative and qualitative analysis was performed. Local botanical knowledge is shared between men and women; however, it is not shared between the elderly and young people of the communities. The medicinal and food use categories had the highest percentage of cited plants (more than 20%). Other use categories (mystical/religious and cosmetic), were mentioned in smaller proportions (less than 20%).The Carnaúba (Copernicia prunifera), had the highest use value. This knowledge should be considered in biological and cultural conservation, linking sustainable practices with continuity of the local botanical repertoire and management.

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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