Conservation Status of <i>Maianthemum</i> Species in the Hengduan Mountains: A case study analyzing the impact of new policies on wild collected plant species
AbstractMaianthemum G. Weber ex Wigg. (Liliaceae) is a popular wild vegetable in Southwest P.R. China, the consumption and trade of which has recently been stimulated by local government polices and increasing tourism. We interviewed 68 stakeholders in Northwest Yunnan to document uses, harvest methods and amounts, and locally perceived conservation status of the species. Mainly M. atropurpureum (Franch.) LaFrankie, an endemic of the region, is consumed and collected for trade. Harvest methods and amounts differ significantly between different regions. Major regional markets in Northwest Yunnan are supplied with plants collected around Fugong, Nujiang Prefecture, where the intensive harvest is facilitated by trucks. In Zhongdian, Diqing Prefecture, all harvest is transported by men and sold locally. Only collectors in the latter area perceive a decrease of population sizes in recent years. In that area Maianthemum is decreasing due to several factors, such as relative scarcity of the species, habitat destruction, harvest methods, and increasing demand by tourists. Thus, local harvest strategies, which allow a sustainable use of the populations, need to be developed.
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