Ethnobotanical Factors Influencing the Use and Management of Wild Edible Plants in Agricultural Environments in Benin
Keywords:wild foods, plant management and use, farming environments, local knowledge, gender, ethnicity, age generation, land access, Benin
This study investigates how the socioeconomic status of locals interacts with the cultural, botanical, and economic features of wild edible plants to shape the floristic richness and management options of these resources. We interviewed husbands and their wives in 60 households from three ethnic groups in central Benin. We found that ethnicity affected the composition of managed species at community level. Within communities, the richness and composition of species managed by households were shaped by the age of heads and land ownership of women. Within households, gender affected the richness of managed species and a gender specialisation for specific groups of species was observed. The intensity of management practices used by locals depended on the level of knowledge they had on the species’ propagation and seed conservation combined with their use importance. In any cases, they tended to adopt the most intensive strategies to secure the most important resources.
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