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Ecología austral

On-line version ISSN 1667-782X


ARIAS TOLEDO, Bárbara; TRILLO, Cecilia  and  GRILLI, Mariano. Use of medicinal plants related to the conservation of forest in Córdoba, Argentine. Ecol. austral [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.3, pp.235-246. ISSN 1667-782X.

Conversion of natural areas, particularly forests, to agriculture is one of the strongest environmental changes in the Province of Córdoba, Argentina. These changes of land use may impact on the knowledge and utilization of vegetation by the human communities closely related to the forest habitat, whose daily activities, such as hunting, feeding domestic animals, and obtaining food and medicine from plants, may be impaired. The objective of this paper is to analyse the impact of native forest loss on the knowledge and use of medicinal plants by rural communities of Córdoba. We interviewed people from eleven communities living in forests with different conservation status, and asked them about their knowledge and use of medicinal plants. We calculated the standardised proportion of exotic and native species cited in the interviews. By means of satellite images, we quantified the proportion of the different land use types in each community. Correlation and Principal Component Analysis were used to study the association between presence/absence of forest and the knowledge of medicinal plants. We show that forest loss was positively correlated with the loss of knowledge and use of medicinal native plants by the local peoples.

Keywords : Ethnobotany; Deforestation; Wild plants; Alternative forest resources.

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