Aktuality FTZ - TRIBE

Field research news: Ethnobotanical survey of root and tuber plants in the Peruvian Amazon

Although a high diversity of tropical root and tuber crops and plants are used by indigenous people in the tropics since ancient times, many of these species are still largely unexplored and neglected by science. In the frame of the dissertation entitled ‘Characterization of plant genetic resources of root and tuber crops used in the Peruvian Amazon’, a member of our team Goldis Perry Davila has recently returned from his field research expedition to Ucayali, San Martín and Loreto Regions. During this phase of his field research, he conducted an ethnobotanical survey of local markets and communities through individual semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions complemented with voucher specimen collection. The preliminary results highlighted 9 key species, namely Calathea allouia, Colocasia esculenta, Dioscorea alata, Dioscorea trifida, Dioscorea bulbifera, Dracontium spruceanum, Pachyrhizus tuberosus and Xanthosoma sagittifolium. All documented species will be further investigated to characterize their intraspecific morphological and genetic variability.

New Paper Published: Wild Food Plants as Possible Novel Crops in Selected Food-Insecure Regions

Domestication of new plants is one of the key phenomena in the history of agriculture. Wild plants are the ancestors of current and future crops and the largest reservoir of genetic diversity for crop breeding and improvement. In a recent study, in which TRIBE members Naji Sulaiman and Zbynek Polesny take a leading role, we highlighted a total of 20 wild plant taxa from five war-affected and food-insecure regions (five species from each region). The suggested species have a high possibility of becoming novel crops and may significantly help local communities in their livelihoods, food security, and domestic nutritional care.

Our new paper on the cultivation, utilization, and commercialization of indigenous tree species in Cameroon has been published!

The tropical forests of Central Africa represent an immense diversity of valuable plant species that local people have long exploited for their needs. Despite their economic importance, these species often remain marginal and neglected by mainstream development or agricultural policies. The actual paper published in Economic Botany investigates management practices, plant part preferences, morphological characteristics, and the economy of bitter kola in different regions of the country.

Our new paper on the Classification of mountain silvopastoral farming systems in walnut forests of Kyrgyzstan has been published

The excessive collection of non-timber forest products and overgrazing of forest pastures negatively affect forest regeneration and biodiversity and subsequently impacts sustainable livelihoods in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. Understanding the diversity and typology of local farming systems is crucial for setting efficient and suitable policies to enhance livelihood and conservation. The actual paper, published in the journal Agriculture, is the result of a long-term cooperation between University of Central Asia, Rhine-Waal University and CZU Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences (research teams TRIBE and TRACE). The paper identifies three main farming systems with different livelihood strategies and challenges. The authors provide specific farm-type recommendations to increase the sustainable use of natural recourses in the target region.

New Paper Published on the Wild Vegetables Foraging in Northern Cyprus

The Mediterranean diet is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and it was previously reported that wild vegetables form a hidden element of this diet. In a recent study, in where TRIBE members Zbynek Polesny and Naji Sulaiman take part, we discuss the wild plants foraging by the Maronite diaspora in Northern Cyprus. The study has been published in Plants (Q1 in JCR; IF: 4.658) in the special issue Historical Ethnobotany: Interpreting the Old Records.

New Article Published on the Nexus between Traditional Foraging and its Sustainability

Plant foraging has been an important human ecological phenomenon since ancient times. However, the sustainability dimension of foraging is still largely unexplored. Our team, represented by Naji Sulaiman and Zbynek Polesny, have contributed to a newly published paper titled "The nexus between traditional foraging and its sustainability: a qualitative assessment among a few selected Eurasian case studies". The paper is published in the journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability (Springer, IF: 4.080); in a special issue in honour of David Pimentel (1925 – 2019). The study is built on data collected from coastal Syria, North Pakistan, SW Ukraine and Estonia.

Global Ethnobotany Webinar Series, lecture no:9

Are 19th century botanical collections relevant to 21st century problems? Mark Nesbitt is the curator of the Economic Botany Collection and Senior Research Leader for Interdisciplinary Research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is a Visiting Professor in the Geography Department, Royal Holloway, Un

Global Ethnobotany Research Webinar Series - Guest Lecture No: 8

“To Get More Harvest”: Traditional Plant Management Systems of Northwestern North America by Speaker: Dr. Nancy J. Turner Distinguished Professor Emeritus School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Congratulations! We have the new Student Representative of the Society for Economic Botany – Lukáš Pawera

We are happy to announce that Dr. Lukáš Pawera, the TRIBE team alumnus, was elected the new Student Representative of the Society for Economic Botany. As a member of the TRIBE team, Lukáš successfully completed his PhD research project and defended his dissertation titled Food, agrobiodiversity and diet: the nutritional ethnobiology of the Minang and Mandailing indigenous food systems in West Sumatra.

A new article on socio-cultural significance of yerba maté among Syrian residents and diaspora has been published!

Yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil., Aquifoliaceae) consumption is commonly associated with some parts of South America; but do you know that Syria is the world’s second-largest importer of yerba mate?

The unique story of yerba maté in the Syrian beverage culture started at the beginning of the twentieth century when Syrian migrants returning from South America brought the beverage with them. The actual paper in Economic Botany investigates the social and cultural importance of this beverage among Syrian residents and diaspora, and analyzes the reasons and motives behind the yerba maté consumption in Syria, thousands of kilometres away from its centre of origin.

New paper published on composition and quality of munyele-nyele, mongongo and mubula oils!

 The actual paper published in the journal Molecules presents results on the chemical and qualitative properties of the three tree species’ oils used in Zambia.

News from the Herbarium! We are working on restoring our herbarium collection

Some time ago, we moved our plant specimen collection to a new herbarium located on the 2nd floor of the FTA building. Currently, we are working on restoration/conservation of the specimens using the mounting material of archival quality and on the cataloging of the collection. We would like to express our thanks to all colleagues of the TRIBE team for their enthusiasm and great help.

How is the development of integrated agriculture in Zambia doing?

The team from the CZU, namely Vladimír Verner, Radim Kotrba, Zbyněk Polesný, Jan Staš from FTZ and Miloslav Petrtýl from FAPPZ, is currently conducting fieldwork in the Western Province of Zambia. The activities are realized in the frame of implementation of two development projects, namely "Integrated Farming II" led by Mendel University in Brno and "Agribussines4LIFE “ led by Charita Czech Republic.

A new article published! Born to Eat Wild: An Integrated Conservation Approach to Secure Wild Food Plants for Food Security and Nutrition

Building on a literature review and cross-country project experiences, the new paper proposed an integrated approach to use and conserve wild food plants for nutrition and food security.

A new paper published! Wild Food Plants and Trends in Their Use: From Knowledge and Perceptions to Drivers of Change in West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Wild food plants are often highly nutritious but under-consumed at the same time. A new paper published in the special issue of the journal Foods looked at trends in the use of wild food plants in West Sumatra. The study documented 106 types of wild food plants (85 species) and identified the barriers as well as motivations for the use of these foods among Minangkabau and Mandailing communities.  The drivers of change were discussed and the authors suggested take an integrated approach to their sustainable use, which could improve nutrition while conserving biological and cultural diversity.

Syrian Project Documented 80 Wild Plants as a Food Source

During the period March - June 2020, while COVID-19 was strongly hitting many regions around the world, making travel and field research more complicated, our Ph.D. student Naji Sulaiman was collecting data for his dissertation in a double challenging spot of our planet.

New paper published! Medicinal plants used by ‘root doctors’, local traditional healers in Bié province, Angola

The paper published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology ivestigated the traditional use of medicinal plants in Bié, Angola.

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