The Status of Non-timber Forest Products Used by Dai People in Xishuangbanna
|School||Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden|
|Keywords||Non-timber forest products Xishuangbanna Dai people Ethnobotany Wild vegetables Medicinal plants|
Xishuangbanna is one of the key areas with richest biodiversity and most diverse ethnical culture in China. Dai people is the major minority in this area, they have accumulated abundant knowledge of non-timber forest products. Among the knowledge of non-timber forest products, the knowledge of medicinal plants and wild edible plants is especially abundant, which is also the focus of this study. Based on former studies in this area, three Dai villages (Man’an, Mansan and Manguangnan) in Xishuangbanna, south of Yunnan were investigated by integrating the methods of ethnobotany with cultural anthropology.In this thesis, the data of wild vegetables and medicinal plants utilized by Dai people were collected by applying the methods of quantitative ethnobotany. The data was then synthetically analyzed by integrating methods of the statistic principle with the quantitative ethnobotanical methods. Moreover, the diversity non-timber forest products used by Dai people, and the loss, transferring and protection of their indigenous knowledge were discussed. Some suggestions regarding sustainable utilization of non-timber forest products, maintaining of traditional botanical knowledge, and protection of biodiversity were also given at the end.,The main research results are as follows:1. Non-timber forest plants utilized by Dai people are very abundant in the three studied Dai villages. A total of 228 plant species belonging to 75 families are used as wild vegetables and a total of 214 plant species belonging to 83 families are used as medicinal plants.2. We compared the knowledge of medicinal plants and wild vegetables among the three villages. The comparison of knowledge of wild vegetables among three villages shows that Jaccard similarity indices of available wild vegetables between different villages are less than 0.5, which is 0.43 between Man’an and Mansan, and 0.30 between Man’an and Maguangnan, and 0.37 between Mansan and Maguangnan. Only 21.76% of the total wild vegetables species are both utilized by the three villages. The comparison of knowledge of medicinal plants among three villages shows Jaccard similarity indices of available medicinal plants between different villages are even lower, which is 0.31 between Man’an and Mansan, and 0.19 between Man’an and Maguangnan, and 0.26 between Mansan and Maguangnan. Only 13.55% of the total medicinal species are both utilized by the three villages. This indicates that the similarity indices of utilized plant species between different villages are very low, and the species diversity were very abundant in Xishuangbanna.3. We compared the differences in utilization of wild vegetables and medicinal plants between genders within each village. The results show that there are no significant differences between genders within each village in utilization of wild vegetables, which accords with the non-gender discrimination in Dai people’s daily life. There are significant differences between genders within each village in utilazation of medicinal plants, and the male holds more knowledge than the female. This may have close relation with the fact that Dai doctors are usually men in all Dai villages.4. We compared the differences of utilization of wild vegetables and medicinal plants between young groups (≤40)and older groups (>40) within each village . There are significant differences between young groups and older groups within each village in utilization of wild vegetables and medicinal plants, older groups know much more than young groups. Through comparing with other studied villages, the results suggest that loss of indigenous botanical knowledge is becoming a very serious issue. The reason for loss of indigenous botanical knowledge may mostly due to impact of mainstream culture and land use change, which induces the fragmentation of tropical forest and the loss of biodiversity.