Ethnobotanical knowledge in rural communities of Cordoba (Argentina): the importance of cultural and biogeographical factors
1 Cát. Antropología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Vélez Sarsfield 299 - X5000JJC - Córdoba, Argentina
2 IMBiV (Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Vélez Sarsfieldo 1611 - 5000 - Córdoba, Argentina
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2009, 5:40 doi:10.1186/1746-4269-5-40Published: 15 December 2009
The possibility to better understand the relationships within the men, the nature and their culture has extreme importance because allows the characterisation of social systems through their particular environmental perception, and provides useful tools for the development of conservation policies.
The present study was planned to disentangle environmental and cultural factors that are influencing the perception, knowledge and uses of edible and medicinal plants in rural communities of Cordoba (Argentina). Interviews an participant observation were conducted in nine rural communities located in three different biogeographical areas. Data about knowledge of medicinal and edible plants and sociocultural variables were obtained. Data were analysed by Principal Components Analysis (PCA).
The analysis of data confirmed that medicinal species are widely used whereas the knowledge on edible plants is eroding. The PCA showed four groups of communities, defined by several particular combinations of sociocultural and/or natural variables.
This comprehensive approach suggests that in general terms the cultural environment has a stronger influence than the natural environment on the use of medicinal and edible plants in rural communities of Cordoba (Argentina).