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Wild food plants and wild edible fungi in two valleys of the Qinling Mountains (Shaanxi, central China).

Kang Y, Łuczaj Ł, Kang J, Zhang S - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2013)

Bottom Line: Age and male gender had a positive but very low effect on the number of taxa listed.Twelve taxa of wild vegetables (Allium spp., Amaranthus spp., Caryopteris divaricata, Helwingia japonica, Matteucia struthiopteris, Pteridium aquilinum, Toona sinensis, Cardamine macrophylla, Celastrus orbiculatus, Chenopodium album, Pimpinella sp., Staphylea bumalda &S. holocarpa), two species of edible fruits (Akebia trifoliata, Schisandra sphenanthera) and none of the mushrooms were freelisted by at least half of the respondents in one or two of the valleys.The high number of wild vegetables listed is due to the high cultural position of this type of food in China compared to other parts of the world, as well as the high biodiversity of the village surroundings.It may arise from the easy access to the cultivated Auricularia and Lentinula mushrooms and very steep terrain, making foraging for fungi difficult.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, 712100 Yangling, People's Republic of China.

ABSTRACT

Background: The aim of the study was to investigate knowledge and use of wild food plants in two mountain valleys separated by Mount Taibai--the highest peak of northern China and one of its biodiversity hotspots, each adjacent to species-rich temperate forest vegetation.

Methods: Seventy two free lists were collected among the inhabitants of two mountain valleys (36 in each). All the studied households are within walking distance of primary forest vegetation, however the valleys differed in access to urban centers: Houzhenzi is very isolated, and the Dali valley has easier access to the cities of central Shaanxi.

Results: Altogether, 185 wild food plant species and 17 fungi folk taxa were mentioned. The mean number of freelisted wild foods was very high in Houzhenzi (mean 25) and slightly lower in Dali (mean 18). An average respondent listed many species of wild vegetables, a few wild fruits and very few fungi. Age and male gender had a positive but very low effect on the number of taxa listed.Twelve taxa of wild vegetables (Allium spp., Amaranthus spp., Caryopteris divaricata, Helwingia japonica, Matteucia struthiopteris, Pteridium aquilinum, Toona sinensis, Cardamine macrophylla, Celastrus orbiculatus, Chenopodium album, Pimpinella sp., Staphylea bumalda &S. holocarpa), two species of edible fruits (Akebia trifoliata, Schisandra sphenanthera) and none of the mushrooms were freelisted by at least half of the respondents in one or two of the valleys.

Conclusion: The high number of wild vegetables listed is due to the high cultural position of this type of food in China compared to other parts of the world, as well as the high biodiversity of the village surroundings. A very high proportion of woodland species (42%, double the number of the ruderal species used) among the listed taxa is contrary to the general stereotype that wild vegetables in Asia are mainly ruderal species. The very low interest in wild mushroom collecting is noteworthy and is difficult to explain. It may arise from the easy access to the cultivated Auricularia and Lentinula mushrooms and very steep terrain, making foraging for fungi difficult.

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Adding wild vegetables to noodle soup is another common form of utilizing the plants.
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Figure 8: Adding wild vegetables to noodle soup is another common form of utilizing the plants.

Mentions: Wild vegetables are the most important wild food category collected (Figures 3, 4 and 6, 7, 8, Table 3). This was expressed both by the fact that they constituted around two thirds of the species lists and that people most eagerly talked about them. They are also the only category of wild food stored for winter. Drying wild vegetables is a very common preserving technique (Figure 7). Households dry between 1-5 species each year, usually a few kg of dry shoots and leaves, but some households who host tourists can dry even a few times more. Formerly, wild vegetables were lacto-fermented, but now this is done very rarely.


Wild food plants and wild edible fungi in two valleys of the Qinling Mountains (Shaanxi, central China).

Kang Y, Łuczaj Ł, Kang J, Zhang S - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2013)

Adding wild vegetables to noodle soup is another common form of utilizing the plants.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3686673&req=5

Figure 8: Adding wild vegetables to noodle soup is another common form of utilizing the plants.
Mentions: Wild vegetables are the most important wild food category collected (Figures 3, 4 and 6, 7, 8, Table 3). This was expressed both by the fact that they constituted around two thirds of the species lists and that people most eagerly talked about them. They are also the only category of wild food stored for winter. Drying wild vegetables is a very common preserving technique (Figure 7). Households dry between 1-5 species each year, usually a few kg of dry shoots and leaves, but some households who host tourists can dry even a few times more. Formerly, wild vegetables were lacto-fermented, but now this is done very rarely.

Bottom Line: Age and male gender had a positive but very low effect on the number of taxa listed.Twelve taxa of wild vegetables (Allium spp., Amaranthus spp., Caryopteris divaricata, Helwingia japonica, Matteucia struthiopteris, Pteridium aquilinum, Toona sinensis, Cardamine macrophylla, Celastrus orbiculatus, Chenopodium album, Pimpinella sp., Staphylea bumalda &S. holocarpa), two species of edible fruits (Akebia trifoliata, Schisandra sphenanthera) and none of the mushrooms were freelisted by at least half of the respondents in one or two of the valleys.The high number of wild vegetables listed is due to the high cultural position of this type of food in China compared to other parts of the world, as well as the high biodiversity of the village surroundings.It may arise from the easy access to the cultivated Auricularia and Lentinula mushrooms and very steep terrain, making foraging for fungi difficult.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, 712100 Yangling, People's Republic of China.

ABSTRACT

Background: The aim of the study was to investigate knowledge and use of wild food plants in two mountain valleys separated by Mount Taibai--the highest peak of northern China and one of its biodiversity hotspots, each adjacent to species-rich temperate forest vegetation.

Methods: Seventy two free lists were collected among the inhabitants of two mountain valleys (36 in each). All the studied households are within walking distance of primary forest vegetation, however the valleys differed in access to urban centers: Houzhenzi is very isolated, and the Dali valley has easier access to the cities of central Shaanxi.

Results: Altogether, 185 wild food plant species and 17 fungi folk taxa were mentioned. The mean number of freelisted wild foods was very high in Houzhenzi (mean 25) and slightly lower in Dali (mean 18). An average respondent listed many species of wild vegetables, a few wild fruits and very few fungi. Age and male gender had a positive but very low effect on the number of taxa listed.Twelve taxa of wild vegetables (Allium spp., Amaranthus spp., Caryopteris divaricata, Helwingia japonica, Matteucia struthiopteris, Pteridium aquilinum, Toona sinensis, Cardamine macrophylla, Celastrus orbiculatus, Chenopodium album, Pimpinella sp., Staphylea bumalda &S. holocarpa), two species of edible fruits (Akebia trifoliata, Schisandra sphenanthera) and none of the mushrooms were freelisted by at least half of the respondents in one or two of the valleys.

Conclusion: The high number of wild vegetables listed is due to the high cultural position of this type of food in China compared to other parts of the world, as well as the high biodiversity of the village surroundings. A very high proportion of woodland species (42%, double the number of the ruderal species used) among the listed taxa is contrary to the general stereotype that wild vegetables in Asia are mainly ruderal species. The very low interest in wild mushroom collecting is noteworthy and is difficult to explain. It may arise from the easy access to the cultivated Auricularia and Lentinula mushrooms and very steep terrain, making foraging for fungi difficult.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus