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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Marshall, Michael [1].

Contemporary medicinal trees; diversity and use across the island of Saipan.

Tropical island ecosystems are a reservoir of medicinal plant species and local ethnomedical knowledge. My study examines the current distribution and the public’s knowledge of medicinal trees on Saipan. I assessed the abundance and diversity of 40 medicinal trees within six defined vegetation zones (urban edge, native limestone, mixed introduced, coastal complex, savanna complex, tangantangan thicket). I quantified local knowledge and use of the trees using public surveys with Likert-scale responses. Results indicate that: 1) The coastal complex is most abundant and diverse in medicinal trees (N=42, F=9.54, p=0.0001; N=42, F=11.52, p=0.0001; respectively) 2) There is a positive correlation between medicinal use and knowledge (N=40, Spearman ρ=0.83, p=0.0001) 3) The vegetation zone with the highest potential for use is urban edge (N=42, F=7.25, p=.0001). While the most abundant and diverse vegetation zone is coastal complex, the zone that people use most frequently is urban edge. This discrepancy suggests that common use is not solely influenced by natural distribution, but rather by the accessibility and intrinsic medicinal value of each species. Disruption of intergenerational teaching and the adoption of Western medicinal practices could be causing a shift in use patterns from traditional knowledge to modern convenience.

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1 - Northern Arizona University, Environmental Sciences, 4047 Oyster Bay Rd NW, Olympia, Washington, 98502, United States

Medicinal Plants
Tree diversity
Tree Abundance
Use Frequency
Traditional Knowledge

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEN003
Abstract ID:208
Candidate for Awards:None

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