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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Reilly, Paul [1], O'Quinn, Robin [2].

Indigenous Knowledge: Assessing the Nutritional Content of Claytonia lanceolata (Montiaceae) corms.

Indigenous knowledge about traditional plant foods (TPFs) is rapidly disappearing as fewer people in each generation harvest and eat traditional foods. However, many indigenous cultures are interested in complementing traditional knowledge with modern scientific knowledge as a way to revive the use of TPFs in contemporary society, thus illustrating to younger generations the factual benefits of incorporating TPFs into their diet. Information gleaned from modern research on TPFs has important implications for validating and preserving cultural knowledge. Moreover, a greater understanding of TPFs and the cultural practices surrounding them could benefit modern agriculture by providing insight into the relationships between harvest times and nutritive content. Claytonia lanceolata (Western Spring Beauty), an herbaceous perennial in the family Montiaceae, produces a corm (underground stem) that has been an important TPF for indigenous cultures across the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Although nutritional information is available for hundreds of TPFs, comprehensive information on C. lanceolata is lacking. In this study we 1) analyze the nutrient content of C. lanceolata corms, 2) test for a correlations between historical harvest times and nutrient content, and 3) establish if nutrient content varies with phenology. We hypothesize a strong correlation between nutritional content and harvest time. We also expect nutritive content to increase, as nutrients are stored in the corm across the growing season of C. lanceolata, roughly April through August. To test these hypotheses, we will collect corms from populations with archeological evidence of historical harvesting at three times corresponding too early, peak, and late harvest times. Peak harvest corresponds to the time when indigenous groups would occupy a site to harvest the corms in large quantities as determined from historical records. One hundred gram samples will be homogenized and analyzed for nutritional aspects, which include total fat, protein, ash and fiber content, total carbohydrate profile, total calories, total vitamin and total mineral content per sample. Proximate analysis (fat, protein, ash and fiber), total vitamin and mineral content will be quantified using Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) protocols. We will use Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient for each nutritional component to assess relationships between nutrient content and time of harvest. Also, a series of independent two sample t-tests will be used to assess if there are significant differences in nutrient content across phenology.

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1 - Eastern Washington University, Biology, Biology 242 Science Building, Cheney, WA, 99004
2 - Eastern Washington University, Biology 234-C Science Building, Cheney, WA, 99004-2440, USA

Claytonia lanceolata
Traditional Knowledge
Nutritional Content.

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: PEN004
Abstract ID:754
Candidate for Awards:Economic Botany Section best poster

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