Plant Diversity ›› 2013, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (4): 438-442.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201312176

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Modern Ethnobotany: An Introduction

 LONG  Chun-Lin-1、2   

  1. 1 College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Minzu University of China,  Beijing 100081, China;
    2 Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
  • Received:2012-12-25 Online:2013-07-25 Published:2013-02-25


The concepts and terminology used in modern ethnobotany are discussed in the present paper, while research designs and methodologies are briefly introduced. Based on a few case studies, the application and significance of modern ethnobotany are elucidated. Modern ethnobotany is the scientific study of interrelationships between local populations and plants, and employs various approaches involving a wide range of disciplines, such as computer science, information science, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry etc. As an example of its effective use, an investigation of genetic diversity of hullless barley landraces in Tibetan communities of northwest Yunnan using SSR and AFLP markers revealed that local practices have effectively conserved plant genetic resources. In addition, a pharmacological study on Aeschynanthus bracteatus, a member of the Gesneriaceae, has shown that this species is used in medicinal baths by the Yao people in southeast Yunnan. The future potential of modern ethnobotany and its importance to our understanding of interrelationships between local populations and plants is emphasised.

Key words: Modern ethnbotany, Classic ethnobotany, Methodology, Development potentials

CLC Number: