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Djah François Malan Danho Fursy Rodelec Neuba

Abstract

This study is set within the important framework of the imperative need to safeguard traditional knowledge at historical, nutritional levels, and as an element of sustainable management of natural resources. Thus, it aimed to identify, through four ethnobotanical surveys (2007, 2009, 2015 and 2019), the wild edible plants used by the Ehotilé around the Aby Lagoon, on the Ivorian eastern littoral, to evaluate the use, preference and availability related to these plants and to discuss the evolution of food practices since the observations of missionaries three centuries earlier. The level of knowledge was analysed using Smith's Index and the availability of edible fruits was assessed with a new cognitive index. Compared to the era of the first settlement, the diet of the Ehotilé has undergone many modifications. Current observations showed that wild plants were rarely used in the diet which was essentially cassava-based. Thirty-nine edible ethnospecies corresponding to 40 scientific plants species were recorded for 46 uses, of which, wild fruits with 54.17 % were the most important. Edible fruits were available all year round, but irregularly and the availability index suggested that 10 species of the fruits sought were rare in the region. The study has shown that gathering plants are well known by the Ehotilé. However, they are not very present in their diet. In addition, they have a good knowledge of the availability of their edible plants and could therefore be key resource persons in any assessment of the dynamics of plants in their environment.

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Keywords

Aby Lagoon , Wild edible plants, Ehotilé, Resources availability

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Malan, D. F., & Neuba, D. F. R. (2021). Wild edible plants in the Ehotilé, a fishing people around Aby lagoon (eastern littoral of Côte d’Ivoire): Knowledge and availability. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 13(1), 59-70. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v13i1.2467
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