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19 July 2021 | dataset

Indigeneous knowledge

We present the first large-scale synthesis of indigenous knowledge (IK) on New Guinea’s useful plants based on a quantitative review of 488 references and 854 herbarium specimens. Specifically, we assessed (i) spatiotemporal trends in the documentation of IK, (ii) which are New Guinea’s most useful ecosystems and plant taxa, (iii) what use categories have been better studied, and (iv) which are the best studied indigenous groups. Overall, our review integrates40,376 use reports and 19,948 plant uses for 3434 plant species. We find that despite a significant increase in ethnobotanical studies since the first reports of 1885, all islands still remain
under-investigated. Lowland and montane rainforests are the best studied habitats; legumes, palms, and figs are the most cited plant families; and Ficus, Pandanus, and Syzygiumare the most useful genera. Medicinal uses have received the greatest attention and non-native species have the highest cross-cultural consensus for medicine, underscoring the culturally enriching role of non-native taxa to New Guinea’s pharmacopeia. Of New Guinea’s approximately 1100 indigenous groups, 217 are mentioned in the literature, and non-endangered groups remain better studied. We conclude that IK can contribute significantly to meet rising demands to make New
Guinea’s landscapes “multifunctional” and boost the green economy, but ambitious strategies will still be needed to mainstream IK and improve its documentation.

Data and Resource

Indigenous Knowledge of New Guinea’s Useful Plants: A Review

We present the first large-scale synthesis of…

Field Value
Publisher PNG Conservation and Environment Protection Authority
Modified 09 April 2022
Release Date 19 July 2021
Source URL
Identifier 8d0322b6-b15e-421f-bad1-a9a5e9edebb7
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location Papua New Guinea
Relevant Countries Papua New Guinea
License Public
[Open Data]
Contact Name biatus.bito
POD Theme Biodiversity, Culture and Heritage