Reports from Smithsonian Add New Data to Research in Botany
2012 JUL 20 (VerticalNews) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation -- A new study on Botany is now available. According to news reporting originating in Washington, District of Columbia, by VerticalNews journalists, researchers stated "Understanding Interrelationships among Predictors (Age, Gender, and Origin) of Local Ecological Knowledge. Understanding which factors predict local ecological knowledge can provide insight into how this knowledge is learned and how it may change in the future."
The news reporters obtained a quote from the research by the authors from Smithsonian, "We assess how knowledge of both useful plants and plant natural history vary according to gender, age, and origin in mestizo communities in Venezuela's Caura Basin. Two sets of structured questionnaires were carried out with a total of 83 adults in three communities. Multiple regression analyses were used to identify the predictors of knowledge of 6 plant-use categories and natural history knowledge of 12 plant species. Gender, age, and origin (a parts per thousand yen2 generations in the Caura vs. foreign-born) were all important predictors of knowledge of useful plants and natural history; however, their importance differed between the two types of knowledge. Origin was a more important predictor of knowledge of useful plants, whereas age was more important in predicting knowledge of natural history. This suggests differences in how each type of knowledge is learned and transmitted. Gender was an important predictor variable in most models, reflecting gender roles in the Caura mestizo communities. Also, for most categories of plant-use knowledge, the interactions among predictors were significant, indicating that the effect of one variable depended on the level of the other."
According to the news reporters, the researchers concluded: "These results illustrate how overlooking interactions among variables, as most studies to date have done, can risk misinterpretation of results by simplifying complex situations."
For more information on this research see: Understanding Interrelationships Among Predictors (Age, Gender, and Origin) of Local Ecological Knowledge. Economic Botany, 2012;66(2):149-164. Economic Botany can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer - www.springer.com; Economic Botany - www.springerlink.com/content/0013-0001/)
Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting T. Souto, Smithsonian Conservat Biol Inst, Center Conservat Educ & Sustainabil, Washington, DC 20013, United States.
Keywords for this news article include: Botany, Ecology, Washington, United States, District of Columbia, North and Central America
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