Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Ethnobotanical use-pattern for indigenous fruits and vegetables among selected communities in Ondo State, Nigeria.

Abstract

Plants including indigenous/naturalised fruits and vegetables (IFVs) have the potential towards meeting the food and nutrition needs of humans. Currently, IFVs are threatened by human activities such as deforestation, environmental degradation and acculturation. As a result, the need for ethnobotanical surveys that focuses on the documentation of IFVs remains pertinent. This study explored the utilisation pattern of IFVs among participants in 40 rural communities of Ondo state, Nigeria. Ethnobotanical information was collected among 400 participants using semi-structured questionnaires. Thereafter, the frequency of citation (FC, %) was calculated. An inventory of 46 indigenous and naturalised plant species from 19 families were identified as a source of food, nutritional and therapeutic purposes as well as energy source (fuel) in the study area. The FC ranged from approximately 32-90% and IFVs such as Ageratum conyzoides (L.) L. (89.5%), Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle (89.5%), Talinum fruticosum (L.) Juss. (88.8%), Amaranthus hybridus L. (87.8%), Vernonia adoensis var. adoensis (86.8%) and Vernonia amygdalina Delile (86.8%) were the most commonly cited plants. The dominant plant families were Asteraceae (8 IFVs) and Malvaceae (6 IFVs) while the leaves (35%) and fruit (21%) were the most frequently used plant parts. In terms of use-categories, the IFVs served as food (53%), medicine/health benefits (46%) and fuel/energy source (1%), which is an indication of their diverse potential in the study area. Elaeis guineensis Jacq. was recorded as a highly diverse IFV with applications in the three aforementioned use-categories. Overall, the current findings contribute to the on-going global research efforts aimed at the documentation of indigenous plants. However, the determination of the nutritional and phytochemical content of identified IFVs collected from the study area will be essential for their characterisation which may enhance their acceptance among the local and wider populations.