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Vibrans, Heike [1], García-Hernández, Karina Yaredi [1], Pérez-Nicolás, Mónica [1], Saynes-Vásquez, Alfredo [1].

Ruderal vegetation as a source of medicinal plants in Mexico.

The source habitat type of wild medicinal plants in a landscape is important for evaluating the impact of medicinal plant gathering on conservation, for bioprospecting and ethnobotanical studies, and for understanding the evolution of vegetation influenced by humans. We reanalyzed three local studies that included habitat information, to evaluate the relevance of weeds in general, and of types of weeds (agrestals and ruderals), as sources of medicinal plants in Mexico. The studies were made in various climatic and cultural regions, the highland, humid and dry tropics. - In all of the examples, ruderal habitats (vegetation around settlements, field margins and roadsides) contributed the highest number of spontaneously growing medicinal plants. Cultivated fields (agrestals) only supplied species more or less at the same level as semi-natural habitats, such as grasslands. The results suggest that ruderal plants may be the most significant source of wild growing medicinal plants in Mexico. Cultivated fields (agrestal habitat) contribute much less both in absolute numbers and in relative proportion. Future studies should consider these differences. Ruderal sites and their plants are also an understudied component of the Mesoamerican agricultural system.


1 - Colegio de Postgraduados, Postgrado en Botánica, km 36.5 carretera México-Texcoco, Montecillo, Texcoco, Mexico State, 56230, Mexico

Keywords:
Weeds
Secondary vegetation
Chemical Ecology.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Number:
Abstract ID:38
Candidate for Awards:None