Question

Answer the following questions regarding ethnobotanical research.

1. Describe two benefits of using qualitative methods and two benefits of using quantitative methods in ethnobotanical research.

2. Discuss one limitation for each of the above approaches. Explain whether these limitations are found in other scientific fields, or are these challenges unique to ethnobotanical research.

3. In the article, “Current trends in ethnobotany,” Idu (2009) states that qualitative and quantitative approaches can be dependable if they meet certain criteria. Describe two criteria for each approach. How does meeting these criteria increase the dependability of ethnobotanical research results?

4. In the article, “Evaluating the purpose, extent, and ecological restoration applications of indigenous burning practices in Southwestern Washington,” Storm and Shebitz (2006) use four distinct methods to reconstruct prairie management by Native Americans. How do the authors use these methods to address their research questions?

5. While still referring to Storm and Shebitz (2006), explain whether the evidence from the four methods support the authors’ recommendations for current practices in prairie restoration. Explain why or why not.

6. Idu (2009) indicates that ethnobotany is a growing field with great potential for economic gain through medicine development. Discuss two ethical issues related to ethnobotanical research by pharmaceutical companies.

7. Describe how paleobotanic samples are collected and identified. Which plant samples are considered most reliable? Explain why. How are plant samples dated?

8. How are paleoethnobotanical methods different from ethnobotanical methods? Do you consider one more reliable than the other? Explain why.

9. What are some of the ethical concerns that the authors faced while conducting their research? How were these concerns addressed? What are some additional concerns of bioprospecting? How would you address these concerns?

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1. Quantitative or statistical methods are percieved as more objective, disregarding any subjective factors affecting a research, and favour reproducibility – so that any false data is easily detected – and accuracy – so that precise results can be obtained. This leads to fewer incorrect conclusions, more accurate models and predictions and a greater benefit for ethnobotanical research. For example, the more: informants report same or similar use of a plant species, different locations of reported use (multilocation use), ethnic groups report such use (multi-ethnic use), referrences in published literature from different authors across the world, the higher the: reliability index, credibility index, relative importance, fidelity index, informant agreement ratio, cutural significance, use value, etc. are. Qualitative methods typically increase precision, which in turn affects the clarity of any written work, as well as usually being the quicker method of the two, enabling the collection of more data....

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