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Trade in Zambian edible terrestrial orchids - molecular identification reveals use of previously undocumented orchid taxa for chikanda.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Zambia wild edible terrestrial orchids are used to produce a local Bemba delicacy called chikanda. Over the past decades chikanda has become increasingly popular throughout the country and commercialization puts orchid populations in Zambia, as well as neighboring countries, at risk of overharvesting. Up until now no study has documented which orchid species are traded on local markets, as orchid tubers are difficult to identify to genus or species level. In this study, the core land- plant DNA barcoding markers rbcL and matK were used in combination with nrITS to determine which species were sold on Zambian markets. A total of 82 interviews were held to determine harvesting areas, as well as possible sustainability concerns. By using nrITS DNA barcoding, a total of 16 orchid species in six different genera could be identified among the market samples, from which three were previously undocumented. Both rbcL and matK proved unsuitable for species-level identification, but can be used to identify the tubers up to genus- or family level. Satyrium buchananii, Platycoryne crocea and Disa robusta were encountered most frequently. International chikanda trade- hubs were identified in Zambia on the borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. People involved in chikanda trade indicate that both tuber quality, as well as quantity, were decreasing and were willing to consider alternatives to chikanda trade to secure their income. Currently hardly any orchid species are listed on the Zambian IUCN Red List. Local orchid populations and endemic species could be at risk of overharvesting due to the intensive and indiscriminate harvesting of chikanda orchids and we therefore urge for updating the IUCN Red List for terrestrial African orchids.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355181OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-355181DiVA, id: diva2:1225529
Available from: 2018-06-27 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-06-27
In thesis
1. Markets, mixtures and molecular methods: Investigating medicinal plant and edible orchid diversity in Tanzania and Zambia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Markets, mixtures and molecular methods: Investigating medicinal plant and edible orchid diversity in Tanzania and Zambia
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Medicinal plants are an important source of primary healthcare for many people in Tanzania. These medicinal plants are harvested from the wild, and increasing commercial trade poses a serious threat to local plant populations. Currently it is unknown which species are traded and in what amounts. Across the southwestern border in Zambia, the traditional dish chikanda has transformed from a niche product to being a mainstream delicacy. One of the main ingredients are wild-harvested orchids, and these have become depleted throughout the country as an effect of the increased trade. It is unclear which orchid species are targeted and might be at risk of overharvesting. The aims of my doctorate are to map harvest and trade of Tanzanian medicinal plants and Tanzanian and Zambian edible orchids, to investigate whether species that are traded on local markets can be identified using molecular methods such as DNA barcoding and metabarcoding and identify conservation issues arising from wild-harvesting of medicinal plants and edible orchids.

In Paper I DNA metabarcoding analysis of Tanzanian chikanda cake show the presence of 17 different orchids species belonging to the genera DisaSatyrium and Habenaria, and in Paper V the analysis of chikanda tubers sold on Zambian markets reveals that at least 16 orchid species from 6 different orchid genera are targeted in local orchid trade. Paper II describes a quantitative market survey of the non-woody, non-powdered medicinal plants sold on Kariakoo market in Dar-es-Salaam that shows that a total of 67 species are traded in an annual volume of nearly 31 tonnes of fresh and dried medicinal leaves, seeds and fruits with an estimated value of 200,000 USD. For Paper III 873 medicinal plant products were analysed using DNA barcoding, literature and morphology to determine which species are traded on the Dar-es-Salaam and Tanga markets. In total, 509 identifications could be made corresponding to 91 species, 124 genera and 65 plant families, and several cases of over- and under-differentiation were detected. Paper IV builds upon the identifications in Paper III to determine in what amount the medicinal plant species present at the local markets are traded and to investigate if commercial trade poses a threat to local plant populations. It was found that several of the most highly favored medicinal plants were perceived to becoming more difficult to obtain in the wild.

This thesis shows that DNA barcoding is a powerful rapid identification method for morphologically unidentifiable specimens. It also shows that commercialization of wild-harvested plant products threatens local plant populations, and highlights the need for conservation measures to avoid local extinction of economically and socially important plant species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 36
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1689
Keywords
DNA barcoding, Africa, Species delimitation, Orchids, Medicinal plants
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urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355182 (URN)978-91-513-0376-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-13, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
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Available from: 2018-08-22 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-08-28Bibliographically approved

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