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McGill University, Montréal (1997)

The ecology and propagation of Vatovaea pseudolablab, a wild food plant of the Maasai in Kajiado District, Kenya

Arnott, Sheri-Lee C

Titre : The ecology and propagation of Vatovaea pseudolablab, a wild food plant of the Maasai in Kajiado District, Kenya

Auteur : Arnott, Sheri-Lee C

Université de soutenance : McGill University, Montréal (Canada)

Grade : Master of Science 1997

Résumé
The goal of this study was to further understanding of the ecology and propagation of an important wild food resource (Vatovaea pseudolablab (Harms.) Gillett of the community of Loodokilani, Kajiado District Kenya and by extension, contribute to its sustainable use. Vatovaea pseudolablab is found in occasional, yet distinct patches in Lookidalani and these patches may be associated with a particular soil-water regime. The associated soils are moderately developed, dark brown (7.5YR 3/2, Munsell) clayloams, with small (5.61 mm), angular blocky aggregates. The patches were moderately covered (30%) with medium-sized stones (9.5 cm). Woody and leafy cuttings from wild stock were collected and rooted easily using a minimum of technological inputs. Roofing percentages were better under the hotter and drier conditions in Kilinito. In conclusion, the data gathered for this study were analyzed within the framework developed by Amold et al. (1985) for evaluating sustainable use strategies for indigenous plants. The low densities of V. pseudolablab found within the patches coupled with the high grazing pressure make it unlikely that wild resources could sustain higher usage. This study highlights some of the greatest methodological problems facing ethnobotanical, and related, research in pastoral communities. More attention should be directed towards developing research methodologies to further our understanding of wild food plants in pastoral communities.

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