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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 543207, 11 pages
Research Article

Plant Stem Bark Extractivism in the Northeast Semiarid Region of Brazil: A New Aport to Utilitarian Redundancy Model

1Laboratory of Applied Ethnobotany, Department of Biology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Natural Products Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Federal University of Pernambuco, 50740-521 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 15 July 2011; Revised 18 October 2011; Accepted 18 October 2011

Academic Editor: Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves

Copyright © 2012 Washington Soares Ferreira Júnior et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We use the model of utilitarian redundancy as a basis for research. This model provides predictions that have not been tested by other research. In this sense, we sought to investigate the stem bark extraction between preferred and less-preferred species by a rural community in Caatinga environment. In addition, we sought to explain local preferences to observe if preferred plants have a higher content of tannins than less-preferred species. For this, we selected seven preferred species and seven less-preferred species from information obtained from semistructured interviews applied to 49 informants. Three areas of vegetation around the community were also selected, in which individuals were tagged, and were measured the diameter at ground level (DGL) diameter at breast height (DBH), and measurements of available and extracted bark areas. Samples of bark of the species were also collected for the evaluation of tannin content, obtained by the method of radial diffusion. From the results, the preferred species showed a greater area of bark removed. However, the tannin content showed no significant differences between preferred and less-preferred plants. These results show there is a relationship between preference and use, but this preference is not related to the total tannins content.