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Abstract, Acta Botanica Brasilica, 2019

Documenting the uses of native species of Cactaceae in Northeast Brazil contributes to understanding how the inhabitants of this seasonally dry and low-rainfall region have used these resources, considering that some species of this family of Cactaceae are among the most endangered in the world. The aim of this research was to determine which species of Cactaceae occur in the study area and investigate the knowledge and recurrent uses associated with them, as well as the local availability of the species most used by residents. Ethnobotanical data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 59 heads of households. Guided tours were conducted for data collection and subsequent taxonomic identification of species. Use value and availability were determined for the most-used species in two predefined areas. Six native species were recorded and classified into eight categories. Columnar species had higher use values, while fodder and construction were the most cited use categories. Cereus jamacaru DC was the most-used species, with consequent interference in its availability due to significant reduction in the number of cladodes as a result of their constant removal from plants in areas of direct use for the purpose of fodder.

Keywords: caatinga; conservation; dry forests; knowledge on the use of natural resources; management