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Table 1 Why common uses and conservation of certain edible and medicinal plants depend on local knowledge? Examples consider the best quality materials and safety for users.

From: Importance of local knowledge in plant resources management and conservation in two protected areas from Trás-os-Montes, Portugal

Species Latin name Species common name (PT/GB)1 Main use Useful LK Practices that promote conservation & best use2
Arnica montana L. arnica/mountain arnica
Fragaria vesca L. amiródio/wild strawberry
Physospermum cornubiense (L.) DC. anis/bladderseed
Tuberaria lignosa (Sweet) Samp. alcária/similar to rockrose
Claimed to have potent anti-inflammatory effect and high demanded
Grown in very specifics habitats. Inconspicuous, are unnoticed. Skillful gathers find them searching some particular soil characteristics. Few people know the best sites, gathering periods, plant grow stages and how to prepare remedies Maintaining a balance between wilderness and extensive management of woodlands and scrublands, promoting some disturbance to limit competition but avoiding great disturbances, resulting in the removal of large amounts of biomass
Borago officinalis L. borragem/borage
Bryonia dioica Jacq. norça/white bryony
Crataegus monogyna Jacq. espinheiro/hawthorn
Origanum vulgare L. oregão/oregano
Food and medicinal
Supplements, restoratives and condiments Digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular affections
Different parts and different grow stages of the same plant may be used for several purposes and prepared in many ways, according to specific circumstances and need s. Extensive farming, avoiding pesticides and fertilizers Clearing, mowing, maintaining pathways, road slopes and properties borders (vegetation and traditional stone walls)
Montia fontana L. merujes/water blinks
Portulaca oleracea L beldroega/green purslane
Consumed mainly raw
Abilities to clearly identify morphological features and convenient gathering sites are fundamental Surface water management Cleaning of pathways Extensive farming
Arenaria montana L. seixinha/mountain sandwor
Thymus pulegioides L. pojinha/broad-leaved thym
Chondrilla juncea L. ginjeira/nakedweed
Food and medicinal
The best material should be gathered in managed sites such as clearings in oak forests, crop lands and meadows, which involve knowledge and proficiency Woodlots and meadows management and extensive farming, avoiding pesticides and fertilizers
Geranium robertianum L. Erva- de- S. Roberto/herb Robert
Hypericum perforatum L. piricão fêmea/St John's wort
Oral use Digestive system and diuretic
Skills to identify certain morphological characters and to avoid confusion among similar species, with no medicinal value Keeping traditional land tenure (communal versus fenced individual plots) and natural boundaries, preserving the best habitat and material
Tamus communis L. black bryonie Food and medicinal Toxic plants. Both gathering and uses require expertise to guarantee consumers safety Woodland management as fruiting plants (used for remedies) are only available in clearings
Pterospartum tridentatum (L.) Willk carqueja/similar to brooms    Scrubland management avoiding fires and invasive species
  1. 1. For each species we present the most cited common name although there are others in the studied area.
  2. 2. The presence of some of these species is really affected by abandonment and changing in cover and agricultural practices. Nevertheless, according to our informants, those still occurring and existing, have different food and medicinal properties which may have impact in quality and safety. LK is needed to an integrated and sustainable management of habitats and plant materials.