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Wild Edible Fruits: A Systematic Review of an Under-Researched Multifunctional NTFP (Non-Timber Forest Product)

Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University, Makhanda 6140, South Africa
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Forests 2019, 10(6), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060467
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
Wild edible fruits (WEFs) are among the most widely used non-timber forest products (NTFPs), and important sources of nutrition, medicine, and income for their users. In addition to their use as food, WEF species may also yield fiber, fuel, and a range of processed products. Besides forests, WEF species also thrive in diverse environments, such as agroforestry and urban landscapes, deserts, fallows, natural lands, and plantations. Given the multifunctional, ubiquitous nature of WEFs, we conducted a systematic review on the literature specific to WEFs and highlighted links between different domains of the wider knowledge on NTFPs. We found that literature specific to WEFs was limited, and a majority of it reported ethnobotanical and taxonomic descriptions, with relatively few studies on landscape ecology, economics, and conservation of WEFs. Our review identifies priorities and emerging avenues for research and policymaking to promote sustainable WEF management and use, and subsequent biodiversity and habitat conservation. In particular, we recommend that ecosystem services, economic incentives, market innovations, and stakeholder synergies are incorporated into WEF conservation strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: conservation; markets; non-timber forest products; policy; research priorities; sustainability; wild edible fruits conservation; markets; non-timber forest products; policy; research priorities; sustainability; wild edible fruits
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Sardeshpande, M.; Shackleton, C. Wild Edible Fruits: A Systematic Review of an Under-Researched Multifunctional NTFP (Non-Timber Forest Product). Forests 2019, 10, 467.

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