What is it about?
Background Documenting local ecological knowledge (LEK) has recently become a topic of considerable interest. LEK can contribute to various areas of ecology, including habitat management and conservation biology. It has been recently revealed that recreational fishers’ ecological knowledge (FEK) can also provide valuable information about different organisms and habitats, while recreational fishers’ ecological knowledge is understudied in many aspects and regions of the world. Methods We aimed to record Hungarian recreational FEK on plant species related to freshwater habitats. Our research was conducted in three regularly fished water bodies in Hungary, namely Lake Velence, Keleti Main Canal, and Lake Látóképi, where a total of 72 interviews were conducted with recreational anglers. During interviews, 24 plant species occurring at freshwater habitats with common or sporadic distribution were shown to anglers as single species or in congeneric pairs. Miscellaneous plant-related knowledge of anglers was also collected. Results Anglers identified a total of 16 plant species. They used 45 botanical or folk names. An angler knew the name of 4.6 plants on average and recognized 7.4 other species without naming it. According to our detailed analysis, anglers were able to name or at least recognize those plant species which are somehow related to fishing activities, are salient, and/or common. Moreover, anglers at Lake Velence recognized less plant species; however, they also had less years of fishing experience compared to anglers of the other two locations. Conclusion We found that recreational FEK exists even in the case of freshwater plants which are not the main focus of anglers. It is highly presumable that recreational fishers would be able to provide reliable ecologically related data for scientific research establishing future citizen science projects of nature conservation.
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This page is a summary of: Known but not called by name: recreational fishers’ ecological knowledge of freshwater plants in Hungary, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, November 2021, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s13002-021-00489-2.
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