Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2021, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (4): 462-470.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.04.004

• Resource and Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Perceptions of Local People toward Wild Edible Plant Gathering and Consumption: Insights from the Q-method in Hani Terraces

DING Lubin1,2(), HE Siyuan1, MIN Qingwen1, LI Heyao1,2, MA Nan1,2, LI Wenhua1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-01-15 Accepted:2021-03-30 Online:2021-07-30 Published:2021-09-30
  • Contact: LI Wenhua
  • About author:DING Lubin, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(42001194)


Wild edible plants (WEPs) can provide a variety of provisioning services and cultural services but they are currently under-utilized. Understanding farmers’ perceptions of the collection and consumption of wild edible plant resources is essential for promoting local socio-ecological system resilience and local wild plant resource use. This paper uses the Q-method to investigate the main perspectives of farmers toward collecting and consuming wild edible plants in the Honghe Hani Terraces region of Yunnan Province. This analysis identified four main perspective types among the farmers, including market-driven, household user-driven, cultural service seekers, and tradition followers. It revealed the main factors that limit and facilitate farmers’ WEP collection and consumption, including limitations due to loss of traditional knowledge, and changes in socioeconomic conditions that negatively affect WEP collection and consumption; while, on the other hand, the demand for WEP-related cultural services and the presence of a strong culture slowed down changes in dietary structure, which in turn have maintained WEP collection and consumption. The Q-method can help in identifying the relationship between community residents and local wild plant resource use in rapidly transitioning areas and in identifying the barriers that affect the resilience of local socio-ecological systems.

Key words: wild edible plants, Q-method, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), perception, Hani Terraces