Item Details

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

Date Published: 2019
Author/s: Mallika Sardeshpande and Charlie Shackleton
Data publication:
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Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University, Makhanda 6140, South Africa
Keywords: conservation; markets; non-timber forest products; policy; research priorities;
sustainability; wild edible fruits


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.