Human Ecology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 265–272 | Cite as

Perceiving the Biodiversity of Food at Chest-height: use of the Fleshy Fruits of Wild Trees and Shrubs in Saaremaa, Estonia

  • Renata Sõukand
  • Raivo Kalle


Details on the management, harvest, and consumption of wild plants constitute an important part of local ethno-ecological knowledge. The food culture of any particular nation depends greatly on the dietary resources available in the given climate, but also on local perceptions of the usefulness of wild plants. Fruits harvested from wild and cultivated trees contribute substantial food energy to human diets all around the world (Pimentel et al. 1997) and can be a valuable source for bioactive compounds (Sanchez-Mata et al. 2012). Wild fruits are used for food literally everywhere (Turner et al. 2011). Several historical (archive-based) studies have reported uses already abandoned in modern Europe (Łuczaj and Szymański 2007; Łuczaj 2008, 2012; Dénes et al. 2012, Svanberg 2012; Svanberg and Ægisson 2012; Łuczaj et al. 2013). Yet, in some European rural areas, the tradition of harvesting wild food resources is still alive today (see for example; Tardío et al. 2006;...


Spinosa Wild Food Fleshy Fruit Edible Fruit Wild Fruit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research has been supported by ESF grants ETF9419, EKKM14-300, and IUT22-5; writing of the paper was partially supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies). The authors are grateful to all our inspiring interviewees. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Union 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Estonian Literary MuseumTartuEstonia

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