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Fern rhizomes as fodder in Norway

Overview of attention for article published in Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, January 2016
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Title
Fern rhizomes as fodder in Norway
Published in
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, January 2016
DOI 10.1186/s13002-016-0112-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Alm, Torbjørn, Torbjørn Alm

Abstract

Although ferns are often known under collective names in Norway, e.g. blom, a substantial number of vernacular names for individual fern species are known, in particular for useful or poisonous taxa. In the past, the rhizomes (Norwegian: moldfôr) of selected species were collected for fodder. Only scattered records of such use are available from southern Norway, and the tradition's core area is found in the two North Norwegian counties of Nordland and Troms, in accordance with the longer winters encountered in the north, frequently leading to fodder shortage in early spring. The tradition extends northeastwards into Finnmark, but is less well documented there. Although numerous sources mention the use of fern rhizomes for fodder, the fern species hiding behind the tradition are incompletely known. This paper aims at reviewing available data in terms of identifyng the species used for fodder, the history and geographical distribution of such use, and other relevant traditions, e.g. the timing and mode of collection, and the way the rhizomes were used. The study is based on data extracted from a variety of archival and literature sources; the latter retrived from my database of more than 7500 publications providing information on plant names and plant uses in Norway. More than 200 individual records mention the use of fern rhizomes for fodder in Norway. Only a fraction of these, typically made by botanist recording data on plant uses, provides information on the identity of the species used. Based on these, Dryopteris filix-mas and Matteuccia struthiopteris stand out as the most important species serving as sources of fern rhizomes for fodder. Locally, Dryopteris expansa was the preferred species, and this taxon may to some extent be overlooked in the records so far available. With a few exceptions, Norwegian folk tradition singles out Athyrium filix-femina as a harmful and poisonous species, causing livestock to go blind and lame, but whether this is true or not, remains unknown; the symptoms are in fact documented elsewhere as a consequence of poisoning due to Dryopteris filix-mas. In coastal north Norway, fern rhizomes were regularly collected for fodder, both in late autumn and early spring, and used to remedy a recurrent shortage of fodder in late winter and spring. Locally, the tradition of collecting fern rhizomes lived on until the 1940's or 1950's. Although mainly a tradition of the ethnic Norwegians, it had also been adopted by the farmers belonging to the Finnish and Sámi ethnic minorities. Fern rhizomes have a long tradition as an additional fodder for livestock in Norway. Preferred species were Matteuccia struthiopteris and Dryopteris filix-mas, locally also Dryopteris expansa. Athyrium filix-femina was considered to be poisonous, and usually avoided.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 3 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 3 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 2 67%
Unknown 1 33%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 67%
Unknown 1 33%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 07 June 2017.
All research outputs
#8,518,761
of 14,707,122 outputs
Outputs from Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
#386
of 616 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#129,009
of 265,954 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
#6
of 9 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,707,122 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 40th percentile – i.e., 40% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 616 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.6. This one is in the 31st percentile – i.e., 31% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,954 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 9 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 3 of them.