Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (10): 22463.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022463

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

New progress in biocultural diversity studies

Yanan Chu1,2,3, Chen Lin1,2,3, Wenhui Mao4, Chunlin Long1,2,3,5,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Ecology and Environment in Minority Areas (Minzu University of China), National Ethnic Affairs Commission of China, Beijing 100081
    2. College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
    3. Key Laboratory of Ethnomedicine (Minzu University of China), Ministry of Education, Beijing 100081
    4. Xiangri-La Bureau of Forestry and Grassland, Xiangri-La, Yunnan 674499
    5. Institute of National Security Studies, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
  • Received:2022-08-12 Accepted:2022-10-30 Online:2022-10-20 Published:2022-11-08
  • Contact: Chunlin Long


Background & Aims: As the basis of maintaining nature and human society, biocultural diversity has been a broad topic of concern by many countries and international organizations. Because of its rich connotations, many studies on biocultural diversity have been conducted on different continents. Experiences and results from previous research will benefit efforts at conserving biodiversity and constructing eco-civilization. The aims of this review are to introduce the concept of biocultural diversity and research methods associated with it, summarize the progress of research on biocultural diversity, and to provide reference to its related fields.
Progress: The concept, research methods and research findings of biocultural diversity are introduced in this article. Research progress on biocultural diversity is reviewed in the literature. Four major contents of biocultural diversity have been emphasized, including the complex relationship between biodiversity and cultural diversity, traditional knowledge significant to the conservation of biocultural diversity, the carrier function of cultural landscapes, and the quantitative assessment methods of biocultural diversity. Previous studies have shown that differentiation is the common premise for the formation of biodiversity and cultural diversity, whose characteristics include common spatial overlap, temporal co-evolution, and positive interaction. As a key component of biocultural diversity, traditional knowledge is of great significance in building ecological consciousness, managing biological resources and conserving traditional agricultural germplasm resources. As the spatial carrier of biological culture, cultural landscapes serve important functions for food security, biological resources conservation, cultural inheritance and human habitation. The improved assessment methods provide the ability to monitor and predict the status and prospect of biocultural diversity, which can be used to guide conservation actions. In summarizing past studies, this review assesses possible development trends of biocultural diversity.
Prospects: Four topics within the field of biocultural diversity are proposed for future development: (1) Multidisciplinary comprehensive quantitative analysis and cross-cultural dynamic research should be applied in studies at different levels. (2) Develop research models that reveal the mechanism of interaction between biological and cultural diversity. (3) Study how the theory and method of biocultural diversity may be applied to guide agricultural production and other practical activities. (4) Study how biocultural diversity may contribute to work on ecosystem services, ecological compensation, and sustainable development.

Key words: biocultural diversity, traditional knowledge, cultural landscape, socio-ecological system