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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.211 5-Year IF: 1.394 SJR: 0.433 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i5.20
pages 387-396

Diversity of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms Used in the Noun Division of the West Region of Cameroon

André Ledoux Njouonkou
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Bamenda, Bambili, Cameroon
Eske De Crop
Mycology Research Group, Department of Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Abdoulayi Mbouombouo Mbenmoun
Department of Plant Biology, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tonjock Rosemary Kinge
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Bamenda, Bambili, Cameroon
Elvire Hortense Biyé
Department of Plant Biology, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Annemieke Verbeken
Mycology Research Group, Department of Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

ABSTRACT

This article presents discussions of mushrooms as a source of food, income, as well as medicine among the Bamoun people of the highlands of West Cameroon, where the vegetation is mainly savannah mixed with forest galleries. Like most tribes in tropical Africa, the Bamoun people use a wide range of natural products as mushrooms. This study attempts to identify the various mushrooms exploited by the Bamoun. Ethnomycological surveys and field trips were conducted over 4 years in several villages in the Noun Division. Samples of wild mushrooms were collected from both the savannah and the forest galleries. These were described, preserved, and identified. The study shows that the Bamoun people use at least 40 species of mushrooms for either food or medicine. These species belong to 8 genera: Auricularia, Cantharellus, Ganoderma, Pleurotus, Lactarius, Lactifluus, Russula, and Termitomyces. Species of genera Lactarius, Lactifluus, Russula, and Termitomyces are most often used for food, whereas Ganoderma spp. and Pleurotus tuber-regium are mainly exploited for medicinal purposes. This survey provides an overview of the diversity of mushrooms and their importance to the local people of this area. Since some of the species mentioned by the local population were not fruiting at the time of our field trips, additional investigations are needed to further clarify the diversity and the usage of mushrooms in this region.