Floristic diversity and cultural importance in agroforestry systems on small-scale farmer's livelihoods in central Veracruz, México

Sjoerd Pietersen, Juan Carlos López-Acosta*, Jorge Antonio Gomez-Díaz, Maite Lascurain-Rangel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    México is a cultural and biological megadiverse country with an increased anthropogenic pressure on its tropical landscapes. The study area was the ejido "Los ídolos", Misantla, Central Veracruz, Mexico. The main objective of this research was to identify how the woody plant diversity of agroforestry systems contributed to the cultural, economic, and subsistence security of local farmers. Five different agroforestry systems were identified: forest gardens (FG), home gardens (HG), plantation crop combination with perennial cultivates (PC), plantation crop combinations with annual cultivates (AC), and trees on pastures (TP). FG systems had the highest floristic diversity, followed by HG and TP. Interviews with farmers showed that FG, HG, and PC systems were important for maintaining cultural identity and secure subsistence needs, while PC and TP systems were important for improving the economic situation of farmers. The FG systems contained only native species, while the proportion of exotic plants differed among the other systems. Useful exotic plants were found in the HG system. This study demonstrated that agroforestry systems such as FG were not used to their full potential, despite their high diversity of useful plants. It is recommended that farmers-assisted by institutions and representatives of local product chains-conduct feasibility studies on the marketing and promotion of products derived from specific agroforestry systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number279
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Volume10
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2018

    Keywords

    • Ethnobotany
    • Importance value index
    • Native woody plant species
    • Plant conservation
    • Tropic

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