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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010279

Floristic Diversity and Cultural Importance in Agroforestry Systems on Small-Scale Farmer’s Livelihoods in Central Veracruz, México

1
International Land & Watermangement M.s. Wageningen University & Research, 6708 Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, 91000 Veracruz, Mexico
3
Red Ambiente y Sustentabilidad, Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Xalapa, 91070 Veracruz, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecology and Forest Management)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: importance value index; native woody plant species; ethnobotany; tropic; plant conservation importance value index; native woody plant species; ethnobotany; tropic; plant conservation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Pietersen, S.; López-Acosta, J.C.; Gomez-Díaz, J.A.; Lascurain-Rangel, M. Floristic Diversity and Cultural Importance in Agroforestry Systems on Small-Scale Farmer’s Livelihoods in Central Veracruz, México. Sustainability 2018, 10, 279.

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