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Mushrooming Communities: A Field Guide to Mycology in the Community Forests of Portugal

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Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Colégio de S. Jerónimo, Largo D. Dinis, Apartado 3087, 3000-995 Coimbra, Portugal
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Baldios dos Lugares da Extinta Freguesia de Vilarinho, Lousã, Rua Sr. das Preces 8, 3200-407 Vilarinho LSA, Portugal
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Regional Centre of Multidisciplinary Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Av. Universidad s/n, Circuito 2, Col. Chamilpa, Ciudad Universitaria de la UAEM, 62210 Cuernavaca, Morelos
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9060924
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 1 June 2017
Forest community connections are crucial to ensure forest stewardship and sustainability. We explored the potential of mushrooming to enable such connections in contexts where these connections have been historically broken, alienating local people from forests. Taking the case of the recent devolution of a community forest (baldios) in central Portugal to the local population, we present a five-year pilot project to rework mycology from a mushroom-centered approach to a mushroom-in-baldios approach. Mushrooms were used as an entry-point to connect the forest ecology with the challenges of governance and community building. The devised activities provided an opportunity for people inside and outside the local community to adventure into the woods and find out more about their socio-ecological history, develop communal and convivial relationships and engage in the responsible gathering of wild mushrooms. However, the hosting of mushroomers to know, value and engage with the community forest recovery has constantly worked against the enclosure of mushrooms to provide marketable forms of leisure. The outcome of these activities depends on the relationships established between mushrooms, mycologists, local administrators, commoners and poachers, all operating within a framework that favors the eradication of resources instead of long-term relationships that sustain places. View Full-Text
Keywords: common lands; baldios; wild mushrooms; non-timber forest products; Portugal; community; community forestry; forest governance common lands; baldios; wild mushrooms; non-timber forest products; Portugal; community; community forestry; forest governance
MDPI and ACS Style

Serra, R.; Rodrigues, E.; García-Barrios, R. Mushrooming Communities: A Field Guide to Mycology in the Community Forests of Portugal. Sustainability 2017, 9, 924.

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