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Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2010)

Estudio etnobotánico y agroecológico de la Sierra Norte de Madrid

Aceituno Mata, Laura

Titre : Estudio etnobotánico y agroecológico de la Sierra Norte de Madrid

Auteur : Aceituno Mata, Laura

Université de soutenance : Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Grade : Tesis doctoral 2010

The direct interrelation between people and plants is studied in Sierra Norte de Madrid. The economy of his region was traditionally based on cattle farming, forest resources and subsistence agriculture. Field work was carried out between 2003 and 2009, interviewing 276 informants, half of them women. In addition, structured interviews and homegarden surveys were undertaken in 58 households. The knowledge and practice about wild and cultivated plants was described and analyzed, as well as the transformation of the three main agroecosystems. The ethnoflora registered includes 420 taxons (65% wild), designated with 811 vernacular names. The most important use categories were food (38% of the ethnoflora) and fodder (29%), followed by handicraft and medicine. The gathering of wild plants for food and medicine is still in force in half of the cases, unlike the use for feed and veterinary, which is almost completely abandoned. Oak tree (Quercus pyrenaica) and ash tree (Fraxinus angustifolia) were the most important wild species in the region. Among the cultivated species, in the dry fields the most prevalent were rye and wheat, whereas homegardens were mainly dedicated to potatoes and beans. In this research 129 landraces were identified and described, among them 21 beans and peas, 27 vegetables, 73 fruit trees and 8 cereals. The crisis of the traditional agrarian society in the 60’s led to a mayor transformation of the agroecosystems. Cereal plots were no longer cultivated and agroforestry management was drastically reduced. At present, homegardens are the best conserved agroecosystem, becoming a cultural and biological refuge. Diversification of land uses, landraces and wild plant uses represented a survival strategy before 1960. Nowadays, leisure and cultural identity are the main reasons to maintain some traditional uses, like gathering wild vegetables or cultivating homegardens and landraces.


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