From famine foods to delicatessen: Interpreting trends in the use of wild edible plants through cultural ecosystem services

V. Reyes-García, G Menendez-Baceta, L Aceituno-Mata, R Acosta-Naranjo, L Calvet-Mir, P Domínguez, T Garnatje, E Gómez-Bagetthun, M Molina-Bustamante, M Molina, R Rodríguez-Franco, G Serrasolses, J Vallès, M. Pardo-de-Santayana

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81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found a general decline in the consumption and gathering of wild edible plants, but some studies also observe a localized increase. Using information from interviews (n. =. 1133) in seven sites in the Iberian Peninsula and one in the Balearic Islands, we 1) identify current trends in the consumption and gathering of wild edible plants (n. =. 56 plant-uses) and 2) analyze how cultural ecosystem services relate to such trends. Our data show a generalized decrease in the consumption and gathering of wild edible plants, although the trend changes significantly across plant-uses. Specifically, we found that -despite the overall decreasing trend- uses of wild edible plants that simultaneously relate to foods with high cultural appreciation and the recreational function of gathering remain popular. Our results signal that cultural services and values associated to the gathering and consumption of some wild edible plants are important factors explaining divergent trends across plant species. This finding reinforces the notion that cultural ecosystem services are deeply intertwined with other categories of services which can combine in complex, non-linear ways producing a variety of interdependent benefits. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
JournalEcological Economics
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Biocultural diversity
  • ecosystem services
  • Ethnobotany
  • Local ecological knowledge
  • Natural Resources
  • Spain

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