Can cultural significance in plants be explained by domestication and usage spaces? A study case from a coffee producing community in Huila, Colombia
Keywords:Ethnobotany; Ethnobotanical categories; Local knowledge; Management and use; Coffee cultivation
This study was aimed at delving into the relationship between botanical species with cultural significance and both the managed environments they inhabit (Coffee plantation, Forest, Garden, Orchard, Market) and their origin (Wild, Cultivated), as established by people from vereda Las Delicias, Colombia. We tested the hypothesis that cultivated plants from the coffee plantations would have the highest cultural significance. One hundred and ninety-two plants were recorded by common name, however, upon taxonomic analysis, 238 botanical species were established. The most relevant spaces in terms of diversity were the coffee plantation (91 useful plants) and the garden (81 useful plants). Regarding origin, most of the plants were cultivated (151), with only 50 wild species. Likewise, there is a significantly larger cultural significance of coffee plantantion plants than there is garden plants and forest plants. Furthermore, cultivated plants have a significantly larger cultural significance than do wild plants. In conclusion, there is a diversity of useful plants within coffee plantation systems, which guarantee family livelihoods, diversify income sources, and protect the natural resources of the region. Finally, the importance of coffee (Coffea arabica) comes from its role as a customary heritage for this community, which strengthens agricultural, environmental, and cooperative processes after each generation.