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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

On-line version ISSN 2007-8706Print version ISSN 1870-3453


FLORES, José Salvador  and  BAUTISTA, Francisco. Knowledge of the Yucatec Maya in seasonal tropical forest management: the forage plants. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2012, vol.83, n.2, pp.503-518. ISSN 2007-8706.

Indigenous knowledge and the millenary experience in management of natural vegetation on karstic landscapes are important aspects that should be considered in animal production in seasonal tropical environments. The aim of the present work was to make an inventory of native plants associated to soilscapes from seasonal tropical forests from the Yucatán Peninsula that are used as forage by Mayan people. The work was carried out in 27 Mayan communities on karst landscapes in the Yucatán Peninsula as a part of the "Ethnoflora Yucatanense" project of the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Samples were taken of forage plants together with corresponding floristic and ethnobotanical information. Data were processed in EXCEL dynamic tables, grouped by plant family, geoforms and soils, life form and animal consumers. Results indicate that Mayan communities use 196 plant species as forage: 139 herbaceous, 17 shrubs, 35 trees and 2 palms. These plants are fed to cows, pigs, horses, lambs, turkeys, chickens, ducks and pigeons. The use of native forage plants may be an agricultural option both for rural communities and for intensive animal production on silvopastoral systems on karstic tropical landscapes from the Yucatán Peninsula.

Keywords : forage trees; Maya culture; animal production; edible plants; legumes; tropical karst.

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