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Botanical Sciences

versión On-line ISSN 2007-4476versión impresa ISSN 2007-4298


CANO-RAMIREZ, Margarita et al. Human migration and home gardens in an indigenous community in central Mexico. Bot. sci [online]. 2012, vol.90, n.3, pp.287-304. ISSN 2007-4476.

Home gardens evolve due to continuous changes in their area, space, functions, and components, as well as to the dynamic circumstances of the families that manage them. People migrations induce social, economic, and cultural changes, and in this study we hypothesized that these changes influence the home gardens' composition and structure, simplifying and re-orienting them towards an ornamental function. In order to analyze this hypothesis we studied composition and structure of home gardens managed by households of the Tlahuica village of San Juan Atzingo, in the Mexican state of México. A total of 287 perennial plant species were recorded in a 33 home garden sample. The main plant uses were ornamental (58%), medicinal (21%), and food supply (19%). Rarefaction curves and multivariate statistic analysis did not show significant dissimilarities between home gardens associated and not associated to migration. Causes of this pattern are multifactor, and some of the main factors identified are: family livelihood diversification, temporal migration, institutional resilience, and the migrants' strong sense of belonging to their community, which allows them to maintain communication and participation in their home town. Current trends of permanent migration to the United States of America, and increasing dependence on governmental assistance programs are risks of change in the actual relationship between the present migration patterns and the home garden structure according to the hypothesized trends.

Palabras llave : agroecosystems; home-gardens; human migration; Mexico; Tlahuicas.

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