Beyond the traditional home garden: a circa situm conservation experience of Laelia anceps subsp. dawsonii f. chilapensis Soto-Arenas (Orchidaceae)

  • Braulio Edgar Herrera-Cabrera
  • Jorge E. Campos Contreras
  • Humberto Macías-Cuéllar
  • Adriana Delgado-Alvarado
  • Victor Manuel Salazar-RojasEmail author


The conservation of orchid genetic resources in mega-diverse countries is an interdisciplinary task that requires a comprehensive theoretical framework, allowing the study of the indivisible link between cultural and biological diversity. In numerous rural regions of Mexico, over time, groups of peasants have constructed a close relationship with their natural environment permitting the development of complex home gardens, built on local ecological knowledge, preferences, beliefs, norms and values that indirectly conserve high levels of biocultural diversity. For this reason, the aim of the present work was to study the context, functions and the elements that integrate the traditional management system of Laelia anceps subsp. dawsonii f. chilapensis (known locally as “calaverita”) and the relation between modes of transmission of knowledge and the conservation of calaverita in the region of Chilapa in Guerrero, Mexico. The results show that the calaverita traditional management system is functioning as an unconscious, undervalued but highly effective and cheap biocultural conservation model that can be systematized through a circa situm approach that applies specific circumstances for conservation, in which populations of the target species are located exclusively within farming systems (such as home gardens and agroforestry systems), outside the strict habitat but within the natural geographic distribution range of the species. It links developing and strengthening of the user’s livelihoods with the guiding decision-making for sustainable management of plant genetic resources.


Traditional knowledge Management Local valuation Transmission 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Estudios Superiores, IztacalaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México – Unidad de Biología, Tecnología y Prototipos (UBIPRO)TlalnepantlaMexico
  2. 2.Programa en Estrategias para el Desarrollo Agrícola RegionalColegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agrícolas – Campus PueblaPueblaMexico

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