Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1253–1269 | Cite as

Towards a traditional ecological knowledge-based monitoring scheme: a proposal for the case of edible mushrooms

  • Luis Pacheco-Cobos
  • Marcos F. Rosetti
  • Adriana Montoya Esquivel
  • Robyn Hudson
Original Paper


Monitoring wild edible fungi over long periods is essential to understand how environmental or cultural factors influence fruiting patterns. Since conventional sampling methods are time and resource intensive, alternatives providing reliable ecological information could be useful for assessments of fungal management. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) can be used as a sampling alternative in a cost-effective manner. Thus, in this paper we aim to: (1) illustrate how GPS-recorded information on mushroom gatherers’ pathways can be used to describe fungal diversity and distribution patterns, and (2) outline a TEK-monitoring proposal that can provide communities and researchers with high-quality ecological data on edible mushrooms. Using information from 32 trips (55 GPS-tracked pathways) we were able to describe the frequency, abundance, diversity and spatial distribution of edible fungi at different sites. We recorded the collection of 6,905 sporocarps, representing 20 species and 6 genera, which were collected or identified at 2,683 locations. In addition to collections, we suggest consistent recording of fungal encounters defined as memory, exploration, traces, and failed collection, as these also provide ecological information. The most gathered species, Turbinellus floccosus and Clitocybe gibba, were also among the mushrooms most frequently listed by local people. Finally, we propose combining our GPS-tracking method with a thorough TEK investigation and participatory research in order to develop adaptive co-management strategies that allow local people to manage and conserve their forests through the integration of traditional and scientific knowledge.


GPS-tracking Local knowledge Participatory research Conservation La Malinche National Park 



All the mushroom gatherers who shared treasured knowledge with us. Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT; Repatriación 2013-1, 203604).

Supplementary material

10531_2014_856_MOESM1_ESM.doc (107 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 107 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Pacheco-Cobos
    • 1
  • Marcos F. Rosetti
    • 2
  • Adriana Montoya Esquivel
    • 3
  • Robyn Hudson
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Biología-XalapaUniversidad VeracruzanaXalapaMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigaciones BiomédicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MexicoCiudad De MexicoMexico
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaIxtacuixtlaMexico

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