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Floristic biodiversity in Vanilla planifolia agroecosystems in the Totonacapan region of Mexico



The present investigation analysed the floristic richness of the agroecosystems used in the Totonacapan region for the cultivation of the orchid Vanilla planifolia G. Jack. The geographic area of this analysis covered 19 municipalities in the State of Puebla and in 20 municipalities of Veracruz, Mexico. The following cultivation systems were sampled: secondary vegetation, coffee-type plantations, acahual (traditional production), under the shadown Erythrina sp., low orange trees and shade houses. Samples were collected in the above V. planifolia cultivation systems and taxonomic identification of other woody species present was performed at the Instituto the Ecologia A.C. The floristic richness was modeled by the use of Shannon-Wiener and Simpson indexes. In this study, we reported the presence of 25 families of shrub and trees that are used commonly as a growth supports for V. planifolia.  According to the biodiversity analysis, the highest biodiversity was found on coffee-type plantations with the presence of 20 different species, and the acahual cultivar system with 17 species. On the other hand, the lowest diversity was found on low orange tree cultivation systems (6 species only) and under the shadown Erytrina sp. type cultivation system with 10 species. Finally, the plants that support the growth of the orchid are used mainly as a raw material for firewood, edible fruits, as spices on food flavoring, timber for house construction or furniture fabrication, among others. It was evident that when the cultivation system technification increased, the diversity of tree and shrubs species diminished.


agroecosystems, Fabaceae, floristic diversity, traditional knowledge, value use

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