Economic Stratification Differentiates Home Gardens in the Maya Village of Pomuch, Mexico. In this paper, we analyze if economic stratification of peasant families in a Maya village in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico influences species composition and structure of home gardens. Our general hypothesis was that composition and structure reflect a higher dependence on home garden produce of relatively poorer families as compared to more prosperous families. We registered the cultivated trees and herbs in samples of twelve home gardens of poorer and wealthier families that had similar assets in the 1980s, and classified them by principal use and geographic origin. Total species richness of cultivated herbs was highest in home gardens of the more prosperous families, whereas total species richness of trees was highest in home gardens of the poorer families. Average species richness of trees and herbs and species composition was similar in both economic strata. Poorer families cultivated relatively more trees for uses other than fruit than richer families. The average and total number of native tree species and density of trees with diameter at breast height of less than 10 cmwas significantly higher in poorer families’ home gardens than in those of wealthier families. We conclude that economic stratification leads to different production strategies in home gardens. Richer families are comparatively more interested in obtaining fruit occasionally and emphasize diversity of herbaceous ornamentals. Poorer families emphasize different uses, favor the native flora, and increase tree density. Thereby they contribute more to biodiversity conservation than wealthier families
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