Home gardens are reservoirs of biodiversity, promoting food security and maintaining farm ecosystem processes. A study on alpine home gardens was conducted in two valleys in Piedmont, north-western Italy. Forty semi-structured interviews with garden managers were gathered. We analysed if gender roles affect the agro-biodiversity and the management of home gardens in the Western Italian Alps. The results show that mixed couples (consisting of men and women) present higher diversity of management practices and a higher number of taxa detected: 138 taxa were detected and out of that 138 taxa were found among mixed couples, 82 among male gardeners and 69 among female gardeners. Indeed, when vegetable gardens are managed by men only, more than half of the taxa are represented by horticultural species. On the other hand, when vegetable gardens are managed by women only, flowering species, wild and semi-wild species representing a relevant percentage of the total number of mentioned taxa. Despite most of the literature emphasising the role of women in biodiversity conservation and traditional ecological knowledge keeping, this study seeks to demonstrate that the joint presence of men and women appears to increase the levels of biodiversity and diversity in management practices within alpine home gardens.

Alpine home gardens in the Western Italian Alps: the role of gender on the local agro-biodiversity and its management

Mattalia G.
;
2018

Abstract

Home gardens are reservoirs of biodiversity, promoting food security and maintaining farm ecosystem processes. A study on alpine home gardens was conducted in two valleys in Piedmont, north-western Italy. Forty semi-structured interviews with garden managers were gathered. We analysed if gender roles affect the agro-biodiversity and the management of home gardens in the Western Italian Alps. The results show that mixed couples (consisting of men and women) present higher diversity of management practices and a higher number of taxa detected: 138 taxa were detected and out of that 138 taxa were found among mixed couples, 82 among male gardeners and 69 among female gardeners. Indeed, when vegetable gardens are managed by men only, more than half of the taxa are represented by horticultural species. On the other hand, when vegetable gardens are managed by women only, flowering species, wild and semi-wild species representing a relevant percentage of the total number of mentioned taxa. Despite most of the literature emphasising the role of women in biodiversity conservation and traditional ecological knowledge keeping, this study seeks to demonstrate that the joint presence of men and women appears to increase the levels of biodiversity and diversity in management practices within alpine home gardens.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3714672
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