Provisioning Services, Supporting Services, Agrosystems, Rural Communities, Welfare.
Objective: To identify the environmental services provided by home gardens in nine communities of La Chontalpa region in Tabasco, Mexico.
Design/methodology/approach: Having previously identified home gardens, a visit route to nine communities was drawn using cartographic and demographic information. Three home gardens per community were randomly selected. Interviews about the use of home gardens were conducted. Physical environmental factors were measured inside and outside the gardens and soil samples were taken to determine organic matter and carbon contents in the soil. According to their category, the environmental services provided by the home gardens in each community were identified and classified into four types: provisioning, supporting, cultural, and regulating services.
Results: Thirteen environmental services were identified as being provided by home gardens. Provisioning and cultural services are present in all localities. The most frequent category is the provision of food, followed by the provision of raw materials and education. Supporting and regulating services were observed in most communities —except for climate regulation, since the environmental conditions only allow gardens to provide the said service in four of the evaluated communities.
Limitations on study/implications: Knowledge about the benefits of building home gardens suggests that these agrosystems provide environmental services. Categorizing the environmental services provided by home gardens is therefore important.
Findings/conclusions: Home gardens in La Chontalpa, Tabasco, do not only provide provisioning services, but also cultural, supporting, and —to a lesser extent— regulating services.