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Plant names encode Tašlḥit knowledge of Morocco’s High Atlas landscapes

Soldal, H., Múrcia, C., Ouhammou, A. ORCID:, Hawkins, J. A. ORCID:, Martin, G. J., Puri, R. K. and Teixidor-Toneu, I. ORCID: (2023) Plant names encode Tašlḥit knowledge of Morocco’s High Atlas landscapes. Human Ecology. ISSN 0300-7839

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10745-023-00434-9


Mediterranean landscapes have co-evolved with people: they often require human management to sustain biodiversity and local communities have developed detailed ecological knowledge about their surrounding ecosystems. We document plant names used by Tašlḥit speakers in the High Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco and explore how they encode local ecological knowledge of landscape and biodiversity as well as social histories. We conducted two complementary field studies in the communes of Imgdal and Ukaymdn, documenting plant names along with local definitions and perceptions of place, vegetation, and habitat and perceived trends of change in the local botanical environment through structured and semi-structured interviews. In Imgdal we used herbarium prompts, whilst in Ukaymdn we focussed on local definitions of ethnoecological categories. We analyse the diversity and multiplicity of life form and descriptive terms as well as plant names and compare these to scientific taxonomy. We conclude that current social and environmental change, especially climate change, could present a threat to the High Atlas biocultural diversity and local knowledge.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:112819

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