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Home gardens, “the peridomestic area belonging to the household where members plant and/or tend useful plants” (Perrault-Archambault and Coomes 2008), are found throughout the world. However, their use and importance vary from region to region. In the Peruvian Amazon, owners use home gardens for a domestic supply of foods, craft materials, medicines, condiments, and shade (Miller and Nair 2006). With this wide range in function, reflected in species content, home gardens are very biodiverse.

Home garden biodiversity may be increasingly important in a rapidly changing Amazonia (Betts et al. 2008). Thus, the sociocultural and economic factors contributing to home garden diversity warrant in-depth study. Existing data posit a direct positive relationship between female garden tenders and species diversity (Perrault-Archambault and Coomes 2008) as well as report a simultaneous increase in sales of indigenous plant products and monocropping (Perreault2005). Nevertheless, limited research exists on home gardens as reservoirs for species conservation (Ban and Coomes2004b).

We hypothesize both the gender of the caretaker and market integration impact levels of species richness in home gardens, with female garden managers increasing biodiversity and market integration decreasing biodiversity as caretakers favor more marketable species.

Publication Date


Conference Date

59th Annual Center for Latin American Studies Conference, University of Florida, January 28-30, 2010


Gainesville, FL


Botany | Environmental Studies | Horticulture | Plant Biology | Plant Sciences

Gender and Species Use in Amazonian Home Gardens: the Social and Economic Context of Biodiversity Conservation


Poster Location