Resource Details

The cultural context of forest degradation in adjacent Purépechan communities, Michoacán, Mexico

Literature: Journal Articles

Works, Martha A., and Keith S. Hadley. 2004. "The cultural context of forest degradation in adjacent Purépechan communities, Michoacán, Mexico." Geographical Journal, vol. 170, no. 1, pp. 22-38.

Contact Info




  • Department of Geography, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207-0751


The Geographical Journal

Selecting the link above redirects this page to the article on the journal website where the online material can be purchased or accessed if with subscription. 

Species Info

  • Abies religiosa
  • Quercus crassifolia
  • Quercus laurina
  • Quercus magnolifolia
  • Quercus obtusata
  • Quercus rgosa
  • Pinus montezumae
  • Pinus michoacana
  • Pinus pseudostrobus
  • Pinus leiophylla
  • Pinus teocote


  • This study aims to better understand the relationship between cultural and ecological drivers contributing to change in forest land use patterns by comparing two adjacent indigenous communities in the volcanic plateau region of Michoacán Mexico; the study suggests that both cultural and ecological processes must be studied together to best understand the cultural causes of forest change and accurately assess ecological consequences.
  • The methodology included forest sampling to assess 'typical' stand conditions including forest structure and composition. Authors assume that changes in species dominance toward less commercially valuable trees ie: oak and alder, (versus pine) was a valid measure of degradation. Interviews were also conducted, first with community leaders and then with adult men engaged in activities of woodworking.
  • Differences between the two communities were identified in terms of forest management strategies related to divergent local economies, which also correlated to the researchers' assessment of differences in natural forest conditions. The authors suggest that 'measures of forest structure can confirm perceptions of resource and environmental degradation...[additionally], qualitative indicators of economic stability, can reveal community choices regarding forest resource exploitation and their ecological consequences.' (37). Researchers recommend future research on a regional scale.


  • Montane Forest
  • Country

  • Mexico
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