Plant Management in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, Mexico<sup>1</sup>
Plant Management in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, Mexico. Plant management types currently practiced in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, México, were documented and analyzed based on ethnobotanical studies conducted in 13 villages with six indigenous groups and Mestizo people. The information was organized in a data base, and then detailed and guided to a consensus through six workshops carried out by ethnobotanists working in the area. From a total of 1,608 useful plant species, we identified 610 with at least one management type other than simple gathering. Managed species are mainly used as food, fodder, medicinal, and ornamental, and they belong to 101 plant families. The higher species numbers were recorded in Cactaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Crassulaceae, and Agavaceae. Nearly 60% of the managed species are native to the region and the rest are introduced from other regions of Mexico and the world. In total, 400 species are ex situ managed out of their natural environments through seed sowing and/or planting their vegetative propagules or entire young plants; 373 species are in situ managed in their natural habitats as follows: all these species are deliberately left standing during vegetation clearance, 76 species are also enhanced intentionally favoring their abundance through modifications of their habitat, or directly by planting their propagules, and 51 receive protection through regulations, particular strategies of extraction, and actions against herbivores, competitors, freezing, radiation, and drought. Most management forms involve artificial selection at different intensity levels. The information allows visualizing co-occurrence of incipient and advanced forms of management at different intensity levels within and among species, which helps to postulate testable hypotheses on factors influencing plant management and domestication in an important area for studying the origins of agriculture.