This paper explores the changing relationship between society and the environment, taking as a proxy the local valuation of trees in Zagori, NW Greece. We used voucher specimens and asked informants to score perceived value for selected tree species and list associations with the trees. The 4,511 responses were sorted into broad categories. Utilitarian values dominated responses although intangible values were a constant feature. In species that were culturally dominant in the past the change in utilitarian values has been dramatic. Younger informants failed to identify common tree species and were generally unaware of values attached to trees by previous generations. Some species remain highly valued but now more for their intangible significance. We argue that simple tools to record the valuation of trees are useful in exploring the relationship between people and the landscape they inhabit.
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This paper is part of the 03ED375 research project, which funded K. Stara’s PhD thesis. It was implemented within the framework of the “Reinforcement Program of Human Research Manpower” (PENED) and co-financed by National and Community Funds (20 % from the Greek Ministry of Development-General Secretariat of Research and Technology and 80 % from E.U.-European Social Fund) with the support of the Greek Biotope-Wetland Centre/ Goulandris Natural History Museum. We would like to thank Vasilis Nitsiakos, professor of Social Folklore at the University of Ioannina, Greece, for the supervision of the thesis. We would like to express special thanks to Dr. Bianca Ambrose-Oji (Forest Research, UK) for her comments on the manuscript and Mr. Alkis Betsis for his help in the production of the map. We would like also to thank EKBY (Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre) for the permission to use their vegetation map of the area as the basis for the creation of the map. Furthermore we would like to thank all participants in the study, without whose contribution it would not have been completed. Lastly we were grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable notes and comments that gave to the manuscript its final form.
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Stara, K., Tsiakiris, R. & Wong, J.L.G. Valuing Trees in a Changing Cultural Landscape: A Case Study from Northwestern Greece. Hum Ecol 43, 153–167 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-014-9706-0
- Traditional ecological knowledge
- Biocultural diversity
- Northern Pindos National Park/ Greece
- Mediterranean mountains