Local Ecological Knowledge on Mangroves in Mayotte Island (Indian Ocean) and Influencing Factors

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Longépée Esméralda1, 2, Ahmed Abdallah Anliati2, 3, Jeanson MatthieuORCID1, 2, Golléty ClaireORCID2, 4
Affiliation(s) 1 : ESPACE-DEV-Université de Montpellier, IRD, Université des Antilles, Université de Guyane, Université de La Réunion, 34000 Montpellier, France
2 : Centre Universitaire de Mayotte (CUFR), 97660 Dembéni, Mayotte, France
3 : PRODIG-CNRS, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, AgroParisTech, Paris Sorbonne Université, IRD, Université de Paris, 75000 Paris, France
4 : MARBEC-Université de Montpellier, CNRS, IFREMER, IRD, 34000 Montpellier, France
Source Forests (1999-4907) (MDPI AG), 2021-01 , Vol. 12 , N. 1 , P. 53 (23p.)
DOI 10.3390/f12010053
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue (Towards) Sustainable Mangrove Socioecological Systems
Keyword(s) ethnoscience, ecosystem services, socio-ecological systems, interdisciplinary

The majority of studies on local ecological knowledge (LEK) relate to communities or groups relying on ecosystem(s) for their livelihood. In our case study, Mayotte Island, a French overseas department, very few people rely on mangrove ecosystem for natural resources but most of them are attached to it because of leisure activities and beliefs. The questions on mangrove LEK generally deal with a single aspect of ecological knowledge of surveyed people and is mixed with other information such as harvesting practices, anthropogenic impacts, and management issues. The aim of our study is to better understand the level of ecological knowledge of surveyed inhabitants of Mayotte and to assess whether factors linked to the profile of respondents have an influence on it. For this purpose, we carried out two main survey campaigns in three villages fringing two stable mangroves of Mayotte: the first one consisted of qualitative interviews and the second one, questionnaires lending quantitative results. Cross tabulations and Chi square tests of independence were carried out to determine the link between LEK and influencing factors. Results show that some LEK implying localized observation, such as the identification of mangrove trees and the knowledge of the coastal protection role of the mangrove, are well shared by surveyed people whereas others, such as the number and the name of mangrove tree species, are poorly known. The results also highlight the difficulty of questions implying observation at the landscape level and interpretation of observation. All the influencing factors selected have a significant influence on, at least, one LEK variable. The results highlight differences in LEK of villages bordering two nearby mangroves calling for a local management of these systems.

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