Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

David Bray

First Advisor's Title

Committe Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Suzanne Koptur

Third Advisor's Name

Elvira Duran

Date of Defense

3-30-2011

Abstract

This thesis investigates the interactions of coupled human and natural systems within a coffee landscape in Santa Cruz Tepetotutla, Oaxaca, Mexico. The community has zoned its territory into a large Indigenous Community Conserved Area (ICCA), an agricultural area, and an urban area. The coffee component of the agricultural area has undergone significant changes resulting from various responses to the coffee market. I conducted 59 household interviews and 49 vegetation transects to determine how such responses have impacted biodiversity and vegetation cover in this coffee landscape and what implications that has for the larger community landscape. Six pathways of vegetative change in the coffee landscape were identified, which suggests that it may now be more structurally and biologically diverse than at any time in the last fifty years. Given large-scale abandonment of coffee and an increased interest in ICCAs in Mexico, this research has implications for conservation in Mexico and internationally.

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