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Table 9 Reconstructed landscape ethnoecological knowledge of Székely villagers related to driving forces, pressures, states, impacts and responses based on the analysis of 16-19 th century village laws

From: Landscape ethnoecological knowledge base and management of ecosystem services in a Székely-Hungarian pre-capitalistic village system (Transylvania, Romania)

Topics of traditional ecological knowledge Mentioned in village laws Not mentioned/missing
Driving force-related knowledge   
fine-tuning of proportions and types of land uses according to the needs of the community and adjusted to the productivity of ecosystem services optimization for husbandry, relatively little arable lands, equilibrium of arable lands and hay meadows and pastures and forests, proportion of cattle and sheep, proportion of subalpine and inner pastures, need for oak and old trees, necessary number of beasts of burden, forests for reserve, liberation of territory at an optimal date (stubble, second growth) -
fine-tuning of ecosystem service use to the regeneration potential scaled to one household for free/money number of trunks/carts of wood, amount of arable lands by ’arrow draw’, number of pigs that can be masted, sometimes no fish for peasants pasture area needed per livestock unit, need of livestock unit per household
sensible use and improvement of landscape potential (e.g. soils, climate, relief) mountains as obstacles, living “as our ancestors lived”, “sowing of fodder is the invention of room scientists” weather
Pressure-related knowledge   
finding ecosystem services in the landscape knowledge of the distribution of forests and pastures with different qualities and usefulness, locality of wild fruits distribution of non-woody wild plant species, wild fruits, medicinal plants and fungi
maintaining, managing and increasing ecosystem services and related ecosystem functions, knowledge of the effect of human management factors on the decrease and increase of services hardly mentioned, usually without explanation e.g. nursing forests, clearing of forests, grazing ring-barking, manuring of arable lands and meadows, cleaning of hay meadows, weeding, pasture maintenance
“harvesting” ecosystem services felling of trees, mowing, grazing harvesting crops, collecting fungi
State-related knowledge   
knowledge of species and habitats trees and cultivated species, habitats wild herbaceous and shrub species
knowledge of vegetation dynamic processes, succession and regeneration processes, changes of ecological conditions profound knowledge of forest regeneration regeneration of grasslands, changes in weed composition and density
knowledge of the landscape, orientation in the landscape, knowledge of different “localities” local knowledge often occured explicitly (toponymes), also knowledge of the neighbouring village territories regional knowledge of the far landscape
knowledge of past states of the landscape, monitoring of landscape changes often mentioned, but mainly generally and in the case of forests, mainly based on a decade time scale changing state of grasslands, knowledge of century scale landscape history
Impact-related knowledge   
monitoring of actual states of ecosystem functions and services (e.g. trees, edible species, cultivated plants, productive soils) timber, firewood, wood for tools, pastures, hay meadows, wild fruit trees, cleanness of waterbodies fungi, other than woody wild fruits, medicinal plants, famine foods
recognition of demands for exploitable ecosystem services, recognition and prediction of potential changes in services see the list above see the list above
Response-related knowledge   
fine-tuning of exploitation of ecosystem services to the regeneration rate of ecosystem functions (prohibitions, limited/regulated or free uses) increased protection of slow-growing tree species and fruit trees, prohibition of cutting of leaf-fodder, prohibition of ring-barking, protection of young trees, sparing of inner pastures, protection of streams from pollution overgrazing of grasslands, regeneration of grasslands, fungi, etc.
tuning of the degree of punishment to the value and the regeneration potential of the damaged ecosystem service fine is greater in the case of the felling of oak than for other tree species, fine is greater for grazing green crops than for the grazing of standing hay, unbound forests are free overgrazing, fungi, etc.
the effect of regulation on the ecological state, and thus on the maximum possible exploitation rate of the local ecosystem services grazing rank of livestock (ox, cattle, sheep, pig), felling of living/dead trees, grazing of hay meadows before Saint George’s Day and after Michaelmas use of pastures, fungi, etc.