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Table 3 Expressions of ecosystem services by focus groups and equivalent MEA services

From: Factors shaping local people’s perception of ecosystem services in the Atacora Chain of Mountains, a biodiversity hotspot in northern Benin

Explanation by the participants: most heard sentences related to cited services in focus groups Translated expressions for the service by the research team MEA category
• “We collect small stones from the mountains that we sell to people who construct houses in town”
• “We extract stones from the mountains that we polish and sell to people who want to decorate their houses here and mostly merchants who go to the capital”
• We break middle size stones from the mountains into small pieces and we sell them for construction”
Quarry materials Provisioning services
• “Women collect wood from the mountains to cook and sell”
• “When we clear land for cropping, we transformed the woody plants species into charcoal”
• “There are animals on the mountains and we use traps to catch them for consumption and for sale” Game
• “There are different fruit-trees on the mountains that we harvest for consumption and sale”
• “We harvest wild yam from the mountains that we eat during the period of food shortage”
• “On the mountains, there is often wild honey that we harvest for consumption and sale”
• “There are so many foodstuffs we get from the mountains”
• “There are numerous plant species that we use to treat many diseases that are only found on the mountains nowadays” Medicinal plants
• “Right now, soils on the valley have low crop yield. If you do not have money to buy fertilizers, there are crops that you can produce on the mountains that will have higher yield than in the valleys”
• “Because of the current delay in rainfall, there are crops like sorghum that do not thrive on the mountains because mountain soil is often more humid”
Soil quality Supporting services
“People from other places come here to visit our mountains” Tourism Cultural services
“We perform our family ceremonies on the mountains”
“We have our tribe fetishes on the mountains”
Spiritual use