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Table 3 Framework linking ecosystems to services and agro-processing goods and their production chain

From: Identifying indigenous practices for cultivation of wild saprophytic mushrooms: responding to the need for sustainable utilization of natural resources

Grass waste production of obunegyere mushrooms (associated with termites)

 Observed practice: Grass is heaped near anthills where obunegyere are known to grow; no tillage or pesticide use nearby to preserve the site; pinheads are irrigated when they appear during dry weather.

 Commercial use: Emerging value-added soups and mushroom flour products; placement of branded products in supermarkets.

 Ecosystem relevance: Termites are erroneously believed to produce the mushrooms; locations containing termites have assumed spiritual status; recycling of grassland biomass aids mushroom production.

 Gender relevance: Women look after production sites and collect mushrooms; wooded production sites also produce timber for firewood which benefits women; men also collect timber for construction.

Cattle manure production of ensyabire/entyabire mushrooms

 Observed practice: Manure from cattle is heaped; no burning of cattle manure as is usually the case; manure is sometimes mixed with grass; heat from compositing partially controls contamination; no tillage near production sites created by heaped manure.

 Commercial use: They are sold fresh or made into flour and mushroom soup in rare cases. After mushroom production, manure-based waste mushroom substrate is used as a fertilizer for banana or coffee production.

 Ecosystem relevance: Cattle keeping, mushroom production and agriculture of banana or coffee become integrated production systems reducing demand on ecosystem services.

 Gender relevance: Cattle usually owned by men; women associated with cleaning activities and therefore collection of manure.

Banana residue production of akasukusuku mushrooms

 Observed practice: Banana residue is heaped with grass under leafy trees; Shade from trees partially controls light, temperature and humidity; No tillage or burning at production sites; Irrigation is provided as necessary.

 Commercial use: They are sold fresh or sun dried in urban markets. Embidde bananas that are used in akasukusuku production are processed into sun dried chips (Obukeke), eaten raw or boiled and mashed; banana peels are also used to feed small ruminants and poultry; banana juice is used to make tonto a local alcoholic beverage.

 Ecosystem relevance: Embidde bananas are necessary for mushroom production; there is belief that this variety maintains garden health; the Basoga people believe the plant is male; they use spear grass as a tool for juicing which breaks down the grass with fruit sugar for better decomposition; the banana agricultural system uses the Ficus spp. trees for protection as wind breakers and feed for small ruminants; recycling of banana agriculture biomass aids mushroom production. Compartmentalization of waste helps control pests and diseases and heaping enhances composting for quick recycling

 Gender relevance: Women own banana gardens; Ficus trees are usually owned by men who decide how to use them, including the production and sale of bark cloth; Women use the leaves to feed small ruminants they own; Since the bark has lost economic value, few people value bark cloth; Trees are cut for charcoal by men often without consulting women.

Muramba sorghum waste production of oyster mushrooms

 Observed practice: Waste sorghum is roasted, grinded, mashed and fermented together with malt to produce a muramba compost substrate. Composting muramba waste is used to grow oyster mushrooms; heat from compositing partially controls for contamination.

 Commercial use: Oyster mushrooms are produced in larger commercial volume and sold in supermarkets; Muramba is a fermented beverage consumed by all age groups and even used as a weaning food; there is emerging commercial development of muramba beverages for sale in supermarkets.

 Ecosystem relevance: The sorghum requires a lot of soil nutrients; compositing and recycling waste sorghum benefits overall use of soil nutrients; sorghum production often involves clearing forest cover; recycling of sorghum biomass aids mushroom production.

 Gender relevance: Cultural gender bias results in muramba production by women; men are the main consumers of fermented muramba beverages; children also drink muramba with low alcohol concentration.

Maize waste production of Agaricus spp. mushrooms

 Observed practice: Maize cobs from milling processes are heaped as a substrate for mushroom production.

 Commercial use: They are sold fresh and eaten locally. Exhausted maize-based substrate is used as fertilizer.

 Ecosystem relevance: Maize waste is considered be a hazard because in areas where it is generated away from the garden it attracts vermin like snakes, rats, and litters the home microenvironment; reuse as a substrate for mushroom production reduces an environmental hazard and creates economic income.

 Gender relevance: In most agroindustrial processes such as maize production, women occupy support roles such as cleaners, peelers, or packers; Therefore, women have close contact with maize waste and harvest the mushrooms. Ponce et al. [73] also made similar observation.

Wood stump (decaying wood) production of emponzira

 Observed practice: Gathered naturally from decaying wood in grasslands and forests or from intentionally cut and covered wood stumps.

 Commercial use: In other countries such as China, similar mushrooms are grown on commercial scale and sold fresh or dehydrated; the local people here indicated that sale is very minimal and localized because they are rare.

 Ecosystem relevance: Fungal decomposition of deadwood in forests has been now purposefully enhanced to improve commercial yield; timber that has been purposed for firewood but is not being immediately combusted can be given a dual use as source of mushroom production; dual use of forestry product improves economic viability and sustainability.

 Gender relevance: Men fell timber. Women have support roles in removing grass waste, weeding and preparing wooden stumps for mushroom spawn.