Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Qingyuan Forest-Mushroom Co-culture System in Zhejiang Province, China

GIAHS since 2022
©FAO/ GIAHS Promotion Association for the Kyoutou Area

Summary

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Located in the northern mountain area of Qingyuan County, one of China's 17 key regions of global significance for biodiversity, Qingyuan Forest-Mushroom Co-culture System (QFMCS) is based on mushroom cultivation through rational use of forest resources by Gumin (farmers who mainly cultivate mushrooms) going back thousands of years. It is an agroforestry system in a high mountainous region, focusing on sustainable forest management, development of the mushroom industry and cyclic use of resources. This includes the unique forest and mushroom co-culture technique, rich forest ecological culture and mushroom culture, and the ecological landscape structured on rational lines.

QFMCS is the birthplace of the Xianggu (also called shii-take, the scientific name is Lentinus edodes) cultivation technique and of the dissemination of forest and mushroom co-culture technique and culture.

Through forest conservation, mushroom cultivation and agricultural production, local residents have achieved food and livelihood security, and created the forest and mushroom co-culture technique system of harmonious co-existence between humans and nature. This involves a complete cultivation technique evolution chain from the Duohua (chopping a small slit in a fallen tree) method to wood logging and material substitution methods, as part of a rich forest ecological and mushroom culture, as well as a rational structure of land use types and ecological landscapes.

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CHINA - Qingyuan Forest-Mushroom Co-culture System in Zhejiang Province