Table 2. Elements of discourse illustrating different actors’ perceptions about the decline and renewal of chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) and holm-oak (Quercus ilex L.) rural forests (RFs).

Actors Theme Elements of discourse
Chestnut RF
old inhabitant trade “Commercial outlets became very poor. Bags of chestnuts, with a mixture of different varieties, more or less well-preserved, were sold to the few brokers left, and many rotted by the road sides, a disaster.”
old inhabitant reversion to wild status “There were no people to accompany the flocks of sheep and the ‘bouscasses’ were growing everywhere. We had difficulties collecting chestnuts.”
old inhabitant shaping landscape  “It is soil depth which counts for chestnut trees that’s why we make terraces... without the ‘tancats’ (constructions to divert water), terraces would just be destroyed by heavy rainfall.”
neo-rural shaping landscape   “We maintain the walls and terraces but we are unable to reconstruct new ones. Some people in other valleys have engaged in an association of constructers of terraces. It is interesting but we do not have time.”
old inhabitant old and new uses “In town, chestnuts are now used like potatoes in sauces but these people do not know the real taste of chestnuts. We eat the chestnuts simply boiled or roasted so we can really appreciate their taste. These big and pretty varieties have no taste.”
neo rural new uses “We produce fresh peeled chestnuts which are sold to people in town. Only big and non-partitioned varieties such as the marron Dauphine are accepted. We sell mixed varieties to produce the famous ‘crème de marron.’”
Holm-oak truffle RF
old inhabitant territory and trade “The country was dying out... the garrigue was slowly being invaded and not producing anything. There were many risks of fire outbreaks. In addition, the young people were facing major difficulties. For instance, my son lost the whole of his harvest of asparagus because of this disease called fusariose. I myself lost a whole lorry of potatoes which rotted by the road. My wife sold a large basket of truffles for the price of this whole lorry!”
old inhabitant social-ecological legacies Our grandparents not only led the flocks of sheep, but also pruned the trees and collected firewood. When looking at the brûlé you need to see whether the soil conditions are favorable to truffle, including humidity and temperature in relation to wind systems as well as light. Our grandparents knew truffle ‘places’ they could detect from experience and with the help of trained truffle dogs Languedoc.”
old inhabitant social-ecological legacies “Our parents believed that sheep flocks dispersed the truffle spores and mycelium through trampling of truffles, or that rabbits or field mice consume the truffles and dispersed the spores.”
young producer social-ecological legacies “In old plantations passed on by our father we favor seedlings and eliminate old trees. Slowly these plantations look very much like a truffle wood.”

“Besides we still keep truffle woods close to our plantations because we believe that this will favor truffle production even within the cultivated plots. We however have to irrigate because of dry summers.”