[permaculture] Guilds + Shrubs in Tropical Forest Ecosystems: India

Toby Hemenway hemenway at jeffnet.org
Mon Sep 2 15:12:21 EDT 2002

Just wanted to point out that permaculturists use the word "guild" in a
different way than do ecologists. The listing that Steve sent in refers to
the ecologist's guilds, which are species that have similar requirements or
that fill a similar niche (e.g., a guild of shade-tolerant trees or
seed-eating birds). Permaculture's guilds, of species that support one
another but don't necessarily have similar requirements, is just similar
enough to be confusing.

So if you do a search for guilds on the web, you'll likely come up with
ecologist's guilds, not permaculture's. A guild of nut-eating monkey species
might not be a very useful one for your landscape.

For a look at my new book on ecological gardening,
Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, visit

More information about the permaculture mailing list