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Abstract Detail

70 Years After Schultes: Economic Botany from the Andes to the Amazon

Macía, Manuel J. [1], Camara Leret, Rodrigo [2], Paniagua Z, Narel Y. [3], Balslev, Henrik [4], Pardo-de-Santayana, Manuel [5].

Palm Uses in Tropical Rainforests of North-western South America.

A thorough review concerning palm uses in tropical rainforests of north-western South America was carried out to understand patterns of palm use throughout ecoregions (Amazonia, Andes, Choco), countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia), and among the different human groups (indigenous, mestizos, afroamericans, colonos) that occur there. A total of 194 useful palm species, 2395 different uses and 6141 use-reports were recorded from 255 references. The average (SD) number of different uses per species was 12.3 (18.7) although great variability was observed between different species. Ethnobotanical information was recorded for 54 indigenous groups, which represent 49% of the total indigenous groups living in the study area. The Amazon was the ecoregion with the highest palm use: 134 useful species (90% of those potentially present), 82% of total different uses, 84% of total use-reports, an average (SD) of 14.7 (20.0) uses per species, and 81% of total bibliographic references found. Fewer, but similar uses were recorded for the Andes and Choco. Ecuador was the most intensively studied country. The main uses of palms in north-western South America were in the categories Human Food (70%), Utensils and Tools (66%), Construction (63%) and Cultural Uses (56%). Indigenous people knew more palm uses than mestizos, afroamericans and colonos. The use of palms was not random and the main uses were the same throughout the studied ecoregions and countries. Palms satisfy basic subsistence needs and have great importance in traditional cultures of rural indigenous and peasant populations in our study area. Arecaceae is probably the most important plant family in the Neotropics, in relation to use diversity and abundance.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Palm Harvest Impacts in Tropical Forests

1 - Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Biology, Botany Unit, Calle Darwin 2, Madrid, 28049, Spain
2 - Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Departamento de Biología, Campus de Cantoblanco, Calle Darwin, 2, Madrid, Madrid, 28049, Spain
3 - Herbario Nacional de Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia
4 - Aarhus University, Department of Biological Science, Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity Research Group, Denmark
5 - Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Biology, Botany Unit, Calle Darwin 2, Madrid, 28049

Quantitative ethnobotany
Ecosystem services
Indigenous community
Plant valuation.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY07
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY07004
Abstract ID:92

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