Tropical forests satisfy multiple demands on products and services. Some species are crucial to subsistence and market economy of many communities along the Atlantic forests domain, such as juçara palm (Euterpe edulis). This species was decimated through high economic demand of its palm heart and the consequent predatory exploration, which in turn, stimulated the search for a less destructive use of this palm, considered very important for ecological functioning of the forests where it occurs. Recently, sustainable management focused on E. edulis fruits has been promoted in community based initiatives in "Serra do Mar", bringing optimistic perspectives for sustainable multiple use in these areas. The purpose here is to investigate the multiple use management as a catalyst of community "empowerment" and biodiversity conservation. Thus, some questions are to answered: 1) How does the tree community of different managed areas vary and which are the species most valued by local people? 2) How does E. edulis fruit management and multiple use area characterized in the study area? 3) How does E. edulis fruit harvesting affect its population dynamics and individual vital rates? What are the harvesting limits and management strategies recommended? 4) Which are the best techniques to restore populations of this species? 5) How scientists and local managers could contribute to apply adaptive participative management? For these, areas inside and next to "Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar (PESM) - Núcleos Picinguaba and Santa Virgínia" will be focused. There live rural producers, "caiçaras" and "quilombola" communities. The sampling of forest survey will be systematic stratified, while interviews with local people and participant observation will allow calculate the use value of each cited species. Multiple use management potential in the study areas will be assessed through ecological sustainability indicators. The impacts of E. edulis fruit management will be assessed by monitoring managed and non managed populations in permanent plots, and by constructing transition matrices to estimate sustainable harvesting limits for the species. Five techniques to restore populations will be tested in the field. Finally, the main complementary aspects between local and scientific knowledge will be identified, as will the main tools to apply the concept of adaptive participative management of E. edulis in the different focal communities.
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