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Management of Euterpe edulis Mart. for fruit pulp production: subsidies to biodiversity conservation and community empowerment

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Saulo Eduardo Xavier Franco de Souza
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALA/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Edson José Vidal da Silva; Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion; Dalva Maria da Silva Matos; Flávio Bertin Gandara Mendes; Carla Morsello
Advisor: Edson José Vidal da Silva

Juçara (Euterpe edulis Mart.) is a palm source of various culturally and economically valued products. It has been considered threatened of extinction for more than two decades. The simple opposition between strategies to obtain its different products arises a new opportunity to reduce its vulnerability. In this research we investigated if the management for fruit production could act as a catalyst to biodiversity conservation and local livelihood improvement. Some questions were elaborated and organized into four axes convergent to the central question: (I) How do the management systems of E. edulis for fruit production are characterized at the study area? Which is the activity potential to improve local livelihoods? (II) How does the forest structure and composition vary along management and altitude gradients? What native plant species are most valued by these communities? (III) How do fruit production and harvest vary through different management systems along different years? What are the main factors explaining such variation? (IV) How do juçara management for fruit production affect its population dynamics? What is the maximum sustainable rate of fruit removal? Which sustainable management strategies are recommended for different conditions? We built empirical evidences through monitoring E. edulis populations managed by four local human populations living around and inside Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar (PESM), Nuclei Santa Virgínia and Picinguaba. We also sampled E. edulis populations in strictly protected areas inside PESM, as well as used secondary data about juçara management activities in the last years. The opportunity for work and income, inclusive for women and young people, the stimulus for social organization, production diversification, among other aspects recorded in this study promote community resilience in the face of political and economic change. Juçara fruit harvest allows frugivorous foraging and indicates the potential for in situ and circa situm conservation approach, mainly in the face of climate change and market pressure for palm heart. Arboreal diversity reduced locally with increasing agroforesty management intensity, which in turn raised diversity at the landscape level. Management practices, performed at the traditional agroforestry systems, could strengthen local cognitive systems, enhance fruit productivity and reduce fruiting inter annual variation. Juçara fruit harvest benefits recruitment and could even induce population increase at the long term. Neverheless, other factors affected negatively affected the population negatively. The protection of adult palms for fruit harvest is one of the recommended strategies to keep population viability in the long term and could function as in situ and circa situm conservation strategies. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/09241-5 - Fruit management of Euterpe edulis Martius and multiple use of Atlantic Forest in Ubatuba and São Luis do Paraitinga as conservation strategy
Grantee:Saulo Eduardo Xavier Franco de Souza
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate