Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 489–507 | Cite as

Biodiversity, food consumption and ecological niche dimension: a study case of the riverine populations from the Rio Negro, Amazonia, Brazil

  • Andréa Leme da SilvaEmail author
  • Alpina Begossi


In this study we perform an ecological analysis of the resources use in the diet of the ribeirinho populations of the Barcelos municipality, Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil. Data on food composition, seasonality, and origin took place during three field trips between 1999 and 2000. Data were gathered based on structured interviews and observations from a total of 320 meals of 114 randomly selected families and 164 fishing trips. The staple food of the studied populations is based on fish and manioc, although the food niche amplitude can vary according to the factors such as the access to imported food items, resources seasonality, and socio-economic conditions. The migration to urban centers along with the changes in subsistence activities (reduction of small-scale agriculture and specialization in commercial fishing) may result in changes in the food habits of ribeirinho populations from Rio Negro.


Amazonia Diet Fishing Ribeirinho Rio Negro 



We thank FAPESP for a doctoral scholarship grant (98/06027-6) and for financial support for fieldwork (98/16160-5). Thanks to G. M. dos Santos and J. A. S. Zuanon (INPA) for fish species identification and E. Z. F. Setz (UNICAMP) for revision to the mammal identification. We thank in particular Rui Murrieta (São Paulo University) for constructive suggestions on Andréa Leme da Silva’s doctoral thesis, and criticisms on earlier drafts of this article. Special thanks for David and Fabiana O’Beggan for extensive English review. We are deeply grateful to the people of Barcelos, Carvoeiro, Piloto, and Cumaru for their kind cooperation that not only made this study possible, but a most incredible learning experience. One of the authors (AB) thanks CNPq for a 1B productivity scholarship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EcologyUniversidade Estadual Júlio Mesquita FilhoRio ClaroBrazil
  2. 2.CampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Fisheries and Food InstituteCampinasBrazil
  4. 4.Fisheries Management and Training Program, CAPESCA-PREAC-UNICAMPCampinasBrazil

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