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Economic Botany

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 30–40 | Cite as

Sustainable Use of Calathea lutea in Handicrafts: A Case Study from the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve in the Brazilian Amazon

  • Juliana Menegassi LeoniEmail author
  • Flávia Regina Capelotto Costa
Article

Sustainable Use of Calathea lutea in Handicrafts: A Case Study from the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve in the Brazilian Amazon. This study evaluated the local harvest and use of Calathea lutea, an herb used in basket weaving by residents of floodplain communities in the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSA). C. lutea is associated with early successional stages of secondary vegetation or abandoned fields, often found alone in monospecific stands, called cauaçuzais. We describe the biology and ecology of C. lutea, including distribution, abundance, and resource availability using GIS and field inventory methods. We measured the area of each surveyed and georeferenced C. lutea stand and estimated the production and consumption of mature stalks in this area. With this information, we estimated the current status of the extractive use of this plant. C. lutea grows vigorously and flowers continuously with an average of 1,699 (+/- 754) clumps ha-1 in the stands. The total 41 georeferenced stands cover an area of 26 ha, with an estimated 44,200 clumps and 850,000 mature stalks. In 2006, approximately 15,000 mature stalks were used by artisans, about 2 % of the available stock. Therefore, the present stock meets artisans´ demand with no evidence that the species is suffering from overharvesting. We also observed that the species inhibits plant succession due to its high capacity for dispersal, colonization, and permanence in secondary areas. It has, as a result, colonized about 50 % of high floodplain (várzea) areas formerly converted to agricultural fields in two of the four communities surveyed in this study. To establish more productive and healthy agroecosystems, we suggest enrichment of fallows with fruit and wood producing trees where C. lutea is less exploited.

Key Words

Amazonia várzea forest succession handicraft plant management gender weed non-timber forest products 

Sustentabilidade da produção de objetos artesanais com fibras de Calathea lutea (Aubl.) G. Mey.: Um estudo de caso na Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Amanã, Amazonas, Brasil. Este estudo teve como objetivos entender o extrativismo e uso local de Calathea lutea, espécie herbácea usada na confecção de cestaria por comunidades locais da Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Amanã (RDSA). C. lutea está associada aos estágios iniciais da sucessão de capoeiras e roças abandonadas e é freqüentemente encontrada em manchas monodominantes, os cauaçuzais. Foram descritos aspectos da biologia e ecologia de C.lutea, incluindo a distribuição, abundância e disponibilidade do recurso através de estudos de campo e georreferenciamento. Foram medidas as áreas das colônias e estimada a produção e o consumo de talos maduros nessa área. Com essa informação estimamos o status atual do uso extrativo dessa planta. C. lutea apresenta crescimento vigoroso e floração contínua. As populações apresentaram densidade média de 1.699 ± 754 touceiras/ha nos Cauaçuzais. Foram georreferenciados 41 cauaçuzais totalizando 26 hectares, 44.200 mil touceiras e cerca de 850 mil talos maduros. As artesãs consumiram em 2006 aproximadamente 15 mil talos maduros, o que corresponde a cerca de 2 % do estoque disponível. Sendo assim, o estoque atual é capaz de suprir a demanda e não há evidencias de que a exploração possa prejudicar a espécie. As observações sobre a biologia da espécie sugerem que C. lutea seja inibidora do processo sucessional, pois possui ampla capacidade de dispersão, colonização e permanência em áreas alteradas. Cauaçu colonizou cerca de 50 % da várzea alta anteriormente convertida em agricultura em duas das quatro comunidades abordadas nesse estudo. Para estabelecer agroecossistemas mais produtivos, saudáveis e com maior valor de uso indica-se a implementação de pousio melhorado nas áreas de roça liberadas para a sucessão e em cauaçuzais menos utilizados, através do enriquecimento com frutíferas e espécies madeireiras.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the IDSM for financial and logistical support. We extend special thanks to all of artisans and community members who shared their knowledge and time to investigate cauaçu. F. C. Costa received a research fellowship from CNPq during the preparation of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliana Menegassi Leoni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Flávia Regina Capelotto Costa
    • 2
  1. 1.Programa de Manejo Florestal Comunitário/Grupo Produtos Florestais Não-MadeireirosInstituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá (IDSM)TeféBrazil
  2. 2.Coordenaçao de Pesquisas em Biodiversidade–Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)ManausBrazil

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