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Interspecific differences in the oleoresin production of Copaifera L. (Fabaceae) in the Amazon rainforest



Copaifera species produce an oleoresin of commercial importance that is widely extracted in Amazon communities.


This paper addresses two questions. (1) What are the morphological characteristics of Copaifera species that influence oleoresin production? (2) How do different Copaifera species respond to repeated harvests?


We performed a large-scale experiment in the Brazilian Amazon. We tapped 110 Copaifera trees belonging to four species, and several morphological tree characteristics were measured to determine their effect on oleoresin production.


The proportion of Copaifera reticulata and Copaifera paupera trees that yielded more than 1 ml oleoresin was higher than the other species. The oleoresin volumes from yielding Copaifera pubiflora trees were significantly higher than those from C. reticulata and C. paupera, with Copaifera multijuga yielding intermediate values. Interestingly, none of the studied morphological tree characteristics had a significant effect on the proportion of yielding trees. Hollowed trees yielded significantly smaller volumes than non-hollowed trees. Both the proportion of yielding trees and oleoresin volumes decreased from the first to the second harvests for C. reticulata and C. paupera; however, the opposite pattern was observed for C. pubiflora.


Oleoresin production capacity varies by species, and management protocols should account for these differences.

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We thank the staff and trainees of the EMBRAPA in Acre, Pará, Rondônia, and Roraima for their assistance in the data collection. We particularly thank the late Raimundo Nonato Silva Feitosa, a mateiro, who helped with the data collection in Pará. We also thank the Centro de Trabalhadores da Amazônia and the Associação Seringueira Porto Dias for their support and assistance in the data collection in Acre. We sincerely appreciate the assistance and hospitality of Mr. Oswaldo Antonio Santana, owner of GS Farm, where the Roraiman studies were conducted. We thank Paulo Enrique Cardoso Peixoto for his advice on statistical terminology. We also thank Christie Klimas for the helpful English revisions of this manuscript and the two reviewers and the associate editor for their critical and constructive comments.


The research was supported by EMBRAPA through the project Management of Non-wood Forest Products in the Amazon (Kamukaia Project), by The National Research Council (CNPq) through the projects “Grants for the Management of Non-Timber Forest Products in Roraima (Proc 471717/2006-1)” and “Ecology and management of tree species with non-timber use (Proc 575508/2008-6)” and by “Floresta em Pé” Project.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karina Martins.

Additional information

Contribution of the co-authors

Karina Martins: designing the experiment, collecting data, running the data analysis writing the paper

Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui: collecting data, writing the paper, and advising in data analysis

Patrícia da Costa: designing the experiment, collecting data, and writing the paper

Hélio Tonini: designing the experiment and collecting data

Michelliny de M. Bentes-Gama: designing the experiment and writing the paper

Abadio H. Vieira: collecting data

Lúcia Helena de O. Wadt: designing the experiment, supervising the work, and coordinating the research project

Handling Editor: Jean-Michel Leban

Electronic supplementary material

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Figure S1

Location of sampling areas in four Brazilian states. (PDF 3030 kb)

Figure S2

Individual variation in oleoresin yield in the first and second tapping (C. reticulata, n = 19; C. paupera, n = 15; C. pubiflora, n = 8; and C. multijuga, n = 4). (PDF 81 kb)

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Martins, K., Herrero-Jáuregui, C., da Costa, P. et al. Interspecific differences in the oleoresin production of Copaifera L. (Fabaceae) in the Amazon rainforest. Annals of Forest Science 70, 319–328 (2013).

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  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Copaiba
  • Extractivism
  • Forest management
  • Non-timber forest products
  • Sustainability