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Ecological adaptation of wild peach palm, its in situ conservation and deforestation-mediated extinction in southern Brazilian Amazonia.

Clement CR, Santos RP, Desmouliere SJ, Ferreira EJ, Neto JT - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: Many of these populations are now isolated by increasing forest fragmentation, which will lead to decreased reproduction via inbreeding depression and eventual extinction even without complete deforestation.Federal conservation areas are less numerous in the Arc of Fire than in other parts of Brazilian Amazonia, although there are indigenous lands; these conservation areas contain viable populations of wild peach palm and require better protection than they are currently receiving.Ex situ conservation of these populations is not viable given the relative lack of importance of domesticated peach palm and the difficulty of maintaining even economically interesting genetic resources.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil.

ABSTRACT

Background: The Arc of Fire across southern Amazonia seasonally attracts worldwide attention as forests are cut and burned for agricultural expansion. These forests contain numerous wild relatives of native South American crops, such as peach palm.

Methodology/principal findings: Our prospecting expeditions examined critical areas for wild peach palm in the Arc of Fire in Mato Grosso, Pará, Maranhão and Tocantins, as well as areas not previously examined in Amazonas and Amapá states. Recent digitization of the RADAM Brasil project permitted comparison among RADAM's parataxonomists' observations, previous botanical collections and our prospecting. Mapping on soils and vegetation types enabled us to hypothesize a set of ecological preferences. Wild peach palm is best adapted to Ultisols (Acrisols) in open forests across the Arc of Fire and westward into the more humid western Amazonia. Populations are generally small (fewer than 10 plants) on slopes above watercourses. In northern Mato Grosso and southern Pará soybean fields and pastures now occupy numerous areas where RADAM identified wild peach palm. The controversial BR-163 Highway is already eroding wild peach palm as deforestation expands.

Conclusions/significance: Many of these populations are now isolated by increasing forest fragmentation, which will lead to decreased reproduction via inbreeding depression and eventual extinction even without complete deforestation. Federal conservation areas are less numerous in the Arc of Fire than in other parts of Brazilian Amazonia, although there are indigenous lands; these conservation areas contain viable populations of wild peach palm and require better protection than they are currently receiving. Ex situ conservation of these populations is not viable given the relative lack of importance of domesticated peach palm and the difficulty of maintaining even economically interesting genetic resources.

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Contrast between wild (Bactris gasipaes var. chichagui type 1 – Left) and cultivated (B. gasipaes var. gasipaes Pará landrace – Right) fruits near Parauapebas, Pará, Brazil.Credit: Evandro Ferreira.
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pone-0004564-g002: Contrast between wild (Bactris gasipaes var. chichagui type 1 – Left) and cultivated (B. gasipaes var. gasipaes Pará landrace – Right) fruits near Parauapebas, Pará, Brazil.Credit: Evandro Ferreira.

Mentions: Peach palm is the only domesticated palm in the Neotropics [22]. Until recently, it was considered a cultigen [11] – a cultivated species with no known wild relatives. Research and development of peach palm over the last 30 years changed this evaluation [21]. The most recent revision of Bactris united all wild populations into a single variety, B. gasipaes var. chichagui (H. Karsten) A. J. Henderson, and all domesticated populations and landraces into B. gasipaes var. gasipaes [26]. Within var. chichagui, Henderson proposed three types, based principally upon fruit dimensions, without describing their distribution or attributing synonyms to each type; approximate distributions are presented in Figure 1 (inset). Both type 1 and type 2 have very small fruit (0.5 to 2 g), while type 3 has small fruit (3 to 10 g); var. gasipaes has fruit that range in mass from 10 to 200 g (Figure 2). We adopt Henderson's classification in this study.


Ecological adaptation of wild peach palm, its in situ conservation and deforestation-mediated extinction in southern Brazilian Amazonia.

Clement CR, Santos RP, Desmouliere SJ, Ferreira EJ, Neto JT - PLoS ONE (2009)

Contrast between wild (Bactris gasipaes var. chichagui type 1 – Left) and cultivated (B. gasipaes var. gasipaes Pará landrace – Right) fruits near Parauapebas, Pará, Brazil.Credit: Evandro Ferreira.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2642997&req=5

pone-0004564-g002: Contrast between wild (Bactris gasipaes var. chichagui type 1 – Left) and cultivated (B. gasipaes var. gasipaes Pará landrace – Right) fruits near Parauapebas, Pará, Brazil.Credit: Evandro Ferreira.
Mentions: Peach palm is the only domesticated palm in the Neotropics [22]. Until recently, it was considered a cultigen [11] – a cultivated species with no known wild relatives. Research and development of peach palm over the last 30 years changed this evaluation [21]. The most recent revision of Bactris united all wild populations into a single variety, B. gasipaes var. chichagui (H. Karsten) A. J. Henderson, and all domesticated populations and landraces into B. gasipaes var. gasipaes [26]. Within var. chichagui, Henderson proposed three types, based principally upon fruit dimensions, without describing their distribution or attributing synonyms to each type; approximate distributions are presented in Figure 1 (inset). Both type 1 and type 2 have very small fruit (0.5 to 2 g), while type 3 has small fruit (3 to 10 g); var. gasipaes has fruit that range in mass from 10 to 200 g (Figure 2). We adopt Henderson's classification in this study.

Bottom Line: Many of these populations are now isolated by increasing forest fragmentation, which will lead to decreased reproduction via inbreeding depression and eventual extinction even without complete deforestation.Federal conservation areas are less numerous in the Arc of Fire than in other parts of Brazilian Amazonia, although there are indigenous lands; these conservation areas contain viable populations of wild peach palm and require better protection than they are currently receiving.Ex situ conservation of these populations is not viable given the relative lack of importance of domesticated peach palm and the difficulty of maintaining even economically interesting genetic resources.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil.

ABSTRACT

Background: The Arc of Fire across southern Amazonia seasonally attracts worldwide attention as forests are cut and burned for agricultural expansion. These forests contain numerous wild relatives of native South American crops, such as peach palm.

Methodology/principal findings: Our prospecting expeditions examined critical areas for wild peach palm in the Arc of Fire in Mato Grosso, Pará, Maranhão and Tocantins, as well as areas not previously examined in Amazonas and Amapá states. Recent digitization of the RADAM Brasil project permitted comparison among RADAM's parataxonomists' observations, previous botanical collections and our prospecting. Mapping on soils and vegetation types enabled us to hypothesize a set of ecological preferences. Wild peach palm is best adapted to Ultisols (Acrisols) in open forests across the Arc of Fire and westward into the more humid western Amazonia. Populations are generally small (fewer than 10 plants) on slopes above watercourses. In northern Mato Grosso and southern Pará soybean fields and pastures now occupy numerous areas where RADAM identified wild peach palm. The controversial BR-163 Highway is already eroding wild peach palm as deforestation expands.

Conclusions/significance: Many of these populations are now isolated by increasing forest fragmentation, which will lead to decreased reproduction via inbreeding depression and eventual extinction even without complete deforestation. Federal conservation areas are less numerous in the Arc of Fire than in other parts of Brazilian Amazonia, although there are indigenous lands; these conservation areas contain viable populations of wild peach palm and require better protection than they are currently receiving. Ex situ conservation of these populations is not viable given the relative lack of importance of domesticated peach palm and the difficulty of maintaining even economically interesting genetic resources.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus