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The floating forest: traditional knowledge and use of matupá vegetation islands by riverine peoples of the central Amazon.

de Freitas CT, Shepard GH, Piedade MT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In some cases, crops are planted directly onto matupás, representing an incipient agricultural experiment that was previously undocumented in the Amazon.Matupás are also considered a strategic habitat for fishing, mainly for arapaima (Arapaima gigas).The systematic study of traditional ecological knowledge proved to be an important tool for understanding this little-known Amazonian landscape.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós Graduação em Ecologia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil.

ABSTRACT
Matupás are floating vegetation islands found in floodplain lakes of the central Brazilian Amazon. They form initially from the agglomeration of aquatic vegetation, and through time can accumulate a substrate of organic matter sufficient to grow forest patches of several hectares in area and up to 12 m in height. There is little published information on matupás despite their singular characteristics and importance to local fauna and people. In this study we document the traditional ecological knowledge of riverine populations who live near and interact with matupás. We expected that their knowledge, acquired through long term observations and use in different stages of the matupá life cycle, could help clarify various aspects about the ecology and natural history of these islands that field biologists may not have had the opportunity to observe. Research was carried out in five riverine communities of the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (Brazil). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 45 inhabitants in order to register local understandings of how matupás are formed, biotic/abiotic factors related to their occurrence, the plants and animals that occur on them, their ecological relevance, and local uses. Local people elucidated several little-known aspects about matupá ecology, especially regarding the importance of seasonal dynamics of high/low water for matupás formation and the relevance of these islands for fish populations. Soil from matupás is especially fertile and is frequently gathered for use in vegetable gardens. In some cases, crops are planted directly onto matupás, representing an incipient agricultural experiment that was previously undocumented in the Amazon. Matupás are also considered a strategic habitat for fishing, mainly for arapaima (Arapaima gigas). The systematic study of traditional ecological knowledge proved to be an important tool for understanding this little-known Amazonian landscape.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Location of the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSA), the communities involved in the study and the matupás inventoried.Upper left: RDSA within Brazil and Amazonas state; lower left: detail of the study region within the reserve; right: LANDSAT 5 image showing the five study communities (blue circles) and the 10 matupás inventoried (yellow triangles); red line indicates reserve border. Adapted from images conceded by USGS Global Visualization Viewer.
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pone.0122542.g002: Location of the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSA), the communities involved in the study and the matupás inventoried.Upper left: RDSA within Brazil and Amazonas state; lower left: detail of the study region within the reserve; right: LANDSAT 5 image showing the five study communities (blue circles) and the 10 matupás inventoried (yellow triangles); red line indicates reserve border. Adapted from images conceded by USGS Global Visualization Viewer.

Mentions: The study was carried out within the 2.313.000 ha Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Amanã—RDSA; S 02°42', W 64°39') in the central Brazilian Amazon (Fig 2). The reserve, created in 1998, is located along the middle Solimões (Amazon) River near the mouth of the Japurá in Amazonas State. Most of the reserve consists of upland (terra firme) forests, but there are also large areas subject to seasonal flooding averaging 10 m difference between minimum and maximum river water level [25].


The floating forest: traditional knowledge and use of matupá vegetation islands by riverine peoples of the central Amazon.

de Freitas CT, Shepard GH, Piedade MT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Location of the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSA), the communities involved in the study and the matupás inventoried.Upper left: RDSA within Brazil and Amazonas state; lower left: detail of the study region within the reserve; right: LANDSAT 5 image showing the five study communities (blue circles) and the 10 matupás inventoried (yellow triangles); red line indicates reserve border. Adapted from images conceded by USGS Global Visualization Viewer.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4383509&req=5

pone.0122542.g002: Location of the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSA), the communities involved in the study and the matupás inventoried.Upper left: RDSA within Brazil and Amazonas state; lower left: detail of the study region within the reserve; right: LANDSAT 5 image showing the five study communities (blue circles) and the 10 matupás inventoried (yellow triangles); red line indicates reserve border. Adapted from images conceded by USGS Global Visualization Viewer.
Mentions: The study was carried out within the 2.313.000 ha Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Amanã—RDSA; S 02°42', W 64°39') in the central Brazilian Amazon (Fig 2). The reserve, created in 1998, is located along the middle Solimões (Amazon) River near the mouth of the Japurá in Amazonas State. Most of the reserve consists of upland (terra firme) forests, but there are also large areas subject to seasonal flooding averaging 10 m difference between minimum and maximum river water level [25].

Bottom Line: In some cases, crops are planted directly onto matupás, representing an incipient agricultural experiment that was previously undocumented in the Amazon.Matupás are also considered a strategic habitat for fishing, mainly for arapaima (Arapaima gigas).The systematic study of traditional ecological knowledge proved to be an important tool for understanding this little-known Amazonian landscape.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós Graduação em Ecologia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil.

ABSTRACT
Matupás are floating vegetation islands found in floodplain lakes of the central Brazilian Amazon. They form initially from the agglomeration of aquatic vegetation, and through time can accumulate a substrate of organic matter sufficient to grow forest patches of several hectares in area and up to 12 m in height. There is little published information on matupás despite their singular characteristics and importance to local fauna and people. In this study we document the traditional ecological knowledge of riverine populations who live near and interact with matupás. We expected that their knowledge, acquired through long term observations and use in different stages of the matupá life cycle, could help clarify various aspects about the ecology and natural history of these islands that field biologists may not have had the opportunity to observe. Research was carried out in five riverine communities of the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve (Brazil). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 45 inhabitants in order to register local understandings of how matupás are formed, biotic/abiotic factors related to their occurrence, the plants and animals that occur on them, their ecological relevance, and local uses. Local people elucidated several little-known aspects about matupá ecology, especially regarding the importance of seasonal dynamics of high/low water for matupás formation and the relevance of these islands for fish populations. Soil from matupás is especially fertile and is frequently gathered for use in vegetable gardens. In some cases, crops are planted directly onto matupás, representing an incipient agricultural experiment that was previously undocumented in the Amazon. Matupás are also considered a strategic habitat for fishing, mainly for arapaima (Arapaima gigas). The systematic study of traditional ecological knowledge proved to be an important tool for understanding this little-known Amazonian landscape.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus