|Title||Sustainable fruit harvesting from a giant Amazonian palm: Mauritia flexuosa in Ecuador|
|Group||Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group|
|Supervisor(s)||Prof. Maria Cristina Penuela Mora, Universidad Regional Amazónica ikiam
Prof. Dr. P.A. (Pieter) Zuidema, FEM, WUR
|Examiner(s)||Prof. Dr. P.A. (Pieter) Zuidema|
|Description||Mauritia flexuosa attains 35 m in height and thrives in flooded forests in the northern and western parts of the Amazon basin. This palm is considered a hyper dominant species and cover an extent area between 50-100.000 km2, M. flexuosa produces fruits valued by human communities and wildlife. Fruit harvesting occurs in two distinct ways: by means of cutting the entire palm and through climbing the palm. Obviously the first method is less sustainable, but much depends on the palm’s life span. Demographic analyses will help to quantify lifespan and evaluate the critical stages and processes for population growth. You will make use of permanent sample plots in Ecuador to conduct fieldwork (measure rates of growth, survival and reproduction), analyze data statistically and build demographic models (matrix models). You will be based at the University Regional Amazonica (IKIAM) in Tena; conduct your field work (~ 2-3 months) in the states of Napo and Pastaza in two M.flexuosa plots previously established. Modelling analyses will be done in Wageningen.
Plant-animal interactions/ America's/ Tropical zone
|Requirements||FEM-30806 Resource dynamics and sustainable utilization|