Garwood, Nancy C. , Bridgewater, Samuel G. M. , Bateman, Richard M .
Conservation and Sustainable Management of Chamaedorea Palms in Belize.
CHAMAEDOREA is the largest genus of palms in the New World and the most diverse group of palms in Belize. Several species common in Belize have been of significant economic importance in Guatemala and Mexico for decades, contributing cut leaves and seeds to the international floral and horticultural trades, respectively. In the past five years, illegal and unsustainable levels of harvesting of C. ernesti-augusti have occurred in western Belize as wild supplies of cut leaves have become depleted in neighboring areas of Guatemala. To quantify the effect of this harvesting on local populations of all Chamaedorea palms, 209 plots (each 20 x 20 m) were surveyed in the Chiquibul region of western Belize and compared to plots elsewhere in the country. Harvesting was restricted to the Chiquibul and to C. ernesti-augusti, although another economically important species was more abundant. C. ernesti-augusti occurred in 77% of plots in the Chiquibul; 86% of these plots, and 75% of all individual palms, had been harvested at least once. Individuals in unharvested plots had a mean of 6.0 leaves/plant while those in harvested plots had only 2.9 leaves/plant. With other colleagues, we have also estimated the local economic value of this resource and have measured the effects of harvesting on survival and growth. We integreate these data and discuss the potential for sustainable management of this resource in Belize.
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1 - Southern Illinois University, Department of Plant Biology, Carbondale, Illinois, 62901 - 6509, USA
2 - Natural History Museum, Department of Botany, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, England
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM