Drawing on traditional knowledge to identify and describe ecosystem services associated with Northern Amazon’s multiple-use plants

Anthony R. Cummings, Jane M Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tropical multiple-use plants provide an array of ecosystem services, including providing food for wildlife, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and commercial logs. As land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) continues in tropical forests, questions on whether the ecosystem services they provide can be sustained become more pressing. As particular species of plants are targeted for provisioning services, such as commercial logging, the implications for other ecosystem services are often unknown. In this paper we drew on the traditional knowledge of the Makushi and Wapishiana Amerindians of Southern Guyana, and multiple-use plants to gauge the ecosystem services that may be compromised as tropical forests undergo change. An inventory of tree and palm species was classified into one or more of four resource-use classes: commercial timber, wildlife food, traditional uses or no known use. Species that intersected more than one resource use were defined as multiple-use species, and occupied four primary classes – wildlife food/commercial timber, commercial timber/traditional uses, wildlife food/traditional uses and wildlife food/commercial timber/traditional uses. Traditional knowledge allowed us to identify plant species and describe how they are used for provisioning, cultural and supporting ecosystem services and shaping our understanding of the multiple dimensions of ecosystem services associated with a single species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 17 2016

Keywords

  • ecosystem services
  • Guyana
  • multiple-use plants
  • Rupununi
  • Traditional knowledge
  • wildlife food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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