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  • Author or Editor: João Carlos Ferreira de Melo Júnior x
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Summary

Wood has been historically used to build traditional boats in Brazil. The present study examined different types of wood used in the boat collection of the Museu Nacional do Mar (Portuguese for National Museum of the Sea). Samples were collected with a Pressler borer and incorporated into the JOIw xylarium. Histological and anatomical descriptions followed usual wood anatomy protocols. Wood of 15 species of low, medium, and high density was microscopically identified. Most of the species are native to forests that surround the waterways where the boats were built, although some were imported from more distant forests. We believe the wood anatomy shows the relationship between human societies and forest resources used in navel carpentry. Additionally, wood surveys like this broaden our knowledge on the cultural heritage, ethnobotanic, and technological properties knowledge, which ultimately contribute to biodiversity conservation.

In: IAWA Journal

Wood has been widely employed to manufacture cultural objects in the state of Santa Catarina, in 19th century Brazil. The present study examined historical buildings and machinery, mills, wagons, carriages, furniture, farming implements and everyday objects that are part of the collection of the Museu Nacional de Imigração e Colonização (National Museum of Immigration and Colonization) of Joinville and represent the material culture of the Colônia Dona Francisca. Nine different timber species, usually of high density, were identified microscopically. Most species are native in the local Atlantic Forest, but others were imported from more distant sources. We believe that wood anatomy is an important tool to unveil lifestyle aspects of the different ethnic groups that colonized the Brazilian territory and their relation to forest resources in terms of knowledge and exploitation.

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In: IAWA Journal

Summary

The Brazilian Amazon has the world’s largest concentration of indigenous American peoples, but many environmental threats have affected the preservation of this enormous human ethnocultural heritage. This study identified the species and studied the different uses of wood by two indigenous ethnic groups in Southeastern Pará, Brazil, namely the “Gavião” and “Suruí”. Ten taxa were identified, distributed in eight botanical families, with five being identified to genus and five to species levels. The wood of Bertholletia excelsa, an endangered forest species in Brazil, is important in the material culture of the Suruí indigenous people. The indigenous ethnic groups studied preferentially use medium density wood for building and high-density wood for hunting and warfare artefacts. The technological properties of wood justify its use by the indigenous peoples studied. We caution that the increasing environmental threats in Indigenous Lands within the Brazilian Amazon harm the preservation of the ethnocultural heritage of indigenous peoples.

In: IAWA Journal

This study examines how habitat structure affects the home range use of a group of Brachyteles hypoxanthus in the Brigadeiro State Park, Brazil. It has been reported that most of the annual feeding time of woolly spider monkeys is spent eating leaves, but they prefer fruits when available. We hypothesise that the protein-to-fibre ratio (PF; best descriptor of habitat quality for folivorous primates) is a better descriptor of habitat quality and abundance for these primates than the structural attributes of forests (basal area is the best descriptor of habitat quality for frugivorous primates of Africa and Asia). We evaluated plant community structure, successional status, and PF of leaf samples from the dominant tree populations, both within the core and from a non-core area of the home range of our study group. Forest structure was a combination of stem density and basal area of dominant tree populations. The core area had larger trees, a higher forest basal area, and higher stem density than the non-core area. Mean PF did not differ significantly between these sites, although PF was influenced by differences in tree regeneration guilds. Large-bodied monkeys could be favoured by later successional stages of forests because larger trees and denser stems prevent the need for a higher expenditure of energy for locomotion as a consequence of vertical travel when the crowns of trees are disconnected in early successional forests. Forest structure variables (such as basal area of trees) driven by succession influence woolly spider monkey abundance in a fashion similar to frugivorous monkeys of Asia and Africa, and could explain marked differences in ranging behaviour and home range use by B. hypoxanthus.

In: Folia Primatologica