Local Knowledge, Use and Management of Ethnovarieties of Araucaria angustifolia (Bert.) Ktze. in the Plateau of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Additional Publication Information
An erratum to this paper has been published. It is available here 10.1007/s12231-016-9361-z
This study examines the human use and management of Araucaria angustifolia ethnovarieties from Santa Catarina, Brazil, and contributes to what is known about the ethnobotany of Araucaria species. The available literature on varietal differences of A. angustifolia is somewhat divergent, and there are currently no ethnobotanical studies on the intraspecific variation and management of this species. The study examined local knowledge and sociocultural and economic values of A. angustifolia varieties to understand how the varieties are managed and how management practices are influencing the conservation of the species. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 informants (identified using the snowball method) in the Painel and Urubici municipalities. Participants identified 12 local varieties, four of which were cited by more than one informant. Characteristic differences include size, color and flavor of the nut-like seeds (pinhão), and most importantly, season of maturation of the cone. The “Caiová” variety was preferred for its bigger, firmer, and sweeter seeds that are considered easier to peel and last longer in storage. Even though there is some interest in developing management practices that favor some varieties in order to guarantee year-round production, seedlings are commonly removed. This management practice is most likely a response to current regulations that prohibit cutting down adult trees. The results of this study have important implications for the relationship between the knowledge of A. angustifolia practices and the current legal framework that protects this species. A more detailed understanding of the relevant ethnobotanical knowledge is required in order to establish the best practices for sustainable use of A. angustifolia and its varietal diversity and to support the communities that depend on this species as a resource.