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Ecología en Bolivia

On-line version ISSN 2075-5023

Abstract

LARREA-ALCAZAR, Daniel M. et al. The Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl., Lecythidaceae) in Bolivia: geographical distribution and deforestation impacts 2010-2015. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2018, vol.53, n.1, pp. 16-30. ISSN 2075-5023.

In this study, we evaluated the geographical distribution of the Brazil nut in Bolivia, and the impact on its populations caused by deforestation from 2010 to 2015. Specifically: a) we modeled the distribution of the species using the Maxent algorithm in order to confirm if its distribution is restricted to the humid tropical forests of the northern of Bolivia; b) we estimated the loss of Brazil nut forest occurred between 2010- 2015 using information published by OTCA-MMAyA (2016); and c) we calculated the number of Brazil nut trees that could have been lost due to such deforestation using information on complete censuses carried out in TCO Tacana II (north of La Paz) and RNVSA Manuripi (southwest of Pando). The results suggest that Brazil nut forest covers about 84 thousand km2 (16% less than the historical estimation) distributed in two areas, one in the Heath-Alto Madeira region covering the sub-basins of the Tahumanu, Yata, Abuná, Acre, Manurimi and Madre de Dios (97% of cover), and the other in the Iténez region, in the northern portion of the sub-basin having the same name (3%). About 0.76% (639 km2) of Brazil nut forest was deforested in the period 2010-2015, affecting about 27,000 Brazil nut trees (0.15% of the historical total estimated). Future research evaluating geographic variations in reproductive phenology and its relation to climate or to the genetic diversity of Brazil nut populations inhabiting Bolivia will be important in order to determine the current state of the species and to propose management guidelines.

Keywords : isolated trees; cattle; geoglyphs; terra petra; Brazil nut harvest.

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