Use and misuse of forest-harvested fruits in the Iquitos area

TitleUse and misuse of forest-harvested fruits in the Iquitos area
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsVasquez, R, Gentry, AH
JournalConservation Biology
Date PublishedDecember 1989
Call NumberQH75.A1C6
Keywordsdeforestation; Iquitos; Peru; rainforests

Of 193 fruit species observed to be regularly consumed in the region surrounding Iquitos, Peru, 120 species are exclusively wold-harvested and 19 more originate from both wold and cultivated sources.The wild-harvested fruits of 57 species belonging to 24 different plant families are sold in the Iquitos market and are very important in the economy and diets of the area. Nearly half of the Iquitos fruit vendors sell wild-harvested fruits ( if fruits used as vegetables or starch sources are excluded), and over half of the fruit species sold are wild-harvested. Many fruit species consumed at Iquitos differ from those consumed in other parts of Amazonia. Although some native fruit species are beginning to be grown as crops, the wild populations of these high-potential species are being rapidly depleted by destructive harvesting techniques as market pressure begins to build. In the last few years, the availability of several of the most popular fruit species has decreased markedly. If nondestructive sustained-yield harvesting or resources such as wild-harvested fruits if to play its suggested important role in tropical forest conservation, much stronger efforts will be needed to prevent destructive over harvesting of these potentially significant resources.


Collection Topic: