The plant diversity in the Amazon rainforest is overwhelming. Estimates claim that one hectare of jungle can be home to over 3,000 different species of plants. In 2009, we studied the plant diversity inside the reserve with an expert botanist. For a hole year we collected periodically specimens from different habitats located within the reserve (sterile samples, flowers, fruits and seeds) to take into the laboratory for processing and identification. Also, several tree samples were marked around the reserve and were evaluated on a monthly basis to discover the phenological state (life cycle) of the species to determine a pattern for flowering and fruiting respectively. Another study of timber species was developed with a forestry engineer a few years later. All around the reserve we identified and marked 4 important tree species with commercial value for timber. Also, as part of the Spider monkey reintroduction program, a plant study related to the fruit trees that are part of their diet was developed. Trees that are known to be food for this species of monkey and many other wildlife where identified and marked to assess the fruit production and food availability of the forest for wildlife. We must resume the investigation to expand our knowledge of the plant diversity within the reserve, to evaluate, analyze and understand patterns of forest behaviour, productivity and processes of regeneration and determine the ancestral value and use of plants, etc. In this way, we can apply forest management techniques designed for long-term conservation of the rainforest.
THIS IS A SEASONAL PROJECT
- Plant walk: Walk along the trails to identify plants with a specific use or value following a local expert.
- Tree marking: Revisit the marked trees to renew or fix the information tag and take data on the tree.
- Plant collection: Take samples of specimens from the forest and take to the Lab for processing and identification.
- We have 257 species identified- 185 angiosperms (flowering plants), 24 pteridophytes (ferns) and 48 mycophytes (ferns).
- A “matero” is a local person with knowledge of the plants in the rainforest. We have received his help to identify many species of plants within the reserve.