Um sistema agroflorestal na várzea do estuário amazônico (Ilha das Onças, Município de Barcarena, Estado do Pará)

Anthony B. Anderson Anne Gely Jeremy Strudwick Gail L. Sobel Maria das Graças C. Pinto About the authors

Although agroforestry appears to be a viable form of land use in Amazonia, most of the examples reported in the literature describe systems used by indigenous tribes that are culturally distinct from the majority of rural inhabitants in the region. This paper describes an agroforestry system developed by a Luso-Brazilian family whose cultural habits are similar to that of the majority of rural inhabitants in the Amazon estuary. The iyitem is utilized on sites subject to periodic and prolonged flooding, which imposes severe restrictions conventional forms of agriculture. Three major management zona, located near the family's house are identified and described in detail: house garden ("quintal"), managed floodplain forest ("floresta manejada"), and unmanaged floodplain forest ("mala"). The house garden is a relatively open area adjacent to the house that isused for domestic activities and for cultivation of a wide variety of exotic and native plants. The managed floodplain forest consists of small (< 1 ha) plots near the house and at scattered locations. In this management zone, the forest structure is left largely intact, although vines, understory shrubs, and selected tree species are periodically cut. The strategy in this zone is to favor the growth of economically important native tree species as well as introduced trees and shrubs. The unmanaged floodplain forest contains high densities of economically important plant species such as"açaí" palm (Euterpe oleracea), rubber (Hevea brasiliensis),"taperebá" (Spondias mombin), "andiroba" (Carapa guianensis), etc. Juxtaposition of these management zones within access of the house supports a wide variety of activities, including hunting; fishing; animal husbandry; and utilization of fruits, palm heart, wood, fertilizer, ornamental plants, fibers, latex, honey, oilseeds, medicines, utensils, etc. In addition to subsistence needs, these activities provide numerous market products that are sold in the nearby markets of Belém, thus enabling the family to purchase primary agricultural products. The management and utilization of the floodplain forest -- in conjunction with access to local markets -- has thus permitted the family to replace conventional forms of agriculture with gathering of forest products. The latter appears to be more advantageous for the family studied and under certain conditions may be a viable land-use alternative in the Amazon estuary.

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