Inventory and Implications of Plant Use for Environmental Conservation in Visconde de Mauá, Serra da Mantiqueira, Brazil
Keywords:Traditional Knowledge, Parana Pine Forest, Itatiaia National Park
The community of Visconde de Mauá is located in the Serra da Mantiqueira Environmental Protection Area, characterized by high mountain rainforest vegetation. Despite a resident population predominantly from outside the region, inhabitants follow local patterns of plant use. Local plant uses were identified using participant observation, semi-structured and informal interviews, and guided tours. Uses were sorted in categories: medicine, food, handicrafts, fuel, construction, ornamental, and symbolic. Among the categories, medicinal use included the largest number of plant species. Tourism is intense in the area and has already affected community patterns of plant use by reducing demand for food cultivation. Alternatively, tourism has instead spurned demand for fuel and handmade crafts, a practice deemed to be incompatible with the preservation of the environment and local plant species.
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