Managing Forest Remnants and Forest Gardens in Peru and Indonesia

Managing Forest Remnants and Forest Gardens in Peru and Indonesia

This chapter describes the forest management of flooded vareza of the Amazon forest in the Napo-Amazon floodplain in Peru. The area is rarely cultivated intensively due to flooding, but human populations have always been higher in this region than in upland forest areas of the Amazon. Some of the most important forest areas are known as capinurales, home to the capinuri tree (Maquira coriaceae), which is harvested for wood and resin. Inga spp. and Rheedia spp. (carichuelo) are collected for fruit.

Forests are managed by first cultivating agricultural fields, which are cleared and burned, crops are planted and some weeds are removed. After a few cycles of crops are harvested and yields decline, the field is allowed to return into a forest, but non-target species are again removed, as in a liberation thinning, in order to allocate more growing space to the high priority trees. Poorly formed Maquira coriaceae trees are harvested to allow greater light for the stronger individuals. Pruning is also conducted. As the Maquira coriaceae stands mature, the forest users continue to remove vines and lianas and kill competitor trees by fire and girdling (removal of bark and cambium in a ring around the base of the tree, causing the tree to lose water and become infested with insect and fungal predators). These practices are performed once every 6-8 years.

Studies found that capinuri forest management increased the amount of merchantable timber in the stand, in addition to increasing the total number of tree species, in comparison with unmanaged vareza forest. The authors compare this management system to the mawa’n forest patches of Kalimantan. Mawa’n patches are planted and more actively managed for fruit and rubber, while capinurales are naturally occurring and managed more for their timber.



Pinedo-Vasquez, M. & Padoch, C. 1996, "Managing Forest Remnants and Forest Gardens in Peru and Indonesia" in Forest Patches in Tropical Landscapes, eds. J. Schelhas & R. Greenberg, Island Press, Washington D.C., pp. 327-342.