September 2014 Newsletter

Letter from IPS Grant Recipient Joanna Tucker Lima 

Photo of researcher Joanna Tucker Lima with Attalea speciosa

The society’s support through the Endowment was very important to the success of my research and continuing love and investigation of palms. Here follows a brief description of my research associated with the IPS grant. Thank you!
Biofuels represent a promising resource for isolated rural areas of Amazonia, where poor accessibility has slowed electrification, and high fuel prices limit transportation of people and goods. My study evaluated the potential of two native palm species in southwestern Amazonia as a source of biofuel and generates ecological knowledge to facilitate sustainable management of these species for oil extraction. I compared flowering and fruiting phenologies of Attalea phalerata and Attalea speciosa in pastures and old growth forests of Acre and Rondônia, Brazil, and measured palm densities, fruit characteristics, and fruit oil content to assess biofuel potential.
Findings showed that Attalea palms can produce sufficient oil to substitute petroleum-based fuels in remote Amazonian communities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the conservation value of
standing forest and the adoption of agroforestry systems.

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