Quantifying Fruit Yields of a Major Forest Crop in Amazonia s Last Frontier Grant

Quantifying Fruit Yields of a Major Forest Crop in Amazonia s Last Frontier .


  • This dissertation research proposal aims to support Ms. Roxaneh S. Khorsand working under PI Dr. Suzanne Koptur to conduct research in Brazil on the reproductive biology of a particular non-timber forest product in Roraima, Brazil, namely the dioecious palm, Mauritia flexuosaa, also known as "buriti". Ms. Rozaneh will collaborate with two mentors in Brazil and share their laboratory facilities. They are: (a) Dr. Reinaldo Barbosa, a primary researcher at the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA); and (b) Dr. Silvana Buzato, an ecology professor and pollination specialist at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Graduate student Khorsand will also compare the palm's pollination and fruit set among undisturbed habitats and habitats fragmented by soy plantations. The ultimate goals of the research are to: 1) elucidate the pollination biology of this species; 2) quantify pollinator diversity in each habitat; and 3) determine if pollinators and fruit set differ across habitats, and if they do, identify the ecological and physiological causes of these differences. Furthermore, the study will examine the consequences of anthropogenic disturbance for the reproductive success of the species, including an anthropological component to gain a better understanding of the cultural and economic importance of the palm.

date/time interval

  • April 1, 2009 - March 31, 2012

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 0906083