Tag Archives: Central America

Zonas de transferencia para Brosimum alicastrum en América Central

Zonas de transferencia recomendadas. Al restringir el movimiento de las plántulas o semillas a dentro de cada zona no debería haber ninguna erosión de la diversidad genética de Brosimum alicastrum. Imagen hecho por Tonya Lander

Como parte de un proyecto de la Iniciativa Darwin del Gobierno del Reino Unido (# 18-010) hemos recibido fundos para proporcionar herramientas de apoyo a la reforestación sostenible con Brosimum alicastrum. Brosimum alicastrum, conocido como Ramón,  ojoche, ojite, ojushte, ujushte, ujuxte, capomo, mojo, ox, iximche, masica, uje o mojote, es un árbol común en América Central, y es bastante utilizado para reforestación. El objetivo de nuestro trabajo era de proteger la diversidad genética de la especie y el carácter distintivo genética de las regiones, mientras que al mismo tiempo permitir que sea utilizado en reforestación y restauración. Para esto hemos realizado un estudio genética de la especie a través de su rango de distribución con especial énfasis en América Central, donde la especie es más común y donde la demanda de su uso en la reforestación es mayor.

Tonya Lander analizo los datos genéticos y con el uso de técnicas estadísticas pudo identificar áreas que eran genéticamente distintas unas de otras. Estos se caracterizan por líneas negras gruesas en el mapa de arriba. Le recomendamos que las semillas y plantas no se mueve de un área o zona a otra. Si se mueven de una zona a otra, una vez que alcanzan madurarse,  comienzan a liberar polen y producir frutos, lo que erosionará el carácter distintivo genético de esta zona. Afortunadamente, dado el tamaño de las zonas que hemos delimitado no debería afectar en gran medida la reforestación con Brosimum alicastrum en América Central.

Las zonas identifacad son:
1) México, Guatemala, Belice, El Salvador, Honduras & Nicaragua,
2) Costa Rica, Panamá y Colombia,
3) Las Antillas,
4) América do Sur excluyendo a Colombia.

Frutos de Brosimum alicastrum con la semilla saliendo. Normalmente pájaros y murcielogos comen la parte verde y solo cae las semillas por el suelo



Seed transfer zones for Brosimum alicastrum in Central America

Recommended seed transfer zones. By restricting the movement of seedlings or seed for restoration to within each zone there should be no erosion of Brosimum alicastrum’s genetic diversity. Image: Tonya Lander

As part of a recent grant from the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative (#18-010)  to provide tools to support sustainable reforestation with Brosimum alicastrum, a common tree in Central America, we have identified safe zones for seed and seedling transplantation. The aim is to protect the genetic diversity  of the species and the genetic distinctiveness of the regions whilst at the same time allowing it to be used in reforestation and restoration. To do so we undertook a genetic survey of the species across it’s range but with special emphasis on Central America where the species is most common and where demand for its use in reforestation is greatest.

Tonya Lander analysed the genetic data and using statistical techniques identified areas that were genetically distinct from each other. These are marked by thick black lines on the map above. We recommend that seeds and seedlings are not be moved from one area or zone to the next. If they are moved from one zone to the next, then once they reach maturity and begin to release pollen and produce fruits, this will erode the genetic distinctiveness of this area. Fortunately given the size of the zones this should not greatly impact ongoing reforestation in Central America.

The zones identified comprise:
1) Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras & Nicaragua,
2) Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia,
3) the Greater Antilles, and
4) South America excluding Colombia.

Fruits of Brosimum alicastrum showing the green fleshy sweet skin. Usually birds and bats eat the flesh whilst the fruit is on the tree causing the slippery seed to fall to the ground


‘Win-win-wins in conservation: presentation at UNESCO ‘Botanists of the 21st C’ Conference

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Brosimum alicastrum fruits with the fleshy skin that is consumed by bats and birds, and showing the large seed that drops to the forest floor where it can be harvested. Image by Erika Vohman.

I have been very lucky to present some of the work that Tonya Lander at Oxford University and I have been working on at the UNESCO ‘Botanists of the 21st C’ Conference in Paris. The work builds on a project whose aim was to provide scientific tools for the sustainable harvesting of the underutilized crop and tropical forest tree, Brosimum alicastrum that Tonya and myself undertook in association with the Maya Nut Institute and which was funded by the Darwin Initiative. Tonya and colleagues at Exeter and Oxford University developed a clever way of using investment risk data to help prioritise conservation actions. The basis of this was to use investment risk ratings as a surrogate for the risk of a conservation action failing because of corruption, lack of government infrastructure or capacity

Click here to see a pdf of the slides and notes

September 22, 11 am. Venue: Room IV, UNESCO Headquarters, 7 Place de Fontenoy, Paris, 75007, France

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Rural community dweller rinsing Brosimum alicastrum seeds collected from the forest floor. Image by Erika Vohman.

Maya Nut: not just an ordinary fruit (or nut)

Brosimum alicastrum  fruit
A ripe Maya Nut fruit, the sweet fleshy green outer layer of the fruit is consumed by bats, birds and monkeys leaving the intact seed to fall to the forest floor.

Our recent findings have lead us to develop a protocol which enables the storage of Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) seed for several months. As part of this we asked Wolfgang Stuppy from the Millennium Seed Bank to have a look at the anatomy of the fruit and seed to see whether we could get any insights into why it behaves as it does. As part of this work he came across some very interesting facts about the fruit and seed. Continue reading Maya Nut: not just an ordinary fruit (or nut)

Maya Nut: developing a storage protocol for a Central American famine food

Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) freshly harvested and roasted. Freshly harvested seeds as they are collected from the forest floor (pale brown, foreground) and after they have been roasted prior to being ground into a flour

Our recent findings have lead us to develop a protocol which enables the storage of Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) seed for several months. Since September 2012 Anaité López (Instituto Nacional de Bosques, Guatemala), Tim Marks (Millennium Seed Bank) and Wolfgang Stuppy (The Millennium Seed Bank) have been working at the Millennium Seed Bank to develop a long-term storage protocol for the seed of the Maya Nut tree (Brosimum alicastrum). Maya Nut is a significant famine food for the rural poor in northern Central America but at the moment it is not possible to store the seed for more than a couple of weeks. Previous posts have highlighted the observation that this seed does not survive for long in the wild and this has been believed to be a consequence of the seed’s very thin papery coat which leaves it vulnerable to desiccation and fungal attack .  Continue reading Maya Nut: developing a storage protocol for a Central American famine food