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Fruit Production of Attalea colenda (Arecaceae) in Coastal Ecuador: An Alternative Oil Resource?

Jan Peter Feil
Economic Botany
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1996), pp. 300-309
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4255847
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Fruit Production of Attalea colenda (Arecaceae) in Coastal Ecuador: An Alternative Oil Resource?
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Abstract

Attalea colenda is a monoecious palm found in pastures in coastal Ecuador. In dry regions, it is a valuable source of oil in self-sufficiency farming or in combination with cattle in pastures. The palm was studied over a gradient of dry to humid environments during two fruiting seasons. Palm growth, production of leaves, inflorescences, and infructescences, number of fruits per infructescence, and seed weight of five populations were evaluated. The individual of average size is 15 m tall, which corresponds to approximately 30-40 years of age. No difference in fruit production was recorded between wet and dry regions of coastal Ecuador. The average production of one hectare of pasture, with 50 palms, was 0.9 t of oil per year. One population that was part of an agroforestry system produced 50% more fruits than the average of all populations in pasture. /// Attalea colenda es una palma monoica que se encuentra en los pastizales de las zonas costeras del Ecuador. En las regiones secas, la palma es un valioso recurso de aceite para los granjeros a pequeña escala, o en combinación con el ganado en los pastizales. El estudio fué llevado a cabo sobre un gradiente de hábitats, de secos a húmedos, durante dos estaciones de fruitificación. Se evaluó el crecimiento de la palma, la producción de hojas, inflorescencias e infrutescencias, así como el número de frutos por infrutescencia y el peso de las semillas de cinco poblaciones diferentes. El tamaño medio de los individuos es 15 m de alto, el cuál corresponde aproximadamente a 30-40 años de edad. No se registró diferencia en la producción de frutos entre las regiones secas y húmedas costeras del Ecuador. La producción media de aceite, en una hectárea de pastizal con 50 palmas, fué de 0.9 t por año. Una de las poblaciones, que fué parte de un sistema agroforestal, produjo un 50% más de frutos que el término medio de todas las poblaciones de los pastizales.

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