Skip to Main Content
Indigenous Knowledge Informing Management of Tropical Forests: The Link between Rhythms in Plant Secondary Chemistry and Lunar Cycles.Author(s): Kristiina A. Vogt; Karen H. Beard; Shira Hammann; Jennifer O’Hara Palmiotto; Daniel J. Vogt; Frederick N. Scatena; Brooke P. Hecht
Source: Ambio Vol. 31 No. 6, Sept. 2002
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (365 B)
DescriptionThis research used knowledge of the indigenous practice of timing nontimber forest product harvest with the full moon to demonstrate that chemicals controlling the decomposition rate of foliage fluctuate with the lunar cycle and may have developed as a result of plant-herbivore interactions. Indigenous knowledge suggests that leaves harvested during the full moon are more durable. Palm leaves harvested during the full moon had higher total C, hemicellulose, complex C and lower Ca concentrations. These chemical changes should make palm leaves less susceptible to herbivory and more durable when harvested during the full moon. This study proposes a mechanism by which plants in the tropics minimize foliage herbivory and influence the decomposition rates of senesced leaves and their durability, especially during the full moon. This research supports the need to use natural life cycles in managing forests and provides a scientific basis for an indigenous community’s harvesting practice.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationVogt, Kristiina A.; Beard, Karen H.; Hammann, Shira; O’Hara Palmiotto, Jennifer; Vogt,Daniel J.; Scatena, Frederick N.; Hecht, Brooke P. 2002. Indigenous Knowledge Informing Management of Tropical Forests: The Link between Rhythms in Plant Secondary Chemistry and Lunar Cycles. Ambio Vol. 31 No. 6, Sept. 2002
- Long-term response of Caribbean palm forests to hurricanes
- Separating the effects of forest type and elevation on the diversity of litter invertebrate communities in a humid tropical forest in Puerto Rico.
- Competition from below for light and nutrients shifts productivity among tropical species
XML: View XML