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NYBG launches Amazon Forest Program to help conserve Earth's largest intact forest
Date:2/2/2014

d to identify up to 800 trees a day in these mega-diverse forests, with no formal training and no resources other than his eyes and experience.

Garden and Brazilian scientists have designed a training course for mateiros that provides them with indispensable skills and links them to a network of human, institutional, and on-line resources. After successfully testing two pilot courses, the Garden and the Brazilian Forest Service have formed a partnership to offer the course to the field personnel of every concession that develops a management plan to operate in a national forest in Amazonia.

Part of the Moore Foundation grant will support these courses, which will be offered at a national system of vocational schools. The best mateiros will be tested, certified, and included in a database maintained by the Brazilian Forest Service that forest concessions and research institutes can use for hiring.

Develop Protocols and Resources for Forest Management Projects

The program will work closely with botanists at the major botanical research collections in Amazonia and at Brazil's national herbariuma repository of dried plant specimensat the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden to develop long-term resources and strategies for accurate tree identification, which will help ensure that knowledge of the Amazon's vast tree diversity is preserved.

Ultimately, the issue of accurate and consistent identification of tropical trees will be resolved with new technologies. In the foreseeable future, it will be possible to use a hand-held device to scan a leaf from a tree and identify its species. The Garden's Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory has been in the vanguard of developing techniques using DNA analysis, and Garden researchers will continue to test new technologies.

Contribute Baseline Knowledge of the Amazon Flora

The Garden is expanding its long-term research in southwestern Amazonia to include the s
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Contact: Stevenson Swanson
sswanson@nybg.org
718-817-8512
The New York Botanical Garden
Source:Eurekalert  

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