Palmito-jussara (Euterpe edulis) is a key element for the survival of more than 50 bird and mammal species in the Atlantic Forest along the Brazilian coast range. The main thretas to its conservation are:
Jussara palms take about 8 years to reach maturity and produce fruit. These are used for pulp in the same way as its Amazon cousin assaí or açaí. The pulp is also used for juice, especially combined with other fruits. But at least half of the fruits should be left on the palms for native animals such as toucans, and forest conservation!
Imperial palms (Roystonea oleracea), native to the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, Colombia, and Venezuela, and Australian royal palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana) have been widely planted as ornamentals in coastal areas in Paraná state. Apart from using the same habitat as jussara palms, these non-native palms produce fruits that are dispersed by many of the same jussara dispersers, whose ecological role is to disperse jussara fruits. Many non-native seeds germinate and establish invasive populations in forest areas, directly competing with jussara palms for space, seed dispersers, and other resources.
These non-native palms are invasive in forest ecosystems: populations grow by excluding native plants from their natural habitat and making intensive use of available resources. Non-native species lack natural predators, which facilitates their establishment and competition with native species. The cultivation of invasive palms directly impacts jussara palms and the sustainability of many native species in the Atlantic Forest. As a result, biodiversity loss leads to cascading effects such as disruption of ecological processes over time.
Plant jussara palms in their native range: contribute to the sustenance of native animals in the Atlantic Forest and to maintain forest health.
Replace royal and imperial palm trees in your property with jussara palms: contribute to restoring and conserving the natural landscape in this beautiful region.
Where can you find jussara seedlings?
The state-owned nursery (Instituto Água e Terra) in Morretes has been producing large quantities of jussara seedlings for regional use. Seedlings are donated up to a certain quantity per person. The nursery is located on Estrada de Santa Fé, 600, not far from the center of Morretes.
Where to plant?