USE AND CONSERVATION OF SPECIES IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTED AREA (EPA) IN BAIXADA MARANHENSE, EASTERN AMAZONIA, BRAZIL
AN ETHNOBOTANICAL STUDY OF A QUILOMBOLA COMMUNITY
The Amazon biome is a large region that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes, occurs in nine South American countries, and covers 69% of Brazil. This study was made between September 2019 and September 2020 and had the objective of learning about the ethnobotanical knowledge held by the Pericumã Quilombola community, in the municipality of Bequimão, in Baixada Maranhense, Maranhão State, Brazil. We conducted semi-structured, census-type interviews with the heads of households (men and women) who were 30 to 93 years old. The species were categorized according to their form of use in the community. To accomplish the objective, the value in use (VU), rarefaction curve and Chao1 for sample sufficiency of the research were used. A total of 144 vernacular names were cited, corresponding to 136 species, 109 genera and 46 families. The most cited forms of use were food and medicinal and the species with the highest VU were: babaçu, Attalea speciosa Mart. Ex Spreng.; mango, Mangifera indica L.; cashew, Anacardium occidentale L., due to its socioeconomic and cultural importance in Baixada Maranhense. For the conservation status, some of the species are classified under different threat categories, such as vulnerable (VU), least concern (LC) and near threatened (NT), demonstrating the importance of ethnobotanical and ecological studies in the region. The results showed that the Pericumã community has a vast knowledge about the local vegetation and its ways of use, highlighting the great floristic and cultural richness.