SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Members of Instituto Juruá have been conducting research in Brazilian Amazonia over the last 30 years, approaching a wide range of topics from different knowledge areas.

Our research program focuses on the sustainable use and management of game, fisheries and other forest products by rural communities. We use multidisciplinary research techniques to assess conservation value and the socioeconomic and cultural benefits from community-based initiatives and sustainable-use protected areas.

We also assess the possible impacts of these activities on the ecology of the floodplain and upland forests. In addition, we have several research projects focused on the human dimension and the ecology and conservation of different taxonomic groups of animals and plants.

Thematic lines of our scientific research

ANIMAL ECOLOGY

Understanding the ecology of animal species in one of the most biodiverse biomes in the world is of great interest to Instituto Juruá researchers. For this reason, we have developed research on different animal taxa in contrasting várzea and terra firme forests, addressing patterns of species distribution, migration, reproductive ecology, trophic ecology, habitat use, and ecological interactions, among other interesting aspects. Some of the current research being developed in the mid-Juruá includes:

* Distribution and habitat use patterns in different types of forest, using genetic tools and acoustic ecology.
* Migration patterns of fish, mammals and birds.
* Trophic ecology of fish.
* Co-occurrence of competing species.
* Genetic variability of fish, mammals and birds.
* Ecological function of key species.

PLANT ECOLOGY

Understanding the ecology of plant species in one of the most biodiverse biomes in the world is of great interest to Instituto Juruá researchers. For this reason, we have developed research on different plant taxa in contrasting várzea and terra firme forests, addressing patterns of species distribution, population ecology, functional diversity, and plant-animal interaction networks. Some of the current research being developed in the mid-Juruá includes:

* Distribution patterns of plants species.
* Population ecology of key plant species.
* Carbon storage capacity of different plant species and forest types.
* Functional diversity of different forest types.
* Anthropic impacts on forest composition.
* Plant-animal interaction networks.
* Patterns of algal diversity using environmental DNA.

HUMAN ECOLOGY

Human ecology is a transdisciplinary science that integrates different fields of knowledge such as anthropology, biology, economics, geography, and socioecology. Researchers at Instituto Juruá are interested in understanding how cultural and psychological aspects of human beings affect their interaction with nature. Among the approaches used, the following stand out:

* Effect of culture on the use of natural resources.
* Strategies for harvesting natural resources by fishermen, hunters and extractivists.
* Human adaptation to climate change.
* Anthropic impacts on traditional communities.

CONSERVATION BIOLOGY

Instituto Juruá is an applied science organization, so most research has as a backdrop an important aspect for the conservation of biodiversity and traditional ways of life. One of Instituto Juruá’s flagships is the development of a basin-scale conservation model for the entire Juruá River, integrating rural communities located in areas demarcated by Protected Areas, communities living outside these areas, and communities in indigenous lands. Among the topics covered, the following stand out:

* Impacts of Protected Areas on biodiversity and traditional ways of life.
* Impact of community management on biodiversity conservation and local well-being.
* Cascade effects of hunting-induced defaunation on forest regeneration.
* Models of environmental governance.
* Implementation status of Protected Areas.
* Collaborative management of natural resources.

ETHNOBIOLOGY AND ETNOECOLOGY

Ethnobiology and ethnoecology are sciences that integrate traditional knowledge with scientific investigations, seeking to deepen biological and ecological knowledge from the perspective of different human cultures and the relationships they establish with the environment and living beings. This partnership of traditional and scientific knowledge is carried out by researchers from Instituto Juruá on the following fronts:

* Traditional knowledge applied to population ecology.
* Use of cultural species to promote conservation.
* Traditional knowledge and climate change.
* Traditional knowledge and ecology of key species.
* Biocultural conservation.

USE AND MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Environmental conservation through the sustainable use of natural resources is a great banner and strategy of Instituto Juruá. We operate a solid line of research to understand the patterns of use in hunting, fishing, extraction, participatory management and other forms of natural resource use. Among the topics developed by researchers, the following stand out:

* Ecological, economic and social impacts of natural resource use.
* Impact of natural resource use on the well-being of traditional communities.
* Impact of natural resource use on food security in traditional communities.
* Importance of natural resource use for cultural maintenance.
* Participatory construction of conservation models.
* Political analysis of the use of fauna by traditional populations.

ECONOMICS AND RURAL SOCIOLOGY

Socioeconomic factors are decisive for local sustainable development. For this reason, researchers at Instituto Juruá carry out scientific research on issues related to bioeconomy and rural sociology, such as income generation, factors that influence rural exodus, new economic opportunities and access to basic services such as health and education. Some of our current research includes:

* Impact of community management on the income of rural communities.
* Role of protected areas to curb rural exodus.
* Value chains of socio-biodiversity products.
* Economic impact of the natural resource use.
* Rural well-being and quality of life.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Ecosystem services are goods and services generated directly or indirectly by natural ecosystems that benefit human beings in different ways.

Research on ecosystem services is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of natural environments and the human impacts on them. Among the lines covered by Juruá Institute, the following stand out:

* Mapping of ecosystem services.
* Economic valuation of ecosystem services.
* Impacts of human activities on forest carbon stocks.