Medicinal and food potential of endemic species from the Natural Municipal Park of Niterói (PARNIT) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ID: 613 / 290
Proposed Symposium Title: Medicinal and food potential of endemic species from the Natural Municipal Park of Niterói (PARNIT) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Adriana Q. Lobão1
Odara H. Boscolo1
Selma R. de Paiva1
Affiliations: Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Plants represent a valuable source of substances beneficial to human health, and their importance as food and therapeutic resources is noteworthy. The Brazilian flora, the richest in the world, has been drastically reduced, mainly due to human actions. With increasing global environmental impacts, a significant portion of biodiversity is being lost before it is even known to science. Protected areas, especially those located in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, face obstacles stemming from both the lack of knowledge about the species that make up these plant communities and the scarcity of biological and ethnobotanical data that indicate potential medicinal and food uses of this flora. In this sense, the present study aimed to develop a floristic inventory for the Niterói Municipal Natural Park (PARNIT) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, focused on evaluating the medicinal and food potential of native species from the Atlantic Forest. The inventory was conducted through surveys in herbaria and field collections carried out in the Park. Identified species were categorized in terms of their potential for medicinal and food uses, habitus, cultivation data, and conservation status, with the aim of calculating the Medicinal and Food Potential Value (MFPV) associated with them. Prior to the study, 131 species were known for the entire area of PARNIT. After the survey, there are 427 species recorded for the area, with 221 being endemic to Brazil. A total of 97 families of vascular plants were found, with Fabaceae (40) as the largest in terms of diversity, while Myrtaceae (31) scores higher when only endemic species are considered. Preliminary assessments of species’ MFPV evidentiate the local flora’s potential to integrate Living Pharmacies and provide new, sustainable options for small farmers, positively impacting life quality for the population and the quality of ecosystem services provided.