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Adaptive Strategies of Two Caboclos Populations (Pará, Brazil) to the Estuarine and Seasonal Floodplain Ecosystems: a comparative analysis

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Cristina Adams
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Walter Alves Neves; Célia Regina Tomiko Futemma; Jean Paul Walter Metzger; Rui Sergio Sereni Murrieta; Renate Brigitte Viertler
Advisor: Walter Alves Neves

A comparative study of the biological well being of two Amazonian caboclo populations situated in the Amazon Basin, in two different ecosystems (seazonal and estuarine várzeas), was undertaken. The main objective was to evaluate if the basin typology proposed for the Amazon region (Sioli 1984), based on the kind of water (clear, white, black), could explain the variability in biological well being among caboclo populations. Nutritional status was used as an indicator of well being, and was assessed with the use of food intake and anthropometry. Two hypothesis were tested: (1) caboclo populations living in the same basin do not show significant differences in nutritional status; (2) local ecological differences affect the nutritional status of caboclo populations living in the same basin. The conclusions were: (1) caboclo populations living in different ecosystems in the Amazon basin show significant differences in nutritional status; (2) caboclo populations living within the same ecosystem show some differences in nutritional status; (3) the populations investigated are affected by chronic undernutrition, that cannot be explained only in terms of insufficient food intake; (4) acute undernutrition was not observed; (5) caboclo’s basic diet, consisting of fish and manioc as staple foods, is adequate in terms of protein intake, but slightly insufficient in terms of energy intake; (6) women may be more buffered than man against environmental variations in food availability; (7) environmental causes alone are not enough to explain differences in the nutritional well being of caboclo populations, and other factors should be considered (historical, cultural, political and economical). (AU)