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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350385

Research Project: Conservation, Genetic Analyses, and Utilization of Subtropical/Tropical Fruit Crops, Sugarcane, and Miscanthus Genetic Resources

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: A review of the palm genus Acrocomia: Neotropical green gold

Author
item De Lima, Natacia - Universidade De Ribeirao Preto
item Carvalho, Alexandre - Brazil University
item Meerow, Alan
item Manfrin, Maura - Universidade De Ribeirao Preto

Submitted to: Organisms Diversity and Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2018
Publication Date: 5/25/2018
Citation: De Lima, N.E., Carvalho, A.A., Meerow, A.W., Manfrin, M.H. 2018. A review of the palm genus Acrocomia: Neotropical green gold. Organisms Diversity and Evolution. 18:151-161.

Interpretive Summary: The genus Acrocomia, popularly known as macaw palm or macaúba, occurs in savanna areas and open forests of tropical America, with distribution from Central to southern South America. They are important oil palm trees, due to their role in ecosystems, local economies, and their potential for biofuel production and vegetable oil. Although the taxonomy of the genus is not resolved because of morphological diversity in A. aculeata, there are several conflicting treatments. Some authors recognize three tree-like species occurring in South America: A. aculeata, A. intumescens, and A. totai, although a new one was described recently (A. corumbaensis). Because some Latin American governments want to expand production of macaw palm in their territory as raw material for agro-energy, several groups have been encouraged to study this genus, focusing on the production of biodiesel, seed germination, phenotypic aspects, and genetic diversity. The goal of this review is to compile key information available in the literature and herbarium data, focusing on South American populations of the genus.

Technical Abstract: The genus Acrocomia, popularly known as macaw palm or macaúba, occurs in savanna areas and open forests of tropical America, with distribution from Central to southern South America. They are important oleaginous palm trees, due to their role in ecosystems, local economies, and their potential for biofuel production and vegetable oil. Although the taxonomy of the genus is not resolved because of observed phenotypic diversity in A. aculeata (Jacq.) Lodd. ex Mart., there are several conflicting treatments. Some authors recognize three caulescent spp. occurring in South America: A. aculeata, A. intumescens Drude, and A. totai Mart, although a new one was described recently - Acrocomia corumbaensis. Because some Latin American governments want to expand production of macaw palm in their territory as raw material for agro-energy, several groups have been encouraged to study this genus, focusing on the production of biodiesel, seed germination, phenotypic aspects, and genetic diversity. The goal of this review is to compile key information available in the literature and herbarium data, focusing on South American populations of the genus.