INPA – Chiquitano forest

INPA – Chiquitano forest

This field station is located in the private property INPA of the company INPA Parket Ltda. The private property INPA has an area of 30,000 ha, and is located in the Ñuflo de Chávez province (16o6’S, 61o42’W) of the department of Santa Cruz , 40 km northeast of Concepción.
The average annual temperature is 24.3 ° C, but it can drop to 8 ° C when cold winds come from Argentina during the dry season. The average annual rainfall is 1,100 mm, with a dry season from May to October. During the dry season, 95% of canopy species lose their leaves.
Geologically, the area corresponds to the morphostructural unit of the Brazilian Precambrian shield. Soils are oxisols, poor in nutrients. The topography is varied, from slightly flat to wavy. There are no permanent water courses within the property.
The forest has been classified as Chiquitano dry forest according to the Holdrigde system. Some 115 species of trees with a diameter larger than 10 cm have been identified. The most abundant species Acosmium cardenasii, Casearia gossypiosperma, Caesalpinia pluviosa, Neea cf. steinbachii, Machaerium acutifolium, Anadenanthera macrocarpa, Piptadenia viridifolia and Centrolobium michrochaete. The diversity of species per ha is 52. The canopy is quite open, reaches a height of 18 m, with emergent trees up to 25 m in height. The density of individuals with diameter greater than 10 cm is 420 ha, and the basal area is 18.3 m2 per ha.
Lianas are a very common way of life in the forest. About 60% of trees with a diameter greater than 10 cm have some degree of infestation of vines.
The understory is very dense, with a great abundance of shrubs and lianas. Certain parts of the understory are dominated by a rhizotome terrestrial bromeliad, Pseudoananas sagenarius, which can form spots of up to 1 ha of surface.
Forestry exploitation
Although no anthropogenic soils have been found in INPA, remains of ceramics found on the property suggest that human settlements existed in the area in the past.
The property was used selectively in the 70s – 80s during the boom of the extraction of Machaerium scleroxylon, Schinopsis brasiliensis and Astronium urundeuva. It is probable that these species have been used previously in the area, since these species were used for the carving of columns of the churches of the Jesuit missions in the 18th century.
Currently the entire INPA property area is under forest management. A cutting cycle of 25 years has been defined, and the minimum cutting diameters of 50 cm are applied, as stipulated by the Forestry Superintendence. The annual areas of use have an area of ​​approximately 900 ha. The rest of the area has been designated as protection areas. The company considers that 17 species of the 115 species identified are commercial. However, only nine of those species are currently harvested in significant volumes. The management of the company has received the certificate of good management according to the criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council in 1999.
The Field Station

The field station has:

  • A house with kitchen, dining room, work area, rest area, and storage,
  • A set of bathrooms and showers,
  • Electrical installations (solar energy) and running water,
  • A weather station, communication radio with the head office,
  • Sites for camping, and
  • Basic equipment in the kitchen (refrigerator, stove, oven, basic kitchen utensils).

Destination Distance Transport Time
Santa Cruz – Concepción 300 km Public transport ($3 US) 5 hours
Concepción – Estación de campo IBIF 50 km IBIF Transportation 1.5 hours
Santa Cruz has an international airport (Viru Viru Internacional – VVI) with direct flights to various destinations in the Americas and with good connections to Europe.
Plants and animals

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