Tropical rain forests contain an incredible diversity of useful plant species.
Very little is known about the regeneration, growth, and productivity of these
wild plants, their market value, or their potential for sustainable exploitation
and management. My research attempts to provide this type of information by focusing
on the ecology and economics of promising tropical forest resources.
My studies have taken me to two of the largest, and least explored,
tropical forest regions in the world -- Amazonia and Borneo. I spent three
years in the lowland forests of Peru collecting and documenting the distribution,
fruiting phenology, and use of over 100 different forest fruit trees. During
the course of this fieldwork, I observed that many valuable fruit species
occur naturally in almost monospecific stands. Detailed ecological analysis
revealed that the density and productivity of these plant communities are
superior to those of many plantations.
An additional study conducted in Peru assessed the economic value of
the plant resources growing in a small tract of species-rich forest. The
results from this study, done in collaboration with botanists and economists,
showed that sustainable forest exploitation could actually yield higher
net revenues than more destructive forms of land-use such as logging or
conversion to cattle pastures.
Since 1990, I have been conducting ecological studies on the native
fruits and oilseeds of Borneo. My current research focuses on the development
of sustainable management plans for a 130,000 hectare community forest
reserve in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Email Address: email@example.com
- The Kate E. Tode Curator of Botany, Institute of Economic Botany.
Ph.D. Yale University (1986).
Associate Scientist, Programa Formacion Academic Instituto Nacional da
Investigacion sobre Recursos Bioticos (INIREB) in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
Research Associate, Institute of Economic Botany, The New York Botanical
Garden (1984-1989); Assistant Scientist (1990-1995); Associate Curator
- Peters, C.M., M.J. Balick, F. Kahn, and A. Anderson. 1989. "Oligarchic
forests of economic plants in Amazonia: Utilization and conservation of an
important tropical forest resource." Conservation Biology. 3: 341-349.
- Peters, C.M., A. Gentry and R. Mendelsohn. 1989. "Valuation of a tropical
forest in Peruvian Amazonia." Nature. 339: 655-657.
- Peters, C.M. 1990. "Population ecology and management of forest fruit trees
in Peruvian Amazonia." In: A. Anderson, ed. Alternatives to Deforestation
in Amazonia: Steps Toward Sustainable Use of Amazonian Rainforest. Columbia
- Peters, C.M. 1992. "The ecology and economics of oligarchic Amazonian forests."
Advances in Economic Botany 9:15-22.
- Peters, C.M. 1994. Sustainable Harvest of Non-timber Plant Resources
in Tropical Moist Forest: An Ecological Primer. Biodiversity Support Program,