Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Bradley C. Bennett

Second Advisor's Name

David W. Lee

Third Advisor's Name

Jack F. Fisher

Date of Defense



The aerial roots of Heteropsis flexuosa (Kunth) Bunting, a hemi-epiphyte, are harvested by indigenous communities in Guyana for a developing wicker furniture market. Nibbi roots have potential as a sustainably harvested product, but there is little data to guide management. I examined nibbi biology, harvest response, product yield and use at several forest sites. H. flexuosa is a relatively abundant plant and 35% of trees (≥ 10 cm dbh) in plots were hosts. Stems exhibited mean growth rates of 1-3 cm per month. Aerial roots grew a mean 156 cm per month and some reached maturity within 6 months. With present methods, harvest does not decimate populations because 97% of colonized trees possess few harvestable roots. But, only 28% of cut roots re-generated in experiments. For indigenous harvesters at Manawarin village, nibbi harvesting is a primary source of cash income and is important in daily subsistence.



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