Brazilian Pine (Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) Kuntze) Ethnoecology in the Mantiqueira Atlantic Forest

ABSTRACT Araucaria angustifolia is under the domain of the Atlantic Forest, classified as Mixed Ombrophilous Forest (FOM). It is a native species critically threatened due to the intense exploration, to the point of exhaustion, of its natural reserves. This study aims to present the ethnoecological knowledge regarding this species in a community located in the Mantiqueira Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil, contrasting the results with information gathered in the literature. Brazilian Pine is a symbol of the local Pine Forest, and it is the most represented species in use categories. The ethnoecological survey included structured interviews with 20 key informers and 10 local artisans. Results indicated that the species is under strong pressure due to its exploration and use in the region; however, they also indicated that popular wisdom should be valued and applied as an effective tool for the conservation of this species. Sustainable management of the Araucaria Forests as a resource should be valued as an alternative to this objective.