Trees in the genus Carapa offer many ecological and economical services to two categories of users: animals and human beings. On the one hand, fruit and seeds are a staple food sources for frugivores and granivores, among them the main seed dispersers, i.e. rodents in the neottropics, and rodents and elephants in the paleotropics, which allow seedling recruitment and survival of both plants and animals on the long term. On the other hand, tree produce timber and non-timber forest products for usage of human beings. The later users of Carapa are thus dependent on the former for renewed resource supply on the long term. Overharvesting of those resources, wildlife and/or fruit and seeds, as well as non-selective logging of trees will lead to short-term extinction of species unable to recruit.
Seeds are collected by indigenous who extract oil used as repellent, in ethnomedecine or cosmetics. Here, Carapa oil and soap produced with Carapa guianensis by Maria Gonsalves (Waini River,Guyana). (c) Pierre-Michel Forget, November 2005.
Fusée-Aublet, J. B. C. (1775) Histoire des plantes de la Guiane françoise. Chez Pierre-François Didot jeune. Google Book