U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology Vol. 12 No. 1, 77-84 2012; DOI: 10.2478/v10104-011-0041-4


The Pantanal is a major wetland in the inner South America, with the potential for production of large quantities of biomass of aquatic floating species, especially water hyacinth (Eicchornia crassipes and E. azurea), during the aquatic phase of the flood pulse characteristic for this ecosystem. Such biomass could be wisely managed for the production of biofuels. This should be based on the concepts of renewability and ecosystem surplus, and could help in neutralizing of regional and global industrial carbon impacts and to induce socioeconomic development. The aquatic biomass exploitation would require low fossil energy and materials inputs, leaving a positive energy balance, with minimal interference in the environment. This emerging biofuel-based economy in the Pantanal can be a good example of human adaptation to climatic changes by managing carbon export of natural wetlands. The concepts described herein could be used in other natural, restored or artificially constructed wetlands.