The agroecology power: how the environmental representation and management of leaf­cutting ants by peasants from Assentamento Dênis Gonçalves can be transformed



Ethnobiology, Ethnoentomology, Social Movements, Socioeconomic Factors


The relationship between human beings and leaf-cutting ants is secular and emerged along with the agricultural practices for food production. The environmental representation of peasants about leaf-cutting ants may be related to their country life background, implying directly on the control method used by them to reduce agricultural losses. In this context, it was investigated the relationship between the peasants' socioeconomic profile with their environmental representations about leaf-cutting ants and used control methods. Eighty families from Assentamento Dênis Gonçalves (Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement) were interviewed, in order to socioeconomically characterize them and ask if they know the term agroecology, what are leaf-cutting ants, their ecological function and used control method. Two profiles were identified, one composed by older peasants who had never studied, did not know the term agroecology, had a negative conception about leaf-cutting ants and used commercial formicides. The second profile was constituted by peasants with the opposite characteristics of the first. Agroecology concepts and practices seem to have a high potential to change environmental representations about leaf-cutting ants and used control methods in the studied area. By comprehending the leaf-cutting ants’ role in the ecosystem a gradative transition to alternative control methods rather than the commercial ones was observed. This gradual transition enables a better relationship between ADG peasants and leaf-cutting ants. The organic compounds commonly used are clues to the urgent search for a sustainable leaf-cutting ant control method.

Author Biographies

Thiago da Silva Novato, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora

MirmecoLab, PPG em Ciências Biológicas: Comportamento e Biologia Animal, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), CEP: 36036-900, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil

Gustavo Taboada Soldati, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco

PPG em Etnobiologia e Conservação da Natureza, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), CEP: 52171-900 Recife, PB, Brazil

Juliane Lopes, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora

MirmecoLab, PPG em Ciências Biológicas: Comportamento e Biologia Animal, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), CEP: 36036-900, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil


Abreu DBO, Santoro FR, Albuquerque UP, Ladio AH, Medeiros PM (2015) Medicinal plant knowledge in a context of cultural pluralism: A case study in Northeastern Brazil. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 175: 124-130

Ahsan DA (2011) Farmers’ motivations, risk perceptions and risk management strategies in a developing economy: Bangladesh experience. Journal Risk Research 14: 325-349

Ahuatzin DA, Corro EJ, Jaimes AA, Valenzuela González JE, Feitosa RM, Ribeiro MC, Acosta JCL, Coates R, Dáttilo W (2019) Forest cover drives leaf litter ant diversity in primary rainforest remnants within human-modified tropical landscapes. Biodiversity and Conservation doi:10.1007/s10531-019-01712-z

Alavanja MCR, Bonner MR (2012) Occupational pesticide exposures and cancer risk: A review. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part B Critical Reviews 15: 238-263

Altieri MA (2004) Linking ecologists and traditional farmers in the search for sustainable agriculture. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2(1): 35-42

Altieri MA, Anderson MK, Merrick LC (1987) Peasant Agriculture and the Conservation of Crop and Wild Plant Resources. Conservation Biology 1(1):49-58

Altieri MA, Nicholls CI (2012) Agroecology scaling Up for Food Sovereignty and Resiliency. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5449-2_1

Altieri MA, Toledo VM (2011) The agroecological revolution in Latin America: rescuing nature, ensuring food sovereignty and empowering peasants. Journal of Peasant Studies 38(3): 587-612

Anderson EN (2011) Ethnobiology and Agroecology. In: Anderson EN, Pearsall DM, Hunn ES, Turner NJ (eds) Ethnobiology. 1 ed. Wiley-Blackwell, United States of America, pp. 305-318

Antwi FB, Reddy GVP (2015) Toxicological effects of pyrethroids on non-target aquatic insects. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 40(3): 915-923

Arévalo-Marín E, Lima JRF, Palma ARTP, Lucena RFP, Da Cruz DD (2015) Traditional Knowledge in a Rural Community in the Semiarid Region of Brazil: Age and gender patterns and their implications for plant conservation. Ethnobotany Research and Applications 14: 331-344

Balestro MV, Sauer S (2013) A diversidade no rural, transição agroecológica e caminhos para a superação da Revolução Verde: introduzindo o debate. In: Balestro MV, Sauer S (eds) Agroecologia e os desafios da Transição Agroecológica. 2 ed. Expressão popular, São Paulo, pp. 7-15

Barbosa LP (2015) Educação do Campo, movimentos sociais e a luta pela democratização da Educação Superior: Os desafios da universidade pública no Brasil. In: Silva AA, Atairo D, Camou A, Romo AD, García MD, Barbosa LP, Rubio DMH, Lizarazo RP, Satizabal GAA, Menomi AC, Takayanagui ADL (eds) Los desafíos de la universidad pública en América Latina y el Caribe. 1 ed. Clacso, Buenos Aires, pp. 147-212

Barbosa LP (2016) Educação do Campo [Education for and by the countryside] as a political project in the context of the struggle for land in Brazil. The Journal of Peasant Studies 44(1): 118-143

Barbosa LP, Rosset PM (2017) Movimentos sociais e educação do campo na américa latina: Aprendizagens de um percurso histórico. Revista Práxis Educacional 13(26): 22-48

Barcellos SB (2009) A formação discursiva agroecológica do MST: O caso do assentamento Santa Rosa - RS. Revista Brasileira de Agroecologia 4(2): 2059-2062

Bergfjord OJ (2013) Farming and risk attitude. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 25(7): 555-561

Berlin B (1992) Ethnobiological classification. Principles of categorization of plants and animals in traditional societies. 1 ed. Princeton University Press, Princeton, EUA

Boff MIC, Giesel A, Fernandes P, Boff P, Rosa JM (2011) Percepção dos agricultores em relação as formigas cortadeiras no Planalto Serrano Catarinense. Resumos do VII Congresso Brasileiro de Agroecologia 6(2): 1-5

Borsatto RS, Carmo MS (2013) A construção do discurso Agroecológico no Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST). Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural 51(4): 645-660

Branstetter MG, Jesovnik A, Sosa-Calvo J, Lloyd MW, Faircloth BC, Brady SG, Schultz TR (2017) Dry habitats were crucibles of domestication in the evolution of agriculture in ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 1-10

Brumer A (2008) Gender Relations in Family-Farm Agriculture and Rural-Urban Migration in Brazil. Latin American Perspectives 35(6): 11-28

Brzozowski L, Mazourek M (2018) A Sustainable Agricultural Future Relies on the Transition to Organic Agroecological Pest Management. Sustainability 10(6):1-23

Cabral DC (2015) Into the bowels of tropical earth: leaf-cutting ants and the colonial making of agrarian Brazil. Journal of Historical Geography 50: 90-105

Caldart RS (2004) Pedagogia do Movimento Sem-Terra. 1 ed. Expressão Popular, São Paulo, Brasil

Campos JLA, Feitosa IS, Albuquerque UP (2019) Population Ecology of Plant Species Subjected to Extractivism: Collection and Data Analysis Methods. In: Albuquerque UP, Cunha LVFC, Lucena RFP, Alves RRN, (eds). Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology. 2ed. Humana Press, Recife, pp.


Campos JLA, Lima AE, Gaoue OG, Albuquerque UP (2019) Socioeconomic Factors and Cultural Changes Explain the Knowledge and Use of Ouricuri Palm (Syagrus coronata) by the Fulni–ô Indigenous People of Northeast Brazil. Economic Botany 73(2): 187-189

Campos LZO, Albuquerque UP, Peroni N, Araújo EL (2015) Do socioeconomic characteristics explain the knowledge and use of native food plants in semiarid environments in Northeastern Brazil? Journal of Arid Environments 115: 53-61

Caporal FR (2013) Em defesa de um Plano Nacional de Transição Agroecológica: compromisso com as atuais e nosso legado para as futuras gerações. In: Balestro MV, Sauer S (eds) Agroecologia e os desafios da Transição Agroecológica. 2 ed. Expressão popular, São Paulo, pp. 261-303

Carter M (2010) The Landless Rural Workers Movement and Democracy in Brazil. Latin American Research Review 45(4): 186-217

Carvalho NMA (2018) Entre Fazenda Fortaleza de Sant’Anna e Assentamento Dênis Gonçalves. MSc. dissertação, Universidade Federal da Bahia 368 p. Dissertação de Mestrado. Bahia: Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil

Cassino MF, Alves RP, Levis C, Watling J, Junqueira AB, Shock MP, Ferreira MJ, Andrade VLC, Furquim LP, Coelho SD, Tamanaha EK, Neves EG, Clement CR (2019) Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology Applied to Historical Ecology. In: Albuquerque UP, Cunha LVFC, Lucena RFP, Alves RRN, (eds). Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology. 2ed. Humana Press, Recife, pp. 187-208

Chappell MJ, LaValle L (2009) Food security and biodiversity: can we have both? An agroecological analysis. Agriculture and Human Values 28(1): 3-26

Colombo AV, Barbosa CHR (2007) História e Patrimônio na Fazenda da Fortaleza de Sant’Anna. In: Silva WD (ed). Aspectos Históricos e Culturais do Município de Goianá. 1ed. Compact Disc, Viçosa, pp.30-40

Conway JM (2018) When food becomes a feminist issue: popular feminism and subaltern agency in the World March of Women. International Feminist Journal of Politics 20(2): 188-203

Cordeiro EMG, Corrêa AS, Venzon M, Guedes RNC (2010) Insecticide survival and behavioral avoidance in the lacewings Chrysoperla externa and Ceraeochrysa cubana. Chemosphere, 81(10): 1352-1357

Costa Neto EM, Rodrigues RMFR (2005). As formigas (Insecta: Hymenoptera) na concepção dos moradores de Pedra Branca, Santa Terezinha, Estado da Bahia, Brasil. Boletín Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa (37): 353-364

Da Silva RH, De Medeiros PM, Júnior WSF, Albuquerque UP (2017) Human mnesic performance in a survival scenario: the application of the adaptive memory concept in ethnobiology. Ethnobiology and Conservation 6(9): 1-6

De Andrade M (1928) Macunaíma o herói sem nenhum caracter. 1 ed. Oficinas Gráficas de Eugenio Cupolo, São Paulo, Brasil

De Arruda HLS, dos Santos JFO, Albuquerque UP, Ramos MA (2019) Influence of Socioeconomic Factors on the Knowledge and Consumption of Firewood in the Atlantic Forest of Northeast Brazil. Economic Botany 73(1): 1-12

De Britto JL, Forti LC, De Oliveira MA, Zanetti R, Wilcken CF, Zanuncio JC, Loeck AE, Caldato N, Nagamoto NS, Lemes PG, Camargo RS (2016) Use of alternatives to PFOS, its salts and PFOSF for the control of leaf-cutting ants Atta and Acromyrmex. International Journal of Research in Environmental Studies 3(2):11-96

Della Lucia TMC, Gandra LC, Guedes RN (2014) Managing leaf-cutting ants: peculiarities, trends and challenges. Pest Management Science 70(1): 14-23

Devine GJ, Furlong MJ (2007) Insecticide use: Contexts and ecological consequences. Agriculture and Human Values 24(3): 281-306

Dohm C, Leal IR, Tabarelli M, Meyer ST, Wirth R (2011) Leaf-cutting ants proliferate in the Amazon: an expected response to forest edge? Journal of Tropical Ecology 27(6): 645-649

Duong T, Brewer T, Luck J, Zander K (2019) A Global Review of Farmers’ Perceptions of Agricultural Risks and Risk Management Strategies. Agriculture 9(1): 1-16

Duru M, Therond O, Fares M (2015) Designing agroecological transitions; a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35(4): 1237-1257

Edelman M (2014) Food sovereignty: forgotten genealogies and future regulatory challenges. The Journal of Peasant Studies 41(6): 959-978

Escobar A (1998) Whose Knowledge, Whose nature? Biodiversity, Conservation, and the Political Ecology of Social Movements. Journal of Political Ecology (5): 53-82

Espinosa MM, Bieski IGC, Martins DTO (2014) Sampling in Ethnobotanical Studies of Medicinal Plants. In: Albuquerque UP, Cunha LVFC, Lucena RFP, Alves RRN, (eds) Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology. 1ed. Humana Press, Recife, pp.197-212

Fang J, Liu H, Zhao H, Wong M, Xu S, Cai Z (2018) Association of prenatal exposure to organochlorine pesticides and birth size. Science of The Total Environment 654: 678-683

Farji-Brener AG, Illes AE (2000) Do leaf-cutting ant nests make" bottom-up" gaps in neotropical rain forests? A critical review of the evidence. Ecology Letters 3: 219-227

Ferguson BG, Morales H (2010) Latin American Agroecologists Build a Powerful Scientific and Social Movement. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 34(4): 339-341

Foley JA, Ramankutty N, Brauman KA, Cassidy ES, Gerber JS, Mueller ND, O’Connell C, Ray DR, West PC, Balzer C, Bennett EM, Carpenter SR, Hill J, Monfreda C, Polasky S, Rockstro J, Sheehan J, Siebert S, Tilman D, Zacks DPM (2011) Solutions for a cultivated planet. Nature 478 (7369): 337-342

Folke C (2004) Traditional Knowledge in Social–Ecological Systems. Ecology and Society 9(3): 1-7

Forti LC, Nagamoto NS, Ramos VM, Andrade APP, Lopes JFS, Camargo RS, Moreira AA, Boaretto MAC (2003) Eficiencia de sulfluramida, fipronil y clorpirifoscomo sebos en el control de Atta capiguara Gonçalves (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pasturas Tropicales 25: 28-35

Fowler HG, Pagani MI, da Silva OA, Forti LC, da Silva VP, de Vasconcelos HL (1989) A pest is a pest is a pest? The dilemma of neotropical leaf-cutting ants: Keystone taxa of natural ecosystems. Environmental Management 13(6): 671-675

Gibbons D, Morrissey C, Mineau P (2015) A review of the direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on vertebrate wildlife. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22(1): 103-118

Gilljam JL, Leonel J, Cousins IT, Benskin JP (2016a) Is ongoing Sulfluramid use in South America a significant source of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)? Production inventories, environmental fate, and local occurrence. Environmental Science & Technology 50: 653-659

Gilljam JL, Leonel J, Cousins IT, Benskin JP (2016b) Additions and correction to is on going Sulfluramid use in South America a significant source of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)? Production inventories, environmental fate, and local occurrence. Environmental Science & Technology 50: 7930-7933

Gliessman S (2016) Transforming food systems with agroecology. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 40(3): 187-189

Guimarães AP (1977) Quatro séculos de latifúndio. 4 ed. Paz e Terra, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Guimarães ES (2009) Economia autônoma de escravos nas grandes fazendas cafeeiras do sudeste. America Latina en la Historía Económica 32: 155-187

Hendges C, Schiller AP, Manfrin J, Macedo EK, Gonçalves AC, Stangarlin JR (2019) Human intoxication by agrochemicals in the region of South Brazil between 1999 and 2014. Journal of Environmental Science and Health 54(4): 219-225

Hernández AF, Gil F, Lacasaña M, Rodríguez-Barranco M, Tsatsakis AM, Requena M, Parrón T, Alarcón R (2013) Pesticide exposure and genetic variation in xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes interact to induce biochemical liver damage. Food and Chemical Toxicology 61: 144-151

Husson F, Sebastien L, Jérôme P (2017) Exploratory Multivariate Analysis by Example Using R. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, Florida: Chapman Hall/CRC

Intriago R, Gortaire Amézcua R, Bravo E, O’Connell C (2017) Agroecology in Ecuador: historical processes, achievements, and challenges. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 41: 311–328

Kassambara A (2017) Multiple Correspondence Analysis. In: Kassambara A (eds) Practical Guide To Principal Component Methods in R (Multivariate Analysis Book 2). 1 ed., pp. 83-106

Kassambara A, Mundt F (2017) Factoextra: Extract and Visualize the Results of Multivariate Data Analyses. R package version 1.0.5, Available from [] Acessed 04 September 2019

Kloppenburg J (1991) Social Theory and the De/Reconstruction of Agricultural Science: Local Knowledge for an Alternative Agriculture. Rural Sociology 56(4):519-548.

Kremen C, Iles A, Bacon C (2012) Diversified Farming Systems: An Agroecological, Systems-based Alternative to Modern Industrial Agriculture. Ecology and Society 17(4): 44

Lang D, Chien G (2018) wordcloud2: Create Word Cloud by 'htmlwidget'. R package version 0.2.1. Available from [ Accessed 24/01/2020

Le S, Josse J, Husson F (2008) FactoMineR: An R Package for Multivariate Analysis. Journal of Statistical Software 25(1): 1-18

Leal IR, Wirth R, Tabarelli M (2014) The Multiple Impacts of Leaf-Cutting Ants and Their Novel Ecological Role in Human-Modified Neotropical Forests. Biotropica 46(5): 516-528

Letourneau DK, Armbrecht I, Rivera BS, Lerma JM, Carmona EJ, Daza MC, Escobar S, Galindo V, Gutiérrez C, López SD, Mejía JL, Rangel AMC, Rangel JH, Rivera L, Saavedra CA, Torres AM, Trujillo AR (2011) Does plant diversity benefit agroecosystems? A synthetic review. Ecological Applications 21:9-21

Liere H, Jha S, Philpott SM (2017) Intersection between biodiversity conservation, agroecology, and ecosystem services. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 41(7): 723-760

Lourençato LB, Favaretto N, Hansel FA, Scheer AP, Junior LFLL, Souza LCD, Dieckow J, Buch AC (2014) Effects on Water Quality of Pesticide use in Farmland Under Intensive Soil Management in Southern Brazil. International Journal of Plant and Soil Science 5(3): 155-166

Lunelli NP, Ramos MA, Oliveira Júnior CJF (2016) Do gender and age influence agroforestry farmers’ knowledge of tree species uses in an area of the Atlantic Forest, Brazil? Acta Botanica Brasilica 30(4): 667-682

Maria S, Carvalho G, Mendes JE (2011) The University and the Landless Movement in Brazil: The Experience of Collective Knowledge Construction through Educational Projects in Rural Areas. In: Motta SC, Nilsen AG (eds) Social Movements in the Global South. 1ed. Rethinking International Development Series, London, pp.131-149

Mariconi FAM (1970) As saúvas. 1 ed. Editora Agronômica Ceres, São Paulo, Brasil

Martínez-Torres ME, Rosset PM (2014) Diálogo de saberes in La Vía Campesina: food sovereignty and agroecology María. The Journal of Peasant Studies 41(6): 979-997

McCune N, Reardon J, Rosset P (2014) Agroecological formación in rural social movements. Radical Teacher 98: 31-37

McCune N, Rosset PM, Cruz Salazar T, Morales H, Saldívar Moreno A (2017) The Long Road: Rural Youth, Farming and Agroecological Formación in Central America. Mind, Culture and Activity 24(3): 183-198

Meek D (2014) Agroecology and Radical Grassroots Movements’ Evolving Moral Economies. Environment and Society 5(1): 47-65

Meek D (2015a) The cultural politics of the agroecological transition. Agriculture and Human Values 33(2): 275-290

Meek D (2015b) Towards a political ecology of education: the educational politics of scale in southern Pará, Brazil. Environmental Education Research 21(3): 447-459

Meek D (2015c) Taking research with its roots: restructuring schools in the Brazilian landless workers’ movement upon the principles of a political ecology of education. Journal of Political Ecology 22(1): 410-428

Miranda RS (2013) Ecologia política e processos de territorialização. Revista Sociedade e Estado 28(1): 142-161

Molina M, Freitas HA (2011) Avanços e desafios na construção da Educação do Campo. Em Aberto 24: 17-31

Montoya-Lerma J, Giraldo-Echeverri C, Armbrecht I, Farji-Brener A, Calle Z (2012) Leaf-cutting ants revisited: Towards rational management and control. International Journal of Pest Management 58(3): 225-247

Nascimento L, Melnyk A (2016) A química dos pesticidas no meio ambiente e na saúde. Revista Mangaio Acadêmico 1(1): 54-61

Nascimento RA, Nunoo DBO, Bizkarguenaga E, Schultes L, Zabaleta I, Benskin JP, Spanó S, Leonel J (2018) Sulfluramid use in Brazilian agriculture: A source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to the environment. Environmental Pollution 242: 1436-1443

Ollivier G, Magda D, Mazé A, Plumecocq G, Lamine C (2018) Agroecological transitions: What can sustainability transition frameworks teach us? An ontological and empirical analysis. Ecology and Society 23(2): 1-18

Pahnke A (2017) The Changing Terrain of Rural Contention in Brazil: Institutionalization and Identity Development in the Landless Movement’s Educational Project. Latin American Politics and Society 59(3): 3-26

Paniagua-Zambrana NY, Camara-Lerét R, Bussmann RW, Macía MJ (2014) The influence of socioeconomic factors on traditional knowledge: a cross scale comparison of palm use in northwestern South America. Ecology and Society 19(4): 1-21

Patel NR, Mandal UK, Pande LM (2000) Agro-ecological zoning system - A remote sensing and GIS perspective. Journal of Agrometeorology 2(1): 1-13

Petersen P, Mussoi EM, Dalsoglio F (2012) Institutionalization of the Agroecological Approach in Brazil: Advances and Challenges. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 37: 103-114

Pignati WA, Lima FANS, Lara SS, Correa MLM, Barbosa JR, Leão LHC, Pignatti MG (2017) Spatial distribution of pesticide use in Brazil: a strategy for Health Surveillance. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva 22(10): 3281-3293

R core team (2019) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, 2019. Disponível em []. Acesso em 07/05/2019

Ratnadass A, Fernandes P, Avelino J, Habibet R (2012) Plant species diversity for sustainable management of crop pests and diseases in agroecosystems: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 32: 273-303

Reemtsma T, Alder L, Banasiak, U (2013) Emerging pesticide metabolites in groundwater and surface water as determined by the application of a multimethod for 150 pesticide metabolites. Water Research 47(15): 5535-5545

Reyes-García V, Aceituno-Mata L, Calvet-Mir L, Garnatje T, Gómez-Baggethun E, Lastra JJ, Ontillera R, Parada M, Rigatf M, Valléz J, Vila S, Pardo-de-Santayana, M. (2014). Resilience of traditional knowledge systems: The case of agricultural knowledge in home gardens of the Iberian Peninsula. Global Environmental Change 24: 223-231

Robles W (2019) The politics of agricultural cooperativism in Brazil: A case study of the landless rural worker movement (MST). Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management 7(1): 10-25

Rosset PM, Martínez-Torres ME (2012) Rural Social Movements and Agroecology: Context, Theory, and Process. Ecology and Society 17(3): 1-12

Rosset PM, Val V, Barbosa LP, McCune N (2019) Agroecology and La Via Campesina II. Peasant agroecology schools and the formation of a sociohistorical and political subject. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 43(8): 895-914

Runhaar H (2017) Governing the transformation towards ‘nature-inclusive’ agriculture: Insights from the Netherlands. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 15(4): 340-349

Rusch A, Bommarco R, Jonsson M, Smith HG, Ekbom B (2013) Flow and stability of natural pest control services depend on complexity and crop rotation at the landscape scale. Journal of Applied Ecology 50(2): 345-354

Sage C (2014) Food security, food sovereignty and the special rapporteur. Dialogues in Human Geography 4(2): 195-199

Saylor CR, Alsharif KA, Torres H (2017) The importance of traditional ecological knowledge in agroecological systems in Peru. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 13(1): 150-161

Schäfer RB (2019) Responses of freshwater macroinvertebrates to pesticides – Insights from field studies. Current Opinion in Environmental Science and Health 11:1-7

Schiøtt M, Rogowska-Wrzesinska A, Roepstorff P, Booms- ma JJ (2010) Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi. BMC Biology 8(156): 1-12

Schwaab KS, Dutra VR, Marschner F, Ceretta PS (2019) How much heavier is a “Hoe” for Women? Wage Gender Discrimination in the Brazilian Agricultural Sector. Contextus- Revista Contemporânea de Economia e Gestão 17(2): 37-62

Schwendler SF, Thompson LA (2016) An education in gender and agroecology in Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers’ Movement. Gender and Education 29(1): 100-114

Serna FJ Correa J (2003) Extractos de hojas de Lycopersicon esculentum como fagoinhibidores en Atta cephalotes. Agronomía Colombiana 21: 142-153

Si A, Turpin M (2015) The Importance of Insects in Australian Aboriginal Society: A Dictionary Survey. Ethnobiology Letters 6(1): 175-182

Silva TC, Cruz MP, Araújo TAS, Schwarz ML, Albuquerque UP (2014) Methods in Research of Environmental Perception. In: Albuquerque UP, Cunha LVFC, Lucena RFP, Alves RRN, (eds). Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology. 1 ed. Humana Press, Recife, pp. 99-109

Slowikowski K (2018) Ggrepel: Automatically Position Non-Overlapping Text Labels with 'ggplot2'. R package version 0.8.0. [] Acessed 04 September 2019

Sūmane S, Kunda I, Knickel K, Strauss A, Tisenkopfs T, Rios I, Ashkenazy A (2018) Local and farmers’ knowledge matters! How integrating informal and formal knowledge enhances sustainable and resilient agriculture.Journal of Rural Studies 59: 232-241

Swanson AC, Schwendenmann L, Allen MF, Aronson EL, Artavia-León A, Dierick D, Fernandez-Bou AS, Harmon TC, Murillo-Cruz C, Oberbauer SF, Pinto-Tomás AA, Rundel PW, Zelikova TJ (2019) Welcome to the Atta world: A framework for understanding the effects of leaf-cutter ants on ecosystem functions. Functional Ecology 33: 1386–1399

Tarlau R (2013) Coproducing Rural Public Schools in Brazil. Politics and Society 41(3): 395-424

Tarlau R (2015) Education of the countryside at a crossroads: rural social movements and national policy reform in Brazil. The Journal of Peasant Studies 42(6): 1157-1177

Taveira LRS (2010) Laudo Agronômico de Fiscalização da Fazenda Fortaleza de Sant'anna. Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário. Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária. Superintendência Regional de Minas Gerais. Divisão de Obtenção de Terras Belo Horizonte, MG

Thapliyal N (2013) Reframing the Public in Public Education: The Landless Workers Movement (MST) and Adult Education in Brazil. Reframing the public in public education 11(4): 106-131

Timmermann C, Félix GF (2015) Agroecology as a vehicle for contributive justice. Agriculture and Human Values 32(3):523-538

Tofolo C, Fuentefria AM, Farias FM, Machado MM, Oliveira LFS (2014) Contributing factors for farm workers’ exposure to pesticides in the west of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Acta Scientiarum 36(2): 153-159

Tscharntke T, Clough Y, Wanger TC, Jackson L, Motzke I, Perfecto I, Vandermeer J, Whitbread A (2012) Global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification. Biological Conservation 151(1): 53-59

Ulicsni V, Svanberg I, Molnár Z (2016) Folk knowledge of invertebrates in Central Europe - folk taxonomy, nomenclature, medicinal and other uses, folklore, and nature conservation. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 12(47): 1-40

Veltmeyer H, Petras J (2008) The Social Dynamics of Brazil’s Rural Landless Workers’ Movement: Ten Hypotheses on Successful Leadership. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie 39(1): 79-96

Villamar AA, Diago OLS, Conteras EJC, Medinaceli A (2018) Código especial de ética para la investigación etnobiológica en América Latina. Ethnoscientia 3(2): 1-6

Vittoretto BV (2010) A Conformação da Zona da Mata mineira no mercado mundial do café no século XIX. Heera 5(9): 67-91

Wang J, Zeng X, Bloom MS, Qian Z, Hinyard LJ, Belue R, Lin S, Wang S, Tian Y, Chu C, Gurram N, Hu L, Liu K, Yang B, Fang D, Liu R, Dong G (2019) Renal function and isomers of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS): Isomers of C8 Health Project in China. Chemosphere 218: 1042-1049

Wei T, Simko V (2017) R package "corrplot": Visualization of a Correlation Matrix. Available from []. Accessed 18 August 2019

Wezel A, Bellon S, Doré T, Francis C, Vallod D, David C (2009) Agroecology as a science, a movement and a practice. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 29(4):503-515

Wezel A, Casagrande M, Celette F, Vian J, Ferrer A, Peigné J (2014) Agroecological practices for sustainable agriculture. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 34(1): 1-20

Wickham H (2016) Ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis. Springer-Verlag, New York Available [from] Accessed 24/08/2019

Wittman H (2010) Agrarian Reform and the Environment: Fostering Ecological Citizenship in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Canadian Journal of Development Studies/ Revue canadienne d'études du développement 29(3-4): 281-298

Wyckhuys KAG, Heong K, Sanchez-Bayo F, Bianchi F, Lundgren J, Bentley J (2019) Ecological illiteracy can deepen farmers' pesticide dependency. PeerJ Preprints doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.27579v1

Wyckhuys KAG, O’Neil RJ (2007) Local agro-ecological knowledge and its relationship to farmers’ pest management decision making in rural Honduras. Agriculture and Human Values 24(3): 307-321

Zabaleta I, Bizkarguenaga E, Nunoo DBO, Schultes L, Leonel J, Prieto A, Zuloaga O, Benskin JP (2018) Biodegradation and Uptake of the Pesticide Sulfluramid in a Soil-Carrot Mesocosm. Environmental Science and Technology 52(5): 2603-2611

Zanetti R, Zanuncio J, Santos J, Silva W, Ribeiro G, Lemes P (2014) An Overview of Integrated Management of Leaf-Cutting Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Brazilian Forest Plantations. Forests 5(3): 439-454




How to Cite

da Silva Novato, T., Taboada Soldati, G., & Lopes, J. (2020). The agroecology power: how the environmental representation and management of leaf­cutting ants by peasants from Assentamento Dênis Gonçalves can be transformed. Ethnobiology and Conservation, 9. Retrieved from



Original research article