Exudates are generally obtained by tapping trees (latexes, resins, gums). A few of them, such as rubber and pine resin, are economically very important: in South-East Asia, rubber is a major source of income for well over 1 million households. Other exudates, however, have not been able to compete with synthetic substitutes and have declined in importance or have fallen out of use. Of the exudates that are still commercially important, resins are applied in paints and varnishes, yield essential oils and are transformed chemically into a variety of products, whereas latexes yield rubber, prized for its elasticity, and gutta-percha, a non-elastic but thermoplastic product. In this volume the former, current and potential uses of plant exudates are discussed, in the hope that this may revitalize production systems that include exudate-producing plants. In the introductory chapter, in addition to the botany, ecology and management of exudate-producing species, the different tapping techniques are highlighted and put into perspective. The following 15 papers deal in detail with individual species, including those yielding copal, pine resin, damar, elemi, benzoin, gurjun balsam, sepetir wood oil, jelutong, rubber, and gutta-percha. About 40 minor species producing exudates are also treated briefly.
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