Colombia

Carbon Sequestration in Pastures, Silvo-Pastoral Systems and Forests in Four Regions of the Latin American Tropics

background

77% of agricultural land in the tropical Americas is used for pasture (including silvo-pasture and Argo-silvo-pasture), making carbon stocks in this land type an important consideration. This paper presents three-year research results on the evaluation of soil carbon stocks (SCS) in long-established pasture and silvo-pastoral systems (10-16 years under commercial production), native forests and degraded land in four regions of tropical Americas.

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Ecosystem Decay of Amazonian Forest Fragments: A 22-year Investigation

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The authors discuss results from the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, a long-term study on rainforest fragmentation in Amazonia. The project, which was originally intended to assess the influence of fragmented areas on Amazonia biota, took place in Menus, Brazil. This report surveyed 340 publications and theses that were produced over the 22 years of the project. 

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Land Cover Change in Colombia: Surprising Forest Recovery Trends between 2001 and 2010

background

This study mapped annual land-use and land-cover from 2001 to 2010 in Colombia using MODIS (250 m) products coupled with reference data from high spatial resolution imagery (QuickBird) in Google Earth.

Research Goals & Methods

The authors evaluated land cover change at four spatial scales: country, biome, ecoregion, and municipality.

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Forest Cover and Deforestation Patterns in the Northern Andes (Lake Maracaibo Basin): A Synoptic Assessment using MODIS and Landsat Imagery

Background

South America has the highest deforestation rates in the tropics. Yet, the science is often questioned when determining these rates. For example, Venezuela, which has the second highest rate in the region, produces government reports on deforestation that are continually questioned by third parties. This paper stresses the need for more accurate and consistent data on forest cover and greenhouse gase emissions from deforestation. 

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The Savannization of Moist Forests in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

Background

This study in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta seeks to determine if savannas are natural or caused by anthropogenic factors. The authors use climate data from the past and present, the location of vegetation, and land use history to test their hypothesis.

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Identifying Hotspots of Deforestation and Reforestation in Colombia (2001–2010): Implications for Protected Areas

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This article uses satellite imagery, MODIS MOD13Q1 Vegetation Indices 250 , the Virtual Interpretation of EarthWeb-Interface Tool (VIEW-IT) to conduct a land-use analysis of Colombia, mapping trends and "hotspot" areas of deforestation and of reforestation from 2001 to 2010.

Research Goals & Methods

The authors identify four hotspots of deforestation (clustered particularly in lowlands in the north of the country) and four of reforestation, mainly in the Andes highlands.

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The Role of Silvopastoral Systems in the Rehabilitation of Andean Stream Habitats

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This article discusses the prevalence and impact of cattle grazing in the Andean region of Colombia. It asserts that ranching drastically alters the oxygen demand of and pH of streams, increases algae growth, and reduces light penetration. Ranching also damages stream flow and riverbanks, leading to higher erosion and run-off. Grasslands on previously forested areas have led to compaction of soil so that there is less infiltration leading to more run-off, floods due to increased speeds and volume, and less water in the streams during the dry season.

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Intensive Silvopastoral Systems: Improving Sustainability and Efficiency in Cattle Ranching Landscapes

Background

The article summarizes productivity benefits from implementation of intensive silvo-pastoral systems (ISPS) in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, including benefits for the well-being of cattle, heightened biodiversity, and decreased area needed for production (allowing for greater quantities of forest area). The authors also summarize challenges inhibting greater adoption of intensive silvo-pastoral systems, and potential policy solutions for overcoming these challenges.

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Neotropical Secondary Forest Succession: Changes in Structural and Functional Characteristics

Background

This paper reiviews the main biotic and abiotic factors that influence patterns of secondary forest succession in the Neotropics after complete forest clearance due to human activities.

Research Goals & Methods

The authors look at patterns of species replacement and various processes that occur during succession and suggest that the sequence of processes may be predictable even if species composition is not.

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Restoration of the Cerros Orientales de Bogota - Jardin Botanico de Bogota

The Jose Celestino Mutis Botanic Garden of Bogota works with the Municipal government of Bogota in order to restore and rehabilitate various areas of forest habitat around the city of Bogota.

The most extensive plantings are conducted in the Cerros Orientales, hills located on the outskirts of Bogota. This very steep mountain area had been cleared and was subject to severe erosion, and was planted with exotic pine and eucalyptus throughout the 19th and 20th century. Parts of this forest continue to be grazed for cattle, and many areas have also been invaded by the invasive European gorse (Ulex europaeus).

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