Colombia

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

background

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

background

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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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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Memorias del I Congreso Colombiano de Restauración Ecológica

Background

These proceedings summarize the 11 Master Conferences at the "I Congreso Colombiano de Restauración Ecológica y II Simposio de Nacional de Experiencias en Restauración" in 2009. It includes information from dozens of forest restoration projects in Colombia. Most projects are restoration experiements with native species forest restoration in the montane zone of Colombia, although some reports describe projects in lowland humid forest, dry forest, and high mountain páramo.

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Laguna Pedro Palo - Reserva Tenasuca, Colombia

This project is located in a community reserve outside of Bogota, Colombia, in montane Andean oak forest. Plantings are performed by members of the reserve association, which includes a small NGO and local landowners.

2-3 hectares were planted around a lake in 1998, these plantings were predominantly Andean oak (Quercus humboltii), this forest area reached canopy closure in 2010-2013. Reserve managers believe that this oak buffer area helps to maintain a constant water level of the lake, by recharging a continuous supply of groundwater throughout the year.

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Rio Bogota - Fundacion al verde vivo

This project attempts to restore riparian forest along the headwaters of the Rio Bogota, upstream of the city of Bogota.

Since 2003, the Fundacion al verde vivo has worked with volunteers to plant trees along the riparian corridor. Many areas along the riverbanks were previously used for cattle pasture, leather tanneries, or other small constructions. Local laws require that certain distances of riparian buffer are maintained as forest, but these regulations are rarely enforced.

Plantings are conducted in rows with 1-2 meter spacing. Alnus plantings from 2005 form a canopy, and mid-successional species of oak, Spanish cedar, and other highland Andean trees are planted in gaps and in the understory.

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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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Clean Development Mechanism - Reforestation Projects, San Nicholas and Chinchina, Colombia

background

The CDM permits these projects to generate carbon credits based on the amount of carbon sequestered in trees that will be planted on private land currently used for agriculture.

Goals & approach

These two projects plan to use the clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol to sell carbon credits via reforestation and afforestation.

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Reserva Encenillo, Fundacion Natura, Colombia

This reserve is located in high montane forest of the Colombia Andes, designed to protect the locally important forest tree Weinmanniatomentosa (Encenillo in Spanish). The total size of the reserve is 135 ha of forest, and serves as a forest corridor in a matrix of pasture, potato, and remnant forest landscape.

Approximately 2-3 ha of degraded pasture were planted with Alnus acuminata in 2007. Alnus is planted in rows with approximately 3 meter spacing. Trees average mean annual increment is 1.35 cm at breast height, which is an average growth for the region; however, many trees had multiple stems, so total biomass is even larger.

Open access copy available
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