Lattice-work corridors for climate change: a conceptual framework for biodiversity conservation and social-ecological resilience in a tropical elevational gradient
This article highlights the inexpensive and rapid ways to achieve conservation in montane environments of Costa Rica for both ecological and societal values, in light of unpredictable effects of climate change. Specifically, it stresses that habitats must be expanded along riparian zones, in latitudinal gradients, and within elevational bands, in what they have called lattice-work corridors. This system will facilitate species elevational and latitudinal range shifts, but undertaking conservation efforts will also improve human livelihoods in the area. The authors use the Monteverde region in Costa Rica as a case-study, where people primarily rely on ecotourism, coffee farming, dairy cattle farming and sugarcane production to making their livings.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The study found that the pacific-slope forests are highly fragmented, and while a large biological corridor has already been proposed, it neglects certain key riparian corridors that would facilitate species migrations and range shifts, as well as protect the downstream water sources. The authors of this article also highlight the importance of diverse agroforestry systems, wind breaks, and forest restoration in farm patches as being beneficial for both enhancing landscape connectivity and biodiversity, and increasing the diversity of crops for agricultural resilience to climate change. Tree species should be selected based on their contribution to biodiversity, nutrient cycling, and ability to provide NTFPs. Incentives for landowners for incorporating reforestation or agroforestry include expanding payments for environmental services programs. In order for this type of lattice-work conservation to be achieved, community involvement is key, as is effective communication between scientists, local experts, NGOs, government institutions, and other stakeholders.
Lattice-work corridors for climate change: a conceptual framework for biodiversity conservation and social-ecological resilience in a tropical elevational gradient. Ecology and Society. 2015;20. doi:10.5751/es-07324-200201..
- University of Washington
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