The Savannization of Moist Forests in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
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.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The climatic data suggests that the region should be covered in various types of forest, while the soil data confirms that the soil is similar to other savanna areas, but much poorer than soil in the forested areas of this region. While analyzing the historical data, the authors discovered a long history of agriculture in the area. In some regions, forest was able to regenerate, but in many areas, the poor quality of the soil and the presence of fires prevent the regeneration of forests. The authors concluded that the savannas in this area were caused by anthropogenic factors, and regeneration of the forest would not be possible without human intervention.
The savannization of moist forests in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Journal of Biogeography. 1998;25:901–912. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2699.1998.00222.x..
- Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de los Andes, Apartado Aéreo, Bogotá, Colombia
- Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, U.S.A.
- Department of Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, U.S.A.