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Afforestation or intense pasturing improve the ecological and economic value of abandoned tropical farmlands.

Knoke T, Bendix J, Pohle P, Hamer U, Hildebrandt P, Roos K, Gerique A, Sandoval ML, Breuer L, Tischer A, Silva B, Calvas B, Aguirre N, Castro LM, Windhorst D, Weber M, Stimm B, Günter S, Palomeque X, Mora J, Mosandl R, Beck E - Nat Commun (2014)

Bottom Line: However, as aims and modes of restoration differ in their ecological and socio-economic value, the assessment of achievable ecosystem functions and benefits requires holistic investigation.A comparison of the outcomes among afforestation with native alder or exotic pine, pasture restoration with either low-input or intense management and the abandoned status quo shows that both variants of afforestation and intense pasture use improve the ecological value, but low-input pasture does not.Both Mestizo and indigenous Saraguro settlers are more inclined to opt for afforestation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, 85354 Freising, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Increasing demands for livelihood resources in tropical rural areas have led to progressive clearing of biodiverse natural forests. Restoration of abandoned farmlands could counter this process. However, as aims and modes of restoration differ in their ecological and socio-economic value, the assessment of achievable ecosystem functions and benefits requires holistic investigation. Here we combine the results from multidisciplinary research for a unique assessment based on a normalization of 23 ecological, economic and social indicators for four restoration options in the tropical Andes of Ecuador. A comparison of the outcomes among afforestation with native alder or exotic pine, pasture restoration with either low-input or intense management and the abandoned status quo shows that both variants of afforestation and intense pasture use improve the ecological value, but low-input pasture does not. Economic indicators favour either afforestation or intense pasturing. Both Mestizo and indigenous Saraguro settlers are more inclined to opt for afforestation.

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Accumulated index values.(a) Summed index values on ecological indicators are shown for the five land-use options with Pk1: discharge considered positive (left columns) and Pk2: water retention preferred (right columns). (b) Summed index values on socio-economic indicators for the five land-use options are depicted. Preferences distinguish between indigenous Saraguro and Mestizo settlers. With payback periods, we measure how long settlers will need to receive their money invested back and the NPV is the sum of all appropriately discounted net revenues.
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f2: Accumulated index values.(a) Summed index values on ecological indicators are shown for the five land-use options with Pk1: discharge considered positive (left columns) and Pk2: water retention preferred (right columns). (b) Summed index values on socio-economic indicators for the five land-use options are depicted. Preferences distinguish between indigenous Saraguro and Mestizo settlers. With payback periods, we measure how long settlers will need to receive their money invested back and the NPV is the sum of all appropriately discounted net revenues.

Mentions: Spanning considerable ranges, the ecological and socio-economic indicators are strongly positively correlated and show a low degree of trade-off—+0.99 with high water retention, and +0.94 with high discharge considered most desirable. Leaving areas abandoned and low-input pasture both appear less efficient than the other options. Ranking by the ecological indices alone places afforestation on top, irrespective of the hydrological key element used (Fig. 2a).


Afforestation or intense pasturing improve the ecological and economic value of abandoned tropical farmlands.

Knoke T, Bendix J, Pohle P, Hamer U, Hildebrandt P, Roos K, Gerique A, Sandoval ML, Breuer L, Tischer A, Silva B, Calvas B, Aguirre N, Castro LM, Windhorst D, Weber M, Stimm B, Günter S, Palomeque X, Mora J, Mosandl R, Beck E - Nat Commun (2014)

Accumulated index values.(a) Summed index values on ecological indicators are shown for the five land-use options with Pk1: discharge considered positive (left columns) and Pk2: water retention preferred (right columns). (b) Summed index values on socio-economic indicators for the five land-use options are depicted. Preferences distinguish between indigenous Saraguro and Mestizo settlers. With payback periods, we measure how long settlers will need to receive their money invested back and the NPV is the sum of all appropriately discounted net revenues.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4263169&req=5

f2: Accumulated index values.(a) Summed index values on ecological indicators are shown for the five land-use options with Pk1: discharge considered positive (left columns) and Pk2: water retention preferred (right columns). (b) Summed index values on socio-economic indicators for the five land-use options are depicted. Preferences distinguish between indigenous Saraguro and Mestizo settlers. With payback periods, we measure how long settlers will need to receive their money invested back and the NPV is the sum of all appropriately discounted net revenues.
Mentions: Spanning considerable ranges, the ecological and socio-economic indicators are strongly positively correlated and show a low degree of trade-off—+0.99 with high water retention, and +0.94 with high discharge considered most desirable. Leaving areas abandoned and low-input pasture both appear less efficient than the other options. Ranking by the ecological indices alone places afforestation on top, irrespective of the hydrological key element used (Fig. 2a).

Bottom Line: However, as aims and modes of restoration differ in their ecological and socio-economic value, the assessment of achievable ecosystem functions and benefits requires holistic investigation.A comparison of the outcomes among afforestation with native alder or exotic pine, pasture restoration with either low-input or intense management and the abandoned status quo shows that both variants of afforestation and intense pasture use improve the ecological value, but low-input pasture does not.Both Mestizo and indigenous Saraguro settlers are more inclined to opt for afforestation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, 85354 Freising, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Increasing demands for livelihood resources in tropical rural areas have led to progressive clearing of biodiverse natural forests. Restoration of abandoned farmlands could counter this process. However, as aims and modes of restoration differ in their ecological and socio-economic value, the assessment of achievable ecosystem functions and benefits requires holistic investigation. Here we combine the results from multidisciplinary research for a unique assessment based on a normalization of 23 ecological, economic and social indicators for four restoration options in the tropical Andes of Ecuador. A comparison of the outcomes among afforestation with native alder or exotic pine, pasture restoration with either low-input or intense management and the abandoned status quo shows that both variants of afforestation and intense pasture use improve the ecological value, but low-input pasture does not. Economic indicators favour either afforestation or intense pasturing. Both Mestizo and indigenous Saraguro settlers are more inclined to opt for afforestation.

Show MeSH