Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ecuador: Deforestation destroys more dry forest than climate change

02.02.2018

Tropical forests all over the world are at risk. Two of the main threats are the deforestation for arable land and climate change. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Thünen-Institute compared the losses due to deforestation with those that would result in extreme climate change scenarios in Ecuador. Although global warming is likely to change the distribution of species, deforestation will result in the loss of more dry forests than predicted by climate change damage.

A large proportion of Ecuador's rare dry forests are located in the southwest of the country, in the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena region. These forests provide not only wood and non-wood products, but also important ecosystem services that regulate the water balance and protect the soil from erosion.


Most of Ecuador's dry forests are located in the southwest of the country, in the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena region.

Photo: P. Hildebrandt/ TUM

However, the area suffers a high loss of habitat due to deforestation for more arable and pasture land. This exacerbates the negative effects of climate change, such as temperature increases.

In cooperation with scientists from the Thünen-Institut and the Ecuadorian Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, a team from TUM compared the predicted loss of area of tree species caused by deforestation on the one hand and by predicted forest losses in an extreme climate change scenario on the other.

"We have evaluated 660 data sets on the occurrence of 17 characteristic species of dry forests in the south of Ecuador," explain first author Carlos Manchego and Patrick Hildebrandt from the Chair of Silviculture at TUM - "in order to estimate both potential threats, we have compared the forecast annual rates of losses. However, it is important that the results are not transferable to other tree species in other regions."

Losses from conversions in the period 2008 to 2014, especially for agricultural and pasture land, averaged 71 square kilometres per year for all species in the study area. The predicted loss of species area in the climate change scenario was only 21 square kilometres per year.

Recommendations for more effective forest protection and sustainable land use

One unexpected outcome was the different displacement directions of tree species due to climate change. While some species migrate to the north, other species find their future distribution focus more to the south. This leads to a trend towards mixing tree species with hitherto unknown effects on the functionality and stability of future forest communities," says Hildebrandt. "At the same time, grubbing-up starts in the higher altitudes, because it's easier to grow something like corn there."

According to Hildebrandt, it is important for efficient planning, the implementation of protective measures and sustainable land use to prioritise the measures according to such threats and weak points. A distinction must be made between the potential threats posed by climate change and deforestation. With the study "PLOS One" we wanted to provide a scientific frame of reference to identify the lesser evil and make targeted recommendations".

However, regardless of the conservation strategy, these objectives required the participation of both private landowners and local communities.

Publication:
Carlos E. Manchego, Patrick Hildebrandt, Jorge Cueva, Carlos Ivan Espinosa, Bernd Stimm, Sven Guenter: Climate change versus deforestation: Implications for tree species distribution in the dry forests of southern Ecuador, PLOSone 12/2017.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190092

Contact:
Dr. Patrick Hildebrandt, PD Dr. Sven Günter
Technische Universität München
Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan für Ernährung, Landnutzung und Umwelt
Forschungsdepartment Ökologie und Ökosystemmanagement
Lehrstuhl für Waldbau
Tel: +49 8161 714690
hildebrandt@tum.de
http://waldbau.wzw.tum.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/34428/

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>