Navegando Investigaciones por Autor "Beatriz Fuentealba"
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ItemEcohydrology and ecosystem services of a natural and an artificial bofedal wetland in the central Andes(Science of The Total Environment, 2022-09-10) María J. Monge-Salazar ; Carolina Tovar ; Jose Cuadros-Adriazola ; Jan R. Baiker ; Daniel B. Montesinos-Tubée ; Vivien Bonnesoeur ; Javier Antiporta ; Francisco Román-Dañobeytia ; Beatriz Fuentealba ; Boris F. Ochoa-Tocachi ; Wouter BuytaertHigh-altitude wetlands of the Central Andes, locally known as bofedales, provide important ecosystem services, particularly carbon storage, forage provisioning, and water regulation. Local communities have artificially expanded bofedales by irrigating surrounding grasslands to maximise areas for alpaca grazing. Despite their importance, biophysical processes of both natural and artificial bofedales are still poorly studied, which hinders the development of adequate management and conservation strategies. We analyse and compare the vegetation composition, hydrological variables, groundwater chemistry, and soil characteristics of a natural and an artificial bofedal of at least 10 years old in southern Peru, to understand their interrelations and the consequences for ecosystem service provisioning. We do not find statistically significant differences in the soil, water, and vegetation characteristics. Soil organic carbon (SOC) content, which we use as a proxy for carbon storage, is negatively correlated to dissolved oxygen, pH, and soil water temperature. In addition, Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling analysis shows a positive relation between plant community composition, SOC content, and water electric conductivity. Our results suggest a three-way interaction between hydrological, soil, and vegetation characteristics in the natural bofedal, which also holds for the artificial bofedal. Vegetation cover of two of the most highly nutritious species for alpaca, Lachemilla diplophylla and Lilaeopsis macloviana with 19–22% of crude protein, are weakly or not correlated to environmental variables, suggesting grazing might be obscuring these potential relationships. Given the high economic importance of alpaca breeding for local communities, expanding bofedales artificially appears an effective strategy to enhance their ecosystem services with minimal impact on the ecohydrological properties of bofedales.
ItemUnravelling and understanding local perceptions of water quality in the Santa basin, Peru(Journal of Hydrology, 2023-07-19) Sally Rangecroft ; Rosa Maria Dextre ; Isabel Richter ; Claudia V. Grados Bueno ; Claire Kelly ; Cecilia Turin ; Beatriz Fuentealba ; Mirtha Camacho Hernandez ; Sergio Morera ; John Martin ; Adam Guy ; Caroline ClasonWater quality is an integral part of water security. Measuring the physico-chemical indicators for water quality can provide an objective picture of water health, but it does not provide information on lived experiences related to water quality, expectations of water resources, nor how the quality of water affects its usage. Perceptual information and traditional ecological knowledge on water quality can help to understand interactions between water and people, and thereby support locally appropriate sustainable water resource strategies. Accordingly, our project sought to collect and synthesise insights from local perspectives on water quality in the upper Santa River basin, Peru, a region where water quality directly relates to people’s livelihoods. Perceptual data was collected via the Nuestro Rio mobile app (N = 149) as well as walking interviews (n = 84) (July-August 2021) in two main study areas, Olleros and Catac. We find that water quality perspectives differ within, and between, study areas and communities, however four overarching themes were identified, and are explored here: i) environmental indicators for water quality; ii) water uses; and iii) perceived causes of water quality; iv) water quality perceptions behind emotions. Most rural participants felt the main cause of poor water quality was mineral pollution, likely linked to local geology, however we also found that local perceptions of water quality depend on water usage, directly linked to domestic water use and agricultural livelihoods. Qualitative data highlighted the complex relationships between water quality, perceptions and emotions. More inclusive citizen-based science that considers what people observe, think and feel about the quality of their rivers can help provide a much deeper contextual understanding of dynamic human-water systems, with further benefits for improving water management and policy implementation.