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    Payment for ecosystem services in Peru: Assessing the socio-ecological dimension of water services in the upper Santa River basin
    (Ecosystem Services, 2022-08) Rosa María Dextre ; María Luisa Eschenhagen ; Mirtha Camacho Hernández ; Sally Rangecroft ; Caroline Clason ; Laurence Couldrick ; Sergio Morera
    Increasing pressures on ecosystems in the Latin American region, as well as the adoption of multilateral conservation commitments, have led to the implementation of instruments that are economic in nature but oriented towards the recovery, conservation, and functioning of ecosystems such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). In the Peruvian Andes, hydro-climatic factors and land-use changes are affecting the capacity of the ecosystems of the glaciated Cordillera Blanca to provide water services, in terms of both quality and quantity, to the main users of the Santa River basin. Thus, this study analyses how the socio-ecological interactions affect, and are affected by, the planned introduction of water-related PES in the Quillcay sub-basin, the most populated sub-basins along the Santa River basin. We use a conceptual model based on the current evolution of the water metabolism approach to integrate into a common language of analysis the multiple dimensions of water: water as an ecological fund, as a service, and as a political asset. To explore the interface of these three domains of analysis we rely on a mixed-method data collection: primary data collection through a stakeholder survey and interviews and a review of information from secondary sources. The result of our case study shows that both the ecological dimension and the social dimension affect on the PES project and vice versa. These complex interactions could result in the design of a mechanism in which not all stakeholders benefit equally. This raises the need to recognise the multidimensional nature of water in the design and implementation of policies, and the importance of identifying processes and barriers which affect the success of these policies without making invisible the direct effect they also have on social-ecological systems.
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    Spatiotemporal Changes in Land Use and Ecosystem Service Values Under the Influence of Glacier Retreat in a High-Andean Environment
    (Frontiers in Environmental Science, 2022-07-12) Madrigal-Martínez Santiago ; Puga-Calderón Rodrigo J. ; Bustínza Urviola Victor ; Vilca Gómez Óscar
    Glaciers supply multiple ecosystem services that are threatened by climate change. The retreat and disappearance of tropical glaciers is an important dynamic that affects ecosystems and local communities. The knowledge of the impacts of this land-change dynamics on the supply of ecosystem services is lacking. In that sense, the assessment developed can provide evidence about the costs and benefits of promoting conservation and human well-being at the same time. Then, the main objective of this research is to determine the spatial–temporal changes and their effects on the economic value of ecosystem services in a glacial retreat environment. We selected the Marangani district as a study area. It comprises the La Raya Mountain range in the Andes. The assessments were carried out across two scales of observation: the municipality and the watershed level. Here, we process spectral information from Landsat Sensor using the Random Forest algorithm in the Google Earth Engine platform to classify 10 biomes. It was carried out over more than 30 years (from 1986 to 2019). After that, ecosystem services provided by the biomes were valued using the transfer method. This research shows that at the municipality level, almost all the LULCs faced variations over time, and the glaciers had the highest change, accumulating a ratio of –85.51%, whereas at the watershed level, a higher tendency of land changes is observed in the areas without glaciers, and those with glacier areas count on permanent larger bofedales. At the municipality level, the economic value of ecosystems shows that bofedales and water surfaces are the LULCs that supply the highest ecosystem services (∼33,000 USD ha−1 yr−1 each). In addition, without the inflation adjustment, the total ESV is on a trajectory of losing ESV (–$9.67 × 106). In the watersheds with glacier retreat, significant quantity of bofedales and natural grasslands controls the fluctuations of ESV. These high-mountain watersheds play an essential role in providing benefits and value to local communities. In general, the municipality level indicates the trajectory of changes in the district, whereas the watershed scale shows the urgency for implementing spatial conservation actions.
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    Ecohydrology 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 Buytaert
    High-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.
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    700,000 years of tropical Andean glaciation
    (Nature, 2022-07-13) Rodbell, D. T. ; Hatfield, R. G. ; Abbott, M. B. ; Tapia, P. M.
    Our understanding of the climatic teleconnections that drove ice-age cycles has been limited by a paucity of well-dated tropical records of glaciation that span several glacial–interglacial intervals. Glacial deposits offer discrete snapshots of glacier extent but cannot provide the continuous records required for detailed interhemispheric comparisons. By contrast, lakes located within glaciated catchments can provide continuous archives of upstream glacial activity, but few such records extend beyond the last glacial cycle. Here a piston core from Lake Junín in the uppermost Amazon basin provides the first, to our knowledge, continuous, independently dated archive of tropical glaciation spanning 700,000 years. We find that tropical glaciers tracked changes in global ice volume and followed a clear approximately 100,000-year periodicity. An enhancement in the extent of tropical Andean glaciers relative to global ice volume occurred between 200,000 and 400,000 years ago, during sustained intervals of regionally elevated hydrologic balance that modified the regular approximately 23,000-year pacing of monsoon-driven precipitation. Millennial-scale variations in the extent of tropical Andean glaciers during the last glacial cycle were driven by variations in regional monsoon strength that were linked to temperature perturbations in Greenland ice cores1; these interhemispheric connections may have existed during previous glacial cycles.
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    Tropical South America Diatom Database: a tool for studying the macroecology of microorganisms
    (Taylor & Francis, 2022-06-28) Benito, Xavier ; Feitl, Melina ; Carrevedo, Maria L. ; Vélez, Maria I. ; Escobar, Jaime ; Tapia, Pedro M. ; Steinitz-Kannan, Miriam ; Fritz, Sherilyn C.
    Determining the mechanisms of community assembly forms the foundation of biogeography and community ecology. Studies of the biodiversity and distribution of Neotropical macro-organisms have revealed the roles of environmental, spatial, and historical factors in structuring communities at different spatial and temporal scales. The role of these factors for species and communities of microorganisms are still poorly understood. Diatoms are a very species-rich group of algae, widely distributed, and sensitive to environmental variation because of their position at the base of aquatic food webs. Here, we present the Tropical South American Diatom Database (TSADB), which contains geographical and ecological information on diatom species across lentic and lotic environments, including predictors that describe local (limnological) and regional (geo-climatic) factors. The open access database can be used to ask fundamental questions in macroecology, including testing foundational theories of metacommunity ecology and biogeography, and evaluating the sensitivity of species and communities to the rapid environmental changes characteristic of tropical regions. The TSADB includes diatom taxa from 437 samples from 326 sites distributed across 26 regions (0–5,070 m a.s.l, and between 8°N–35°S; 58–90°W). In addition, long-term, diatom-based paleolimnological records are presented as a complementary tool for identifying geographically well-covered regions with modern and palaeo-datasets. We describe the TSADB structure and functionality, together with the R codes for data manipulation and visualization. Each of the 26 study regions is represented by three data matrices: sampling site information, environmental variables (limnology, climate, and landscape), and diatom community data (relative abundance or presence/absence). Access to data and future additions is through publicly available repositories and a guide to contributors, respectively. Thus, it offers ample opportunities to complement existing databases on diatoms, allowing optimal usage of TSADB by scientists including diatomists, limnologists, and aquatic ecologists.