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ItemSpatial and Temporal Distribution of Black Carbon in Peru from the Analysis of Biomass Burning Sources and the Use of Numerical Models( 2023-04-08)The spatial and temporal distribution of biomass burning in Peru and neighboring countries was analyzed during the 2018–2020 period, with emphasis on 2019. To determine the glaciers most affected by BC as a consequence of vegetation burning, simulations were carried out with the WRF-CHEM model, and to diagnose the origin of BC particles received by the Huaytapallana glacier, backward trajectories were built with the HYSPLIT model. It was found that, during the studied period, the burning of biomass emitted large amounts of BC into the atmosphere, while the number of fires in Peru began its most notable increase in the month of July, with maxima between August and September. Comparisons of the number of outbreaks with the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) measured at the Huancayo observatory showed a significant correlation. The Ucayali region is the one that contributes the greatest number of outbreaks and the greatest emissions are produced in the south of Loreto. The WRF model showed that the concentrations in July are still low in relation to the August–October period. The mountain ranges that received the greatest impact from BC emissions were Huaytapallana, Huagoruncho, and Vilcabamba. BC transport is mainly oriented from north to south, moving the particles from the areas of greatest burning to the glaciers located in the center and south of the country. BC concentrations over the Cordillera Blanca were lower. The diagnosis of the backward trajectories corroborated the results of WRF-CHEM and showed trajectories mostly from the north.
ItemMapping the benefits and the exchange values of provisioning ecosystem services using GIS and local ecological knowledge in a high-Andean community( 2023-04-06)Ecosystem services and their contribution to local economies and livelihoods still need to be fully understood and recognized by many policymakers. The primary purpose of this research is to integrate land use and land cover data and local ecological knowledge-based data with geographical information systems through a participatory approach to enhance natural resource management. We selected the Pariac-Rajucolta watershed as a study area because it is a typical landscape in the high-Andean mountains, with half of its territory inside a protected area. The methods involved a six-month participatory approach quantifying the benefits and exchange values of 33 provisioning ecosystem services, compiling the primary data from the locals and spectral information from Sentinel-2A. The results show that only agricultural and artificial areas delivered multiple benefits and offered the highest commercialization value of ecosystem ser- vices. The community mainly benefits from nutrition, materials, or energy from cultivated terrestrial plants, reared animals, wild plants, and surface water at the watershed level. At the same time, the services with high exchange proportions were mainly short -only meat of guinea pigs, manure, wild fruits, mushrooms, and wild plants for food. The abundance and the spatial distribution of benefits and exchange values of ecosystem services displayed a pattern of high quantity for the downstream and low in the basin’s top and midstream of the watershed (inside the protected area). In conclusion, the study shows the importance of knowing ecosystem services benefits and exchange values as an initial approach to developing participatory strategies for managing and conserving natural resources.
ItemPayment for ecosystem services in Peru: Assessing the socio-ecological dimension of water services in the upper Santa River basin(Ecosystem Services, 2022-08)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.
ItemSpatiotemporal 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)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.
ItemEcohydrology and ecosystem services of a natural and an artificial bofedal wetland in the central Andes(Science of The Total Environment, 2022-09-10)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.