Understanding rangeland management and the recovery of ecosystem services in tropical agro-forested landscapes

Project: PhD

Project Details


In agro-forest landscapes land-use change and unsustainable management practices create environments where productivity and other ecosystem functions are reduced, and where natural forest regeneration is delayed, thereby reducing biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services. Dependency on external agricultural inputs increases. Decline of ecosystem functions may ultimately lead to conditions where agricultural use (in my case: cattle ranching) is not a feasible livelihood option anymore, while at the same time delayed forest regeneration in abandoned rangelands limits the options to obtain other benefits from ecosystem services, e.g. through PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services). My project aims to investigate the effect of land-use change on ecosystem processes and services and to identify strategies to promote recovery of degraded lands. I will use a social-ecological approach to i) understand how livestock management practices affects plant species composition and productivity in tropical rangelands; ii) understand how livestock management practices affect soil quality and related supporting, regulating, and provisioning ecosystem services in tropical rangelands, and iii) understand the effects of different ecological restoration methods on plant communities of abandoned rangelands. This project will be conducted in Marques de Comillas, an agro-forested frontier situated in south-eastern Mexico, composed of a mosaic of tropical rainforest, crops and rangelands. This research project is part of Forefront, a larger programme that aims to assess nature’s benefits in agro-forest frontiers by linking landscape transforming strategies of various actors with landscape change and the resulting ecosystem services.
Effective start/end date1/02/173/02/23


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