Fundacion Natura, Bogota Colombia
This project is part of a larger landscape conservation and management program of the Fundacion Natura in the Colombian Andes; the program focuses on silvopastoral management in the the upper montane life zone. Other elements of the landscape conservation program include improved forest management practices, community forest reserves, and voluntary conservation agreements of local ranchers.
Silvopastoral management in these sites includes planting live fences with native tree species, largely Alnus acuminata and planting fodder banks (for cattle) with trees such as Sambucus nigra. Trees are planted mostly in 2008, by community members, local technicians, and Fundacion Natura staff on private agricultural lands.
Alnus is planted in fence rows at approximately 3 meter spacing; plantings in most sites are guarded on two sides by barbed wire fence to prevent damage from cattle. Alnus plantings exhibited fast growth rates (2.35 cm mean annual diameter increment) compared to other sites in the Colombian Andes.
Alnus is the most commonly planted tree due to its fast growth; it is also valued for its nitrogen fixing properties and benefits for pasture health. Mid successional trees such as Cedrela montana and Juglans neotropica struggle to compete with pasture grass.
Fundacion Natura is a national NGO in Colombia involved in numerous conservation projects in the Andes region.