Resource Details

Can tropical farmers reconcile subsistence needs with forest conservation?

Literature: Journal Articles

Knoke, T., Calvas, B., Aguirre, N., Román-Cuesta, R. M., Günter, S., Stimm, B., ... & Mosandl, R. (2009). Can tropical farmers reconcile subsistence needs with forest conservation?. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 7(10), 548-554.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author: knoke@forst.wzw.tum.de

 

Affiliations

Institute of Forest Management, Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany

Institute of Silviculture, Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany

National University of Loja, Ciudadela Universitaria, Loja, Ecuador

Species Info

  • Alnus acuminata

Description

This article reviews the potential use of Andean alder (Alnus acuminata) as a silvopastoral tree in montane Ecuador. Findings are based on experiments and published studies of forest restoration activities at the Estacion Biologica San Francisco, outside of Loja Ecuador.

Much of the high mountain area in the Ecuadorian Andes is abandoned or unproductive cattle pasture. In these areas, which are often steep and poorly accessible by road, smallholders often cut mature forest for cattle grazing, but are forced to abandon the land as pasture grass declines after a few years of use.

One potential management system is to rotate fast growing nitrogen fixing trees such as Andean alder on the abandoned pasture areas. After the wood is harvested, this same area can be used for new pasture, thus avoiding further conversion of mature forest. Farmers thus receive economic benefits from timber harvest and continued cattle production, while mature forests continue to be spared from clearing.

Authors note that low interest micro-credits are necessary to facilitate adoption of this long term management strategy by small landholders.

Geographical Region

  • Andean Region
  • Ecosystems

  • Montane Forest
  • Country

  • Ecuador
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