1st Edition

Ecohydrology of the Andes Páramo Region

ISBN 9781138633124
Published February 5, 2017 by CRC Press
230 Pages

USD $94.95

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Book Description

In the Andes mountainous region of South America grasslands known as páramos provide important ecosystem services like sustaining biodiversity, securing carbon sequestration and providing water storage. However, many páramos regions are subject to land use change due to expanding agriculture, intensified grazing and land burning. These are usually caused by socio-economic factors driving local communities to increase their income generation. Trying to achieve a better understanding of the páramos is often restricted to exploring specific details and does not follow an integrated approach or a comprehensive ecosystem analysis.

In this research the focus is on better understanding the dominant ecohydrological processes and their interactions. An integrated approach is followed using in-situ measurements, field experiments, laboratory analyses, and numerical modelling. Also, different hydroinformatics tools are used to identify and quantify the ecosystem services provided by the páramos. Moreover, a framework is developed that allows a more realistic quantification and mapping of the main ecosystem services. The approach was carried out for a test site in an Ecological area in North Ecuador. The findings show a clear difference in ecosystem services depending on their altitudinal range and type of vegetation. These results can be used to further develop environmental management and landscape planning strategies, in order to better meet the social goals. This research is aligned with the priorities advocated in the IPCC Report (2007) 'to improve representation of the interactive coupling between ecosystems and the climate system', and with SDG #15: Life on Land 'By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services'.

Table of Contents

1 General introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Motivation of the study
1.3 General objective
1.4 Outline of the thesis

2 Description of the study area
2.1 History
2.2 Location
2.3 Vegetation cover and soils
2.4 Climate
2.5 Hydro ‐ Meteorological data
2.6 Geology

3 Catchment characterization and altitudinal‐ range analysis of carbon stocks
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Materials and methods
3.3 Results
3.4 Discussion
3.5 Conclusion

4 Estimating Gross Primary production and hydrological processes in páramo grasslands
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Methods and data
4.3 Results
4.4 Discussion
4.5 Conclusions

5 Analysis of the relationship between climate variables and gross primary production using data driven techniques
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Methods and data
5.3 Results
5.4 Discussion
5.5 Conclusions
Appendix 5‐A

6 Runoff generation in a combined glacier ‐ páramo catchment
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Materials and methods
6.3 Results
6.4 Discussion
6.5 Conclusions

7 A process‐oriented hydrological representation of a páramo catchment
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Methods and data
7.3 Results and discussion
7.4 Conclusions
Appendix 7‐A

8 Ecosystem services assessment in a páramo system
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Materials and methods
8.3 Results
8.4 Discussion
8.5 Conclusions

9 Conclusions and recommendations
9.1 General
9.2 Main contributions
9.3 Recommendations for future research

10 References

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Veronica Minaya is a PhD candidate in Eco-hydrology at UNESCO-IHE and TU-Delft, the Netherlands. She has a background in Civil Engineer with two Msc degrees in Water Resources (2008) and Environmental Sciences (2010). She has extensive fieldwork experience in Ecuador (highlands and rainforest regions) and in Kenya (Mara River). Veronica's PhD research uses a biogeochemical model to look at carbon, nitrogen, water cycles in a combined glacier - grassland catchment in the Ecuadorian Andes. She is also interested in research development, and women & youth empowerment. Veronica is actively involved in youth organizations, president of the IAHR-YPN Delft and member of the Water Youth Network.