Land use trends are a main driver of environmental change. To explore patterns, future scenarios, and research agendas related to land cover and land use change in the Tropical Andes, an MRI synthesis workshop was held in Quito, Ecuador, 27-29 September 2017. The Tropical Andes represent a global biodiversity hotspot, and regulate environmental services such as watershed and soil protection that affect millions of people. Due to steep topography and frequent cloud cover, however, remote sensing analyses of land cover change in the region are limited to specific locations and time periods. To go some way towards addressing this, an MRI synthesis workshop was held in September 2017 in Quito, Ecuador, and attended by experts on different aspects of land science and ecosystem services working in the Andes of Venezuela, Colombia, Perú, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. The goal was to evaluate the results of a region-wide analysis of land cover change based on medium spatial resolution and high temporal resolution satellite images (Terra MODIS). Maps of trends in land cover (woodland, grassland, cropland, bare soil) over a period of 15 years (2001-2015) were assessed and validated by comparing them with the overall perception of change by local experts, with literature, […]
The 2017 Pathways Conference took place 17-20 September in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, USA. Its theme was FUTURES, addressing the myriad of issues that arise as people and wildlife struggle to coexist in a sustainable and healthy manner.
The attractions of Japan’s Southern Alps include dense evergreen coniferous forests and alpine meadows full of blooming globeflowers (or Trollius japonicus). These areas have been likened to an earthly paradise. In recent years however, sika deer have moved into this alpine zone. With them grazing on the rare plant community there is a danger that these alpine meadows, a symbol of the rich mountain environment, will disappear. Meadows vanish A questionnaire survey conducted in 1984 found that there were virtually no sika deer breeding in the northern part of the Southern Alps. Then, in the 1990s the sika deer quietly began to use the evergreen coniferous forests of Veitch’s silver fir and Maries fir in the subalpine zone, as well as the Erman’s birch forests and herbaceous communities. By the early 2000s the sika deer had encroached further into the subalpine zone and settled there, and within around ten years the colourful alpine meadows had disappeared. Previously, it was generally considered that the alpine environment, with its many steep slopes, was too harsh an environment for the sika deer to breed in. However, the hooves of sika deer living on these steep slopes have worn down, and are now like […]