Impacto de la agricultura y ganadería sobre el bosque tropical seco de Zirándaro, Guerrero: una evaluación con indicadores ecológicos

Impact of agriculture and cattle raising on the tropical dry forest of Zirándaro, Guerrero: an evaluation using ecological indicators

Agustín Fuentes-Hernández, Marleth Mendoza-Orozco, Leticia Ríos-Casanova, Alfonso Soler-Aburto, Daniel Muñoz-Iniestra, Héctor Godínez-Alvarez

Abstract


Background: Agriculture and cattle raising modify the structure and functioning of tropical dry forest. The impact of these activities has been evaluated in regions of Jalisco and Yucatán, where slash-and-burn agriculture and extensive cattle raising are the main types of management. However, there are other regions such as Guerrero, where agriculture is combined with cattle raising. Yet, its impact on the forest has not been evaluated so far.

Question: What is the impact of agriculture/cattle raising and cattle raising on the tropical dry forest in Zirándaro, Guerrero?

Study sites and dates: The study was performed in Zirándaro, Guerrero, in December 2014 and June 2015.

Methods: We selected 9 sites with agriculture/cattle raising, cattle raising, and forest to sample vegetation and soil, and to calculate 10 ecological indicators. We also collected 9 soil samples to evaluate their physical and chemical properties.

Results: The soil of agriculture/cattle raising and cattle raising had higher bulk density, but lower porosity and organic matter content than the forest soil. The agriculture/cattle raising and cattle raising had low plant species richness and canopy cover. The agriculture/cattle raising had lower vegetation structure and higher proportion of basal gaps than cattle raising. These differences suggest that agriculture/cattle raising had a higher impact on forest than cattle raising. Yet, we did not find significant differences in most of the ecological indicators.

Conclusions: The agriculture/cattle raising and cattle raising have a relatively similar ecological impact on the tropical dry forest of Zirándaro, Guerrero.


Keywords


Balsas Basin; extensive cattle raising; land degradation; rainfed agriculture; tropical deciduous forest

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2043

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Botanical Sciences is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes scientific papers in plant sciences. The arguments, figures / schemes / photographs, quality and the general contents of this publication are full responsibility of the authors, and not commit the Editor- in-Chief or the Sociedad Botánica de México.

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