Loss of plant diversity at a gradient of intensification of sistemaagrícola of slash and burn: a case study in the Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, Mexico

  • Susana Ochoa-Gaona Departamento de Agroecología, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
  • Francisco Hernández-Vázquez Instituto Manantlan de Ecología y Conservación de la Boidiversidad, Universidad de Guadalajara
  • Bernardus H. J. De Jong Departamento de Agroecología, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
  • Francisco D. Gurri-García El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Campeche
Keywords: tropical rain forest, woody flora, traditional agriculture system, species conservation, secondary vegetation

Abstract

We analyzed the effect of intensifying the traditional slash-and-burn system on floristic diversity in order to determine the threshold of frequency and duration of cultivation below which native woody species can be maintained.A total of 39 floristic inventories were conducted in the Northern Region of the Selva Lacandona of secondary vegetation with different ages (AE) and use history. We constructed an integrity index (II) that combines agricultural use intensity (number of years under cultivation) and frequency of slash-and-burn agriculture.We applied a canonical correspondence analysis to group the species according to AE and II. We found that fallows originated from slash-and-burn systems with low use intensity and low frequency can act as a reservoir of species of mature tropical forests. However, if the intensification trend of slash-and-burn continues toward longer periods of cultivation and higher frequencies of slash-and-burn, this will create a more homogeneous landscape with a very high contrast with the remaining forest patches, which will limit the dispersal, establishment and sustainability of the portion of  primary species that could survive under conditions of low-intensive slash-and-burn agriculture.

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Loss of plant diversity at a gradient of intensification of sistemaagrícola of slash and burn: a case study in the Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, Mexico
Published
2007-12-15
How to Cite
Ochoa-Gaona, S., Hernández-Vázquez, F., De Jong, B. H. J., & Gurri-García, F. D. (2007). Loss of plant diversity at a gradient of intensification of sistemaagrícola of slash and burn: a case study in the Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, Mexico. Botanical Sciences, (81), 65 - 80. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.1766
Section
ECOLOGY / ECOLOGÍA