Boletín de Ciencias de la Tierra
versão impressa ISSN 0120-3630
Cattle was brought by the Spaniards to the Caribbean Islands about 5 centuries ago, and from there was translated to the American continent. In the Colombian highlands, climate enables rising and reproducing of brands used for milk production, cows . In the central area of the Antioquia department, the natural vegetation before European colonization was humid forest, which was in many places replaced by pastures. This change caused a great loss in organic matter content of the soil upper horizons and also an increase in their density due to the effect of cow foots, forming cattle trails. As a result trails appear in slopes between 27.5º and 33.4º, with lateral inclinations of 0º to 20º and a wideness of about 60 cm; they modify soil density and permeability and practically suppress vegetation cover in the stepped areas. Their evolution without control may induce small slope movements and event total soil destruction. This project was carried out in the central area of the Antioquia department, in municipalities of Guarne, Rionegro, San Vicente, San Nicolas and Medellin, at altitudes between 1500 and 2500 m above sea level, which correspond to humid and very humid tropical mountain forest and include soils derived from different parent materials. Preliminary conclusions point toward the necessity to limit cow grazing in slopes to areas located below a critical value.
Palavras-chave : Surfaces erosion; Cattle rising; Slope processes; Mountain humid tropic; Colombia; Central Cordillera.