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Caldasia

Print version ISSN 0366-5232

Abstract

CASTRO-ROMERO, MILENA; VALDES-LOPEZ, CESAR  and  BARRERA-CATANO, JOSÉ IGNACIO. Priority of soil ecological restoration and its associated ecological services degraded by agricultural use in Santa Helena Microbasin (Suesca-Cundinamarca). Caldasia [online]. 2014, vol.36, n.1, pp.37-52. ISSN 0366-5232.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/caldasia.v36n1.43890.

In the Santa Helena’s microbasin, the intense livestock and agricultural activities have promoted degradation of ecosystems and declination of soil ecological services (ESSs), which are the support for natural communities and people activities. We found that if actions for reestablishment ESSs are not taken, the environmental degradation will not stop, and people and natural communities that inhabit the microbasin will not be able enjoy these ESSs. Through the analysis of the soil ecological services (SESs) and the farm economic valuation (FEV), we defined a function to identify priorities for soil restoration for each case. For this, the ecological services of the soil (ESSs) in the microbasin were identified, the capacity of soil to provide ESS was estimated, the microbasin´s farms were economically evaluated and the priorities of soil reestablishment were defined. We identified four levels of ESSs’ conservation (LCs); of the 95.3 hectares evaluated in the microbasin, 10.2% of them had a very low LC, 53% had medium LC and 23.6% showed high LC. At the landscape level, out of 43 landscape units that were chosen to undertake the farm economic valuation (FEV), 18 landscape units had low score FEV, 9 landscape units had medium FEV and 16 landscape units had high to very high FEV. The Landscape units that showed low and very low conservation or low FEV were qualified with very high priority for ER, while the landscape units with high LCs or those which had high FEV were qualified low priority of ER.

Keywords : Economic valuation; Ecological services; Ecological restoration; Landscape evaluation; Soil recovery.

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