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New paper accepted "Conservation opportunities for threatened paleochannel grasslands in the South American Dry Chaco" in the Journal for Nature Conservation


Conservation opportunities for threatened paleochannel grasslands in the South American Dry Chaco

On 13.12.2022 Dr. Soledad Andrade will present her research in the Institutkolloquium.

News from Dec 08, 2022

Our work highlights the need to include non-pristine systems that have received perturbation in the past in conservation actions to mitigate and reduce the degradation of threatened dryland habitats. Here, we mapped and described for the first time the paleochannel grasslands of the Argentinean Dry Chaco based on their current land cover, spatial configuration, primary productivity, fragmentation, and protection. We speculate that natural (shrub encroachment enhanced by overgrazing and fire management prohibition) and anthropogenic processes (farming and infrastructure) have transformed the grasslands into woody-dominated or agricultural systems. Therefore, while grasslands in low-transformation matrices were mainly replaced by shrubs, those in high-transformation matrices were integrated into agricultural landscapes. However, paleochannels in medium-transformation matrices showed the highest grassland cover, productivity, and intermediate fragmentation level. This last group of paleochannels, located mainly in the NW of the Argentinean Dry Chaco, should be prioritized in future conservation and management strategies, as currently is not included in any protection scheme.

Link to the accepted paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1617138122001790

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