25/06/2018 | CICLO DE CHARLAS 2018
Divergencias transfronterizas en ecoregiones de América del Sur
Dra PIQUER-RODRIGUEZ, María (Becaria Post doctoral )

(Becaria Post doctoral  IER-CONICET)
Ecoregions are homogeneous ecological entities of, often, big size that can cross national borders. Likewise, each country has its own socio-economic characteristics influencing land-use patterns that, in theory, differ within neighbouring regions. Yet , global forces can operate across countries and promote the homogeneization of land-use practices regardless of administrative borders. Understanding the national divergences of transboundary ecoregions and the factors that characterize them may aid at improving the natural resource planning of countries at regional scales. South-America harbours a diversity of nations and dynamic ecoregions that makes it an interesting study case. We studied the 43 transboundary ecoregions of South-America that are shared among two or more countries and have less than 90% of their area within one country. We characterized the socio-economic development and deforestation patterns of national-ecoregions (i.e., the section of a transboundary ecoregion that lies within a country) using variables of accessibility, night-time lights (as an indication of urbanization), fires (as a management tool), cropland expansion, grazing land expansion and deforestation between 2001-2014. We analysed divergences by calculating the Euclidean distance of all the variables among pairs of national-ecoregions that shared a border. Our results show that some national-ecoregions experience similar development between national borders. This is, for example, the case of the national-ecoregion Dry Chaco Argentina-Paraguay that is less divergent (i.e., more similar) than the Dry Chaco Bolivia-Paraguay in terms of socio-economic development and deforestation patterns. Our results highlight that planning land use at regional scales should be done with care since assuming that administrative borders differ in their development trends may be an oversimplification and future deforestation pathways in neighbouring countries may converge. This is of special importance in regions that share transboundary natural resources.