Agroecologia y biodiversidad de las sabanas en los llanos orientales de Colombia

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International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)


The Neotropical savanna ecosystem encompasses the plains of Colombia and Venezuela, the Brazilian Cerrados, and the savannas of Bolivia and Guyana. The 250 million hectares involved have been subjected to human intervention since the 1970s, including the introduction of improved grasses, development of 50% of the Brazilian cattle herd, and extension of soybean cultivation. The expansion of the agricultural and livestock frontier brings with it the development of road infrastructure and petroleum exploitation. The impact on the ecosystem deserves attention. For example, the Orinoquian Plains belong to the basin and delta of South America's third largest river by volume (the Orinoco) and the sixth by contribution of sediments. The development of this basin (900,000 km2) would have, without doubt, a scarcely imagined, effect of international dimensions. The intensification of production systems will affect native vegetation whose conservation implies integration with introduced species, especially forages. This collaborative work provides, over 12 chapters, an inventory of native species and their characterization, a description of experiments that measured the effects of fire and grazing in the savannas, a study of soil macrofauna, and recommendations for the intensive and rational use of native savanna. One of several appendices contains two illustrated synoptic keys (original and unique) identifying grass species in a representative section of higher lying savannas known as altillanuras.


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Ecological restoration, Grasslands, Biodiversity conservation, Savannah, Controlled burning, Soil fauna, Grassland management, Agroecology, Ecosystem


CIAT Publication no. 332