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Wednesday, April 11 • 3:30pm - 3:45pm
TRADEOFFS IN ENERGY PRODUCTION: Impact of Afforested Eucalyptus Plantations on Ecosystem Services in Argentina

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AUTHORS: Colin Phifer*, Michigan Technological University

ABSTRACT: Ecosystem services (ES) provide essential goods and services to human communities, but many of these services can be impacted by land-use change. In Entre Ríos province, near the city of Concordia, in northeastern Argentina, large-scale eucalyptus plantations are replacing ranchlands and annual crops as the dominant land use. These afforested eucalyptus plantations represent a new land use in a region that was is part of the Pampas grassland. Favorable government policies and market conditions will likely result in the expansion of large-scale monocultures of even-aged eucalyptus stands with unknown consequences for multiple ecosystem services. To clarify and quantify the potential trade-offs between expanding plantations and ecosystem services, we modeled changes in carbon sequestration, pollination services, and avian biodiversity with InVEST ecosystem service software using both primary and secondary data sources. We first estimated these three ES for a 2013 baseline land use/land cover (LULC) map. We then considered the changes to ES for two future plausible scenarios, one representing a major expansion of eucalyptus and one that limits plantation expansion but increases fruit orchards, a plausible scenario based on interview and survey results with the community. Overall, community members valued the economic opportunities that plantations can provide but also were concerned about the scale of the plantations, changes in the environment, and changes in the culture and ways of life. Respondents were also aware of possible changes to ES and many reported seeing perceived changes in the environment as a result of the plantations. Our results suggest that the expansion of eucalyptus may cause potential declines of pollination service provided by wild bees and avian biodiversity, while increasing carbon sequestration. The degree of eucalyptus expansion drove much of the changes in ecosystem services. Overall, our study illuminates the trade-offs inherent in land-use change and the importance of valuing community perspectives.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 3:30pm - 3:45pm CDT
LaSalle 2 (7th Floor)

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