SS 3
CANCELLED Land-Use Changes in Latin America: A Cross National Dialogue

Monday, August 11, 2014: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
304/305, Sacramento Convention Center
Beatriz Otero Jiménez, University of Michigan
Stephanie Cruz Maysonet, University of Virginia; and Diana K. Guzmán-Colón, University of Wisconsin
In this special session we will discuss the issues concerning land-use change in Latin America and the Caribbean. Traditionally, land transformations in this region have been driven by agricultural and pasture land expansion. As a result, tropical forest cover has been dramatically reduced. More recently, socioeconomic changes in Latin American countries have influenced land-use patterns through population growth, trade, consumption and technology. These socioeconomic changes often lead to agricultural land abandonment mostly due to rural-urban migration. A consequence of agricultural abandonment is the emergence of novel ecosystems that may favor recovery and create new landscape dynamics. Additionally, inappropriate land management practices have exacerbated desertification in Latin America, where 20% of the land is comprised of desert and arid areas.

Using case studies, this session is aimed at facilitating a dialogue about the broad ecological implications of land-use legacies in Latin America. We will be addressing the intersection between three main land-use patterns: deforestation, desertification and agricultural abandonment leading to forest regeneration.

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