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Human Impacts on the Cloud Forests of the Upper Guayllabamba River Basin, Ecuador, and Suggested Management Responses

  • Fausto O. Sarmiento
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 110)

Abstract

The fate of tropandean landscapes in Ecuador is of special concern because of the ongoing biological impoverishment and habitat fragmentation. Ecuador hosts a great variety of ecosystems, ranging from the lush Amazonian forests to snow-capped mountains and from the Andean vergent to the semi-arid Galapagos islands. The topographic complexity of the Andes mountains produces a large number of bioclimatic zones, each with different land use regimes. Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse nations per unit area (Steinitz-Kannan, Colinvaux, and Kannan 1983) in the neotropics. In addition to the great biodiversity, Ecuador has a rich variety of indigenous cultures, which have lived there for millennia. Post-Colombian anthropogenic pressures have had severe impacts on the land and biotic resource base, with feedbacks on the traditional lifestyles of indigenous peoples. Currently, Ecuador stands at an important environmental crossroad. Therefore, protection of the fragile and fragmented natural tropandean ecosystems is an immediate concern for Ecuadorian land use planning.

Keywords

Cloud Forest Montane Cloud Forest Eastern Cordillera Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Western Cordillera 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fausto O. Sarmiento

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