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Article

Demand for Ecosystem Services Drive Large-Scale Shifts in Land-Use in Tropical Mountainous Watersheds Prone to Landslides

1
Departamento de Biologia, Universidad del Valle, Cali 760032, Colombia
2
Fundación EcoVivero, Cali 760033, Colombia
3
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR 00931, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: James Cleverly, Xiaolin Zhu, Patrick J. Comer, David Gwenzi, Eileen H. Helmer and Wan Shafrina Wan Mohd Jaafar
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(13), 3097; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133097
Received: 16 April 2022 / Revised: 19 June 2022 / Accepted: 22 June 2022 / Published: 27 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Tropical Montane Ecosystems and Elevation Gradients)
An increasing frequency of extreme atmospheric events is challenging our basic knowledge about the resilience mechanisms that mediate the response of small mountainous watersheds (SMW) to landslides, including production of water-derived ecosystem services (WES). We hypothesized that the demand for WES increases the connectivity between lowland and upland regions, and decreases the heterogeneity of SMW. Focusing on four watersheds in the Central Andes of Colombia and combining “site-specific knowledge”, historic land cover maps (1970s and 1980s), and open, analysis-ready remotely sensed data (GLAD Landsat ARD; 1990–2000), we addressed three questions. Over roughly 120 years, the site-specific data revealed an increasing demand for diverse WES, as well as variation among the watersheds in the supply of WES. At watershed-scales, variation in the water balances—a surrogate for water-derived ES flows—exhibited complex relationships with forest cover. Fractional forest cover (pi) and forest aggregation (AIi) varied between the historic and current data sets, but in general showed non-linear relationships with elevation and slope. In the current data set (1990–2000), differences in the number of significant, linear models explaining variation in pi with time, suggest that slope may play a more important role than elevation in land cover change. We found ample evidence for a combined effect of slope and elevation on the two land cover metrics, which would be consistent with strategies directed to mitigate site-specific landslide-associated risks. Overall, our work shows strong feedbacks between lowland and upland areas, raising questions about the sustainable production of WES. View Full-Text
Keywords: water-derived ecosystem services; small mountainous watersheds; land cover change; elevation and slope; Cauca valley; Colombia water-derived ecosystem services; small mountainous watersheds; land cover change; elevation and slope; Cauca valley; Colombia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Álvarez-Vargas, F.J.; Castaño, M.A.V.; Restrepo, C. Demand for Ecosystem Services Drive Large-Scale Shifts in Land-Use in Tropical Mountainous Watersheds Prone to Landslides. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 3097. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133097

AMA Style

Álvarez-Vargas FJ, Castaño MAV, Restrepo C. Demand for Ecosystem Services Drive Large-Scale Shifts in Land-Use in Tropical Mountainous Watersheds Prone to Landslides. Remote Sensing. 2022; 14(13):3097. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133097

Chicago/Turabian Style

Álvarez-Vargas, Francisco Javier, María Angélica Villa Castaño, and Carla Restrepo. 2022. "Demand for Ecosystem Services Drive Large-Scale Shifts in Land-Use in Tropical Mountainous Watersheds Prone to Landslides" Remote Sensing 14, no. 13: 3097. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14133097

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