Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    On the edge of fluidity: international cooperation in turbulent times
    Umans, Laurent - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Alberto Arce. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579033 - 202
    development cooperation - policy processes - international cooperation - bolivia - actor-network theory - netherlands - ontwikkelingssamenwerking - beleidsprocessen - internationale samenwerking - bolivia - actor-network theorie - nederland

    This thesis reflects the results of action-research carried out in development cooperation, policy development and diplomacy. Research was conducted in three communities in Bolivia as well as in the offices of development practitioners, policy makers and diplomats. The research focuses on international cooperation in practice and as a practice. In this thesis I share my insights on how strategies, approaches and policies affect and shape international cooperation. In practice, development practitioners tend to shape their practices as interventions in order to fix the recipient’s problems through transfers. They shape the so-called beneficiaries’ social, discursive, political and performative practices. They assume policies will guide their actions through straightforward implementation. This might work very efficiently and effectively in rather simple situations in which entities (singular things or phenomena) and relations are separable, processes are linear and causality is easily understood. Both this interventionist type of development cooperation and simple situations are characterized by assumptions regarding high levels of differentiation, segmentation, predictability and stability.

    If the situation becomes complex rather than simple, which is often the case in development cooperation, then entities are still separable but relations have become inseparable (one relation affects other relations). And processes have become non-linear (feedback loops). I argue that in such a complex situation, development cooperation can best be shaped by the facilitation strategy and the fit-in-context approach. And it is better to understand policies as not being transferred through intermediaries but as being translated through mediators during implementation. To understand how ‘shaping’ takes place in such complex situations, the Actor-oriented approach and Actor-Network Theory are a useful frameworks.

    In my field research I noted that besides being complex, the reality I encountered can be fluid. This occurs when even the entities are inseparable, unstable, undifferentiated, volatile, turbulent or undetermined. I will give four examples. First, the Yuracaré corregimientos. These are territorial subdivisions. My research revealed that near the river they are demarcated by clear points and lines and that inside the forest their boundaries is blurred. So their nature is partly bounded and neat as well as partly amorphous and fused. The second example is about a sawmill. The sawmill the Yuracaré received from a development organization, has multiple, sticky imprints. These make its boundary blurred. Its nature is not a material singularity (one machine) but a socio-material assemblage of materialities and embodied knowledges, meanings, etc. Its sticky, blurred nature makes it inseparable from its earlier context. The third example is about inseparable policy issues. My research revealed that traide is an emerging policy assemblage which merges aid and trade and dissolves the traditional dividing line between those policy fields or practices. Finally, the example of Earth-beings. These are unknowns rather than determined entities. These various rather undifferentiated ‘objects’ that I encountered in my research, are causes for failure and surprise. They escape the common practice and notions used in international cooperation. Therefore, I propose different concepts to analyse them: becomings rather than beings and multities rather than entities.

    These becomings and multities render the situation fluid rather than complex. This poses challenges for development cooperation, policy development and diplomacy in practice. Instead of intervention or facilitation I argue there is a need to encourage self-development and to not be afraid to let-go. This strategy requires a different set of social, discursive, political and performative practices. Instead of the ‘fix-their-problems’ or ‘fit-in-context’ approaches, this research shows a need for a ‘go-with-the-flow approach’. Instead of controlling or mediating the policy cycle, there is a need to give space for creative reassembling.

    In these ways fluidity affects international cooperation as practice. Becomings and multities reveal a viscous reality of different differences. The entities constitute a topographic, solid space-time of points (positions), lines (relations, transitions), figures, extensions, phases, calculations and external references. The multities constitute a topological, fluid space-time of vectors, manifolds, intensities, flows (transformations), escapes and self-references. The solid and fluid are not separable but co-constituted and form an immanent viscous entirety. In this thesis, the viscosity does not refer to the nature or physicality of materiality but viscosity refers to the nature of realities, that is to see, it is ontological. Realities of different natures are enfolding in a continuous movement in-between becoming-a-being (stabilizing, differentiating) and being-a-becoming (destabilizing, deterritorializing). In such dynamic realities, development is not an externally aided or imposed transition from A to B but is always self-development of a partly amorphous assemblage. Development as a becoming is a transformation and movement in-between A and B (solid and fluid). Development cooperation is neither shaped by transfers nor actor-networking but by the continuous practices of assembling in the midst of processes of de- and reterritorialization. And policy development is not a cyclical process in time (where formulation is followed by implementation) but a movement in space-time, with stabilizing forces and escapes affecting the assemblages (see Chapter 6).

    As part of working in and studying international cooperation I also engaged with the practice of diplomacy (see Chapter 7). My research focuses on the changing bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Bolivia. Both governments explored and desired a relation among equals. Equality was to be found in mutually beneficial geo-economic cooperation. In the new bilateral relationship, the lithium deposits in Bolivia became central, but the nature of lithium was differently perceived. Lithium can be conceived of as a passive natural resource out there. It is a chemical, inert substance placed in the periodic table of the elements. However, in Andean ontologies, lithium is an animated matter, an Earth-being. Through Andean practice, lithium is enacted as being alive and it must be taken care of. These different natures of lithium were negotiated in the diplomatic encounter I studied. What was foreign to politics (the natures of nature) has become part of foreign politics. This ontological politics is a transformative force for diplomacy as a practice. Diplomacy, seen as the art of overcoming incommensurable differences, is no longer merely a geopolitical or geo-economic affair but it became an ontological affair. It is needed to address peacefully the different ways of shaping, thinking and enacting worlds. The world is not only prior to practice (in terms of acting and performing) but a practice is prior to the world. The performativity of practice is enacting the world. Diplomats then become creative world-makers.

    Through a different practice, people bring different and multiple worlds into being. These multiple worlds can have different natures. I argue there is a need for acknowledging the different natures of the natural and of the human. The political nature of negotiating and enacting (often implicitly) different ontologies has to be acknowledged and should become part of diplomacy. The significance of this particular diplomatic practice no longer lies in the negotiation of incommensurable political positions but in negotiating incommensurable ontologies and worlds. In turbulent times, diplomacy is needed more than ever but simultaneously in need of transformation and expansion.

    Finally, diplomatic skills are needed in social sciences to address certain biases towards the topographical, particularly in Actor-Network Theory. A Deleuzian complementation, focusing on the varying intensities of separability, differentiation, stability and determination, would bring in more symmetry between the topographical and topological.

    Grassroots scalar politics: Insights from peasant water struggles in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes
    Hoogesteger van Dijk, J.D. ; Verzijl, A. - \ 2015
    Geoforum 62 (2015). - ISSN 0016-7185 - p. 13 - 23.
    irrigation system - user organizations - latin-america - governance - ecology - bolivia - justice - rights - construction - reflections
    Based on insights from peasant and indigenous communities’ struggles for water in Andean Peru and Ecuador, in this article we argue that the defense of grassroots interests -and with it the advancement of more equitable governance- greatly hinges on the capacity of these groups to engage in grassroots scalar politics. With increasing pressure on water resources in the Andes, the access to water of many rural peasant and indigenous communities is being threatened. The growing realization that their access to water and related interests are embedded in broader regional and national politics, legal frameworks and water policies, has led many communities and peasant water user associations to engage in networks and create alliances with other water users, governmental institutions and non-governmental actors. To better understand these (and other) grassroots struggles and strategies, in this contribution we develop the concept of grassroots scalar politics, which we use as a lens to analyze two case studies. In Ecuador we present how water users of the province of Chimborazo have defended their interests through the consolidation of the Provincial Water Users Associations’ Federation Interjuntas-Chimborazo and its networks. Then we focus on how with the support of Interjuntas-Chimborazo the Water Users Association of the Chambo irrigation system defended their historical water allocation. In Peru we analyze the conformation and achievements of the federative Water Users Association of Ayacucho (JUDRA) and present how the community of Ccharhuancho in the region of Huancavelica, managed to defend its waters and territory against the coastal irrigation sector of Ica
    Legacies of Amazonian dark earths on forest composition, structure and dynamics
    Quintero Vallejo, E.M. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Frans Bongers; Lourens Poorter, co-promotor(en): Marielos Pena Claros; T. Toledo. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574267 - 168
    bossen - bosgronden - bosdynamiek - bodemvruchtbaarheid - botanische samenstelling - soortensamenstelling - plantengemeenschappen - amazonia - bolivia - forests - forest soils - forest dynamics - soil fertility - botanical composition - species composition - plant communities - amazonia - bolivia

    Amazonian forest is seen as the archetype of pristine forests, untouched by humans, but this romantic view is far from reality. In recent years, there is increasing evidence of long and extensive landscape modification by humans. Processes of permanent inhabitation, expansion and retreat of human populations have not always been obvious in those ecosystems, leaving sometimes weak and overlooked imprints in the landscape. An example of one of these inconspicuous alterations are the modifications in the soil known as Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE) or ‘terra preta’ (black earth in Portuguese), which are the product of the accumulation of residuals from permanent or semi-permanent human inhabitation. They are named after the black color of the soils, which is a consequence of the accumulation of charcoal pieces and organic matter in the soil. These soils also contain higher levels of phosphorous, calcium (mainly originated from bone residuals), and nitrogen that increase fertility of the naturally poor soils, thus favouring agricultural practices. Amazonian Dark Earths are distributed in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru, and it is estimated that they could occupy 3% of the area of the Amazon basin.

    With the decrease in human population in the Americas after the encounter with European colonists, sites where ADE had been formed were abandoned and the vegetation recovered. So far, the effects of ADE on old growth forest had not been widely examined and we are just starting to understand the consequences of past human inhabitation on forest composition and structure. In my thesis, I evaluated the effects of ADE on the forest that has re-grown after abandonment by indigenous people in the La Chonta forest, situated at the southern edge of the Amazon basin, in Bolivia. First, I assessed the magnitude of the changes in the soil as a consequence of human occupation. Then, I studied how soil changes affected plant species composition in the forest understory, forest structure and forest dynamics, and finally I determined how seedlings of tree species respond to anthropogenic changes in soil properties.

    Detailed information on soil characteristics and its heterogeneity in the landscape is needed to evaluate the effects of soil on the vegetation. Soil heterogeneity in some sites in the Amazon basin can be increased by the presence of ADE. Therefore, I did detailed soil surveys that allowed me to understand the relationship between past human occupation and alteration in the concentration of soil nutrients. I found that natural soils in the southern Amazonian forest are more fertile than their Central and Eastern Amazon counterparts. Past human presence in the area resulted in soil enrichment, due to increases in the concentration of phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and increases in soil pH. Thus, with this information I could test specific hypothesis about the effects of soil fertility on the vegetation that occurs in these sites.

    In the Amazonian forest in general, soil characteristics influences the composition of understory angiosperm herbs, ferns and palm species. Thus, increases in soil fertility in ADE could affect the distribution of understory angiosperm herbs, ferns and palm species. I evaluated the effect of ADE on composition, richness and abundance of understory species (ferns, angiosperm herbs, and palms). I correlated soil variables associated with ADE, such as Ca, P, and soil pH, with species composition, richness and abundance. I found that the presence of ADE created a gradient in soil nutrients and pH, which changed the composition of understory species, especially of ferns and palms. Additionally, the higher nutrient concentration and the more neutral pH on ADE soils were associated with a decrease in the richness of fern species. I therefore conclude that the current composition of the understory community in La Chonta is a reflection of past human modification of the soil.

    Soil heterogeneity drives forest structure and forest dynamics across the Amazon region, but at a local scale the role of soils on forest dynamics is not well understood. The study of Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE) opens an opportunity to test how increases in soil fertility could affect forest structure and dynamics at local scales. I evaluated the effect of ADE on forest attributes, such standing basal area, tree liana infestation and successional composition, defined by the relative presence of pioneers, to shade tolerant species in the forest. I also evaluated the effect of ADE on individual components of forest dynamics: basal area growth, recruitment, and mortality. Surprisingly, I found that these fertile ADE affected only few forest attributes and components of forest dynamics. Soil pH was one of the edaphic variables that significantly explained forest structure and dynamics. A higher soil pH increased recruitment of intermediate-sized trees (with stem diameter between 20 and 40 cm) and decreased mortality of large trees (stem diameter > 40 cm). The most important effect of pH, however, was on initial basal area and successional composition, which directly affected growth in basal area of intermediate-sized trees.

    Increases in soil nutrients can drive plant responses promoting higher growth rates and lower mortality. Plants respond to soil nutrient availability through a suite of traits, by adjusting their biomass allocation patterns, morphology, tissue chemistry and physiology, which allow them successful establishment and regeneration. The higher amount of nutrients found on ADE compared to natural soils could improve the growth of tropical tree species. I studied the effect of ADE on seedling growth, morphology and physiology in a greenhouse experiment with seedlings of 17 tree species from La Chonta. I found that seedlings did not invest more in roots in non-ADE (to take up scarce soil resources) but they invested in leaves and leaf area in ADE (to enhance light capture), although this did not lead to faster growth rate. Tree species responded differently to an increase in soil Ca concentration, which was 2.4 times higher in ADE than in non-ADE soils. Some species seemed to suffer from Ca toxicity as indicated by higher seedling mortality on ADE; others suffered from nutrient imbalance; whereas other species increased their leaf Ca, P and N concentrations in ADE. Only for this latter group of nutrient accumulators, there was a positive relationship between leaf Ca concentration and the growth rates of seedlings. Contrary to expectations, ADE did not lead to increased seedling growth. The ability of plants to colonize patches of ADE might depend on plant responses to increased soil Ca and their capacity to regulate internal tissue calcium to balance nutrition.

    In summary, in this southern Amazon forest the increased soil nutrient concentrations are a legacy of the humans that inhabited the area. This nutrient addition caused changes in understory species composition and decreased fern species richness and had modest effects on forest structure and dynamics. Increases in nutrients, specifically Ca, can cause positive and negative responses of tree species, resulting in potentially long term effects on the tree species composition of the forest.

    Time-dependent effects of climate and drought on tree growth in a Neotropical dry forest: Short-term tolerance vs. long-term sensitivity
    Mendivelso, H.A. ; Camarero, J.J. ; Gutierrez, E. ; Zuidema, P. - \ 2014
    Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 188 (2014). - ISSN 0168-1923 - p. 13 - 23.
    tropical forests - ring chronologies - rain-forest - santa-cruz - water-use - phenology - patterns - bolivia - precipitation - coordination
    We analyzed the effects of climate and drought on radial growth using dendrochronology in seven deciduous tree species coexisting in a Bolivian tropical dry forest subjected to seasonal drought. Precipitation, temperature and a multiscalar drought index were related to tree-ring width data at different time-scales (from one month to 42 years). Precipitation affected positively tree growth in all species, mainly during the wet season, while temperature affected it negatively in five species. Tree growth responses to precipitation and temperature were species-specific and peaked at short-time scales, specifically from one to nine months. At inter-annual scales tree growth always responded positively to less dry conditions at short-time scales, particularly from two to seven months, and also at long-time scales from six to 30 years. Tree growth was mainly sensitive to multi-annual droughts and such sensitivity differed among species. Our findings suggest that tree species of the studied tropical dry forest are predominantly sensitive in terms of growth reduction to long-lasting droughts. This time-dependency of growth responses to drought should be explicitly considered as an additional constraint of the community dynamics in evaluations of the future responses of tropical dry forests to climate warming. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Conserving the genetic diversity of Bolivian wild potatoes
    Cadima Fuentes, X. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Marc Sosef, co-promotor(en): Ronald van den Berg; Rob van Treuren. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571686 - 229
    solanum - bolivia - wilde verwanten - gewassen - genetische bronnen van plantensoorten - conservering - ex-situ conservering - in-situ conservering - genenbanken - biosystematiek - genetische diversiteit - verzamelmissies - solanum - bolivia - wild relatives - crops - plant genetic resources - conservation - ex situ conservation - in situ conservation - gene banks - biosystematics - genetic diversity - collecting missions

    Abstract thesis Ximena Cadima Fuentes (to be defended on 8 Dec 2014):

    Conserving the genetic diversity of Bolivian wild potatoes

    The wild relatives of potatoes (Solanum sect. Petota) form the genetic reservoir for the improvement of the cultivated potato. Bolivia harbours 39 wild taxa of these wild potatoes, 21 of which are endemic species. This study aimed to evaluate to what level the current ex situ and in situ management efforts have conserved the genetic diversity of Bolivian wild potato species, and what recommendations can be formulated for improvement.

    The current conservation status of Bolivian endemic wild potato species was assessed using both the globally accepted IUCN criteria and a methodology developed within the framework of the UNEP/GEF-Crop Wild Relative Project (CWR Project). These two methods led to different estimates of threat status for some of the species. Spatial analysis allowed to distinguish eight priority areas for in situ conservation of the 21 Bolivian endemic wild potato species. These areas represent a high concentration of endemic species and have a relatively low level of threat, but only one of them has a conservation status. This is a first step to direct the conservation efforts for wild potato species.

    The genetic stability and diversity of material from different species under ex situ management was evaluated using microsatellite markers. The analysis was performed on accessions that went through a process of seed regeneration and multiplication during ex situ conservation. Genetic changes between different generations of ex situ germplasm were observed for the majority, but not all, of the investigated species. Potential causes of these changes include genetic drift and contamination resulting from human error during regeneration. The populations generated under ex situ conditions were also compared with re-collected in situ populations from the same location or area as the original collection. The results showed highly significant differences in all cases. Potential causes for these differences are changes during ex situ maintenance, sampling effects during collecting and in situ genetic change over time.

    The integrated conservation of Bolivian wild potatoes requires a combination of in situ and ex situ activities. The principle recommendation for the in situ conservation is to move from a passive to an active approach, where conservation areas are prioritized, conservation plans are designed according to the type of area (protected area or agro-ecosystem) and local stake holders are involved. To make sure that ex situ material provides a good representation of the in situ genetic variability, regular re-collecting of species with few accessions (and therefore less variability), endangered in situ, and with known or potential favorable traits is necessary. Gene bank management procedures should follow the FAO gene bank standards and this should be monitored by a national body responsible for genetic resources. And finally, periodic monitoring of the genetic integrity should be implemented as part of good practices during regeneration procedures in order to detect possible changes and to help combat human errors.

    Dignity for the Voiceless; Willem Assies's Anthropological Work in Context
    Salman, T. ; Martí i Puig, S. ; Haar, G. van der - \ 2014
    New York/Oxford : Berghahn (Cedla Latin America studies vol. 103) - ISBN 9781782382928
    politieke bewegingen - sociale structuur - sociale antropologie - etnische groepen - etniciteit - politiek - overheidsbeleid - regering - beleid - andes - landbouw - inheemse volkeren - bolivia - peru - latijns-amerika - political movements - social structure - social anthropology - ethnic groups - ethnicity - politics - government policy - government - policy - andes - agriculture - indigenous people - bolivia - peru - latin america
    In 2010, Willem Assies, an astute and prolific Latin Americanist and political anthropologist, died unexpectedly, at the age of 55. This book brings together some of his writings. Assies would always gave central stage to the collective and multi-layered actor and not the system — but he would constantly do so within the context of restrictions, pressures, conditioning factors and contradictions, to provide the actor with a real setting of operation.
    Participation, politics and technology : agrarian development in post-neoliberal Bolivia
    Córdoba Blandón, D.M. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Kees Jansen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570665 - 170
    participatie - politiek - landbouwontwikkeling - technologie - plattelandsontwikkeling - staat - overheidsbeleid - liberalisme - politieke bewegingen - bolivia - participation - politics - agricultural development - technology - rural development - state - government policy - liberalism - political movements - bolivia
    The election of Morales – an indigenous and cocalero leader – and his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party became the most important political milestone in Bolivia’s recent history. The MAS promised to represent the most excluded sectors of the country, challenging the foundations of liberal democracy and the economic development model promoted during neoliberalism. This research analyses how did a highly politicized programme like that proposed by MAS in Bolivia come to implement rural development projects once in government? What are the differences between MAS proposal on participation and other visions of more technical and instrumental views on participation and rural development? Does MAS proposal on participation lead to alternative development or postneoliberal options? This thesis concludes that despite the MAS government’s efforts to politicize participation and agrarian development, in practice, and outside the heated moments of politically charged participation by social movements, the relationship between reaching technical efficiency and social justice is largely contingent; there is no one-to-one relationship between politics and technology. Concrete interventions in agrarian development have technical aspects where both versions of participation have to collaborate. This has brought contradictions within the MAS government as the necessity to work with the World Bank and implement participatory development to realize rural development interventions.
    The sensitivity of tropical forests to climate variability and change in Bolivia
    Seiler, C. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Pavel Kabat, co-promotor(en): Ronald Hutjes; Bart Kruijt. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461739230 - 157
    tropische bossen - klimaatverandering - gevoeligheid - klimaat - remote sensing - koolstof - bolivia - tropical forests - climatic change - sensitivity - climate - remote sensing - carbon - bolivia
    Forced Engagements: Water Security and Local Rights Formalization in Yanque, Colca Valley, Peru
    Boelens, R.A. ; Seemann, M. - \ 2014
    Human Organization 73 (2014)1. - ISSN 0018-7259 - p. 1 - 12.
    climate-change - governance - politics - irrigation - community - bolivia - policy - andes - field
    For vulnerable groups in society, water insecurity and deficient water availability for food production commonly reflect unequal distribution of water volumes, quality, and services within unequal power structures. Water security is necessarily a political dilemma. Policy debates, however, tend to naturalize and de-politicize this concept. Instead of recognizing that water security and distribution belong to the realm of human interests, choices, negotiation, and power plays, they are often represented as following universal economic, legal, and natural-scientific rules. In this context, there is a widespread policy assumption that formally recognizing local, customary water rights is one important element to grant water security for marginalized user groups. This paper challenges this assumption and examines the illustrative case of a Peruvian Andes community, Yanque. We scrutinize formalization policies that claim to enhance water security for marginalized communities regarding (1) material water allocation and (re) distribution and (2) water rulemaking, legitimate authority, and cultural-political organization-both elements that stand central in formalization processes. We discuss the complex relationship between formal and alternative "water securities" and the cultural politics of rights recognition and show that uncritical formalization of local water rights often leads to weakening rather than strengthening local water security.
    Unpredictable Outcomes in Forestry—Governance Institutions in Practice
    Koning, J. de - \ 2014
    Society & Natural Resources 27 (2014)4. - ISSN 0894-1920 - p. 358 - 371.
    natural-resource management - environmental governance - ecuadorian amazon - decentralization - deforestation - livelihoods - bolivia - conservation - bricolage - market
    Community forest management in the Amazon has been subject to institutional changes because of a shift from government to governance. Although these changes aim to create opportunities for local communities, the effectiveness of new institutions remains arbitrary. In particular, the unpredictability of legislative outcomes—as one of the institutional changes—evokes discussion on how local people respond to new institutions. This article analyzes the effects of forest institutions at the local level. By using the concept of institutional bricolage, the article argues that institutions in practice work differently than intended.
    Linking land-use intensification, plant communities, and ecosystem processes in lowland Bolivia
    Carreno Rocabado, I.G. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Frans Bongers, co-promotor(en): Lourens Poorter; Marielos Pena Claros. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735331 - 163
    landgebruik - intensivering - plantengemeenschappen - ecosystemen - laaglandgebieden - biodiversiteit - tropen - soortendiversiteit - strooisel - decompositie - ecologie - bolivia - land use - intensification - plant communities - ecosystems - lowland areas - biodiversity - tropics - species diversity - litter (plant) - decomposition - ecology - bolivia

    Land-use intensification (LUI) is one of the main global drivers of biodiversity loss with negative impact on ecosystem processes and the services that societies derive from the ecosystems. The effect of LUI on ecosystem processes can be direct through changes in environmental conditions and indirect through changes in plant community. In this dissertation I explored the mechanisms through which land-use intensification affects plant community assembly and ecosystem processes in the Bolivian lowland tropics. Specifically I evaluated: 1) how plant communities respond to LUI via plant response traits, 2) the effects of plant communities on decomposition via their effect traits, and 3) the relative importance of direct and indirect pathways in explaining LUI effects on ecosystem processes.

    I used two gradients of LUI, a long gradient, including five common and contrasting land use types (mature forest, logged forest, secondary forest, agricultural land, and pastureland), and a short gradient of disturbance intensity represented by four experimental treatments in managed forest (unlogged forest, and forest subject to one of three levels of logging intensity and application of silvicultural treatments). Plant community response and effect were evaluated based on species diversity and functional properties. I measured for the most dominant species 12 functional traits and 14 litter traits.

    Both gradients of LUI affected functional properties of the plant communities. An increase in LUI shifted plant communities from species characterized by slow growth and slow returns on resource investment (conservative species), toward species characterized by fast growth and fast returns on resources investment (acquisitive species). However, communities with an intermediate position along the LUI gradient (i.e., secondary forests) showed dominance of conservative species mainly due to land use management (abundance of palm species due to frequent burning). Along the short gradient of LUI demographic processes mediated the changes plant communities. With and increase in disturbance caused by logging and silvicultural treatments, there was an increased recruitment of individuals with more acquisitive trait values. Moreover, the response of functional diversity differed between both LUI gradients. Whereas functional diversity decreased along the long LUI gradient, it did not change along the short LUI gradient. Communities with an intermediate position along the long LUI gradient showed higher functional diversity than communities at the extremes of the gradient. Whereas both environmental and management filters drove changes in plant communities along a long LUI gradient, changes along a short LUI gradient were mainly driven by environmental filters.

    LUI affected litter decomposition through changes in environmental conditions and through changes in plant communities. With an increase in LUI decompositionpotential (measured as mass loss of standard litter incubated in all land use types) decreased. Since soil properties only weakly affected decomposition, other factors were probably the main drivers of the direct effects of LUI on decomposition potential. With increasing LUI the litter decomposability increased due to changes in litter quality produced by plant communities; litter from mature- and logged forest had low decomposability, litter from secondary forest had an intermediate decomposability, and litter from agricultural land and pastureland had high decomposability. Functional traits, such as leaf N concentration, specific leaf area and leaf chlorophyll content, were good and positive predictors of decomposition rate. Although experimentally litter quality explained more variation in decomposition rate across the long LUI gradient (48%) than environmental site characteristics (17%), the actual decomposition rate (in-situ decomposition of litter community into its own land use type) was site-dependent, and determined by both drivers that partlycompensated each other. Thus, litter with high decomposability (litter from pastureland) incubated in the land use type with low decomposition potential (pastureland plot) had generally a similar decomposition rate as litter with low decomposability (litter from mature forest) incubated in the land use type with high decomposition potential (mature forest plot).

    Tropical ecosystems are not only very diverse in species, they are also diverse in their responses to human disturbance. I concluded that LUI has important effects on plant community properties and ecosystem processes. These effects, however, contrast with some predictions of current ecological theory. High intensification of land use does not necessarily lead to low plant functional diversity, and less favourable environmental conditions for decomposition do not necessarily lead to low decomposition rates. Instead, the multiple factors related with management decisions at local scales cause a large heterogeneity of ecosystem responses. Consequently, depending on the management decisions taken, the negative effect of LUI could be mitigated.

    A structured multi-stakeholder learning process for Sustainable Land Management
    Schwilch, G. ; Bachmann, F. ; Valente, S. ; Coelho, C. ; Moreira, J. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Aderghal, M. ; Santos, P. ; Reed, M.S. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 107 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 52 - 63.
    public-participation - decision-support - governance - comanagement - environment - bolivia - india - slm
    There are many, often competing, options for Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Each must be assessed and sometimes negotiated prior to implementation. Participatory, multi-stakeholder approaches to identification and selection of SLM options are increasingly popular, often motivated by social learning and empowerment goals. Yet there are few practical tools for facilitating processes in which land managers may share, select, and decide on the most appropriate SLM options. The research presented here aims to close the gap between the theory and the practice of stakeholder participation/learning in SLM decision-making processes. The paper describes a three-part participatory methodology for selecting SLM options that was tested in 14 desertification-prone study sites within the EU-DESIRE project. Cross-site analysis and in-depth evaluation of the Moroccan and Portuguese sites were used to evaluate how well the proposed process facilitated stakeholder learning and selection of appropriate SLM options for local implementation. The structured nature of the process starting with SLM goal setting was found to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between stakeholders. The deliberation process led to a high degree of consensus over the outcome and, though not an initial aim, it fostered social learning in many cases. This solution-oriented methodology is applicable in a wide range of contexts and may be implemented with limited time and resources. .
    A review of assertions about the processes and outcomes of social learning in natural resource management
    Cundill, G. ; Rodela, R. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 113 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 7 - 14.
    ecological systems - adaptive comanagement - water management - community - governance - knowledge - scale - experiences - insights - bolivia
    Social learning has become a central theme in natural resource management. This growing interest is underpinned by a number of assertions about the outcomes of social learning, and about the processes that support these outcomes. Yet researchers and practitioners who seek to engage with social learning through the natural resource management literature often become disorientated by the myriad processes and outcomes that are identified. We trace the roots of current assertions about the processes and outcomes of social learning in natural resource management, and assess the extent to which there is an emerging consensus on these assertions. Results suggest that, on the one hand, social learning is described as taking place through deliberative interactions amongst multiple stakeholders. During these interactions, it is argued that participants learn to work together and build relationships that allow for collective action. On the other hand, social learning is described as occurring through deliberate experimentation and reflective practice. During these iterative cycles of action, monitoring and reflection, participants learn how to cope with uncertainty when managing complex systems. Both of these processes, and their associated outcomes, are referred to as social learning. Where, therefore, should researchers and practitioners focus their attention? Results suggest that there is an emerging consensus that processes that support social learning involve sustained interaction between stakeholders, on-going deliberation and the sharing of knowledge in a trusting environment. There is also an emerging consensus that the key outcome of such learning is improved decision making underpinned by a growing awareness of human-environment interactions, better relationships and improved problem-solving capacities for participants.
    Mallas y flujos : acción colectiva, cambio social, quinua y desarrollo regional indígena en los Andes Bolivianos
    Laguna, P. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Alberto Arce. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859604 - 522
    chenopodium quinoa - inheemse volkeren - producentengroepen - antropologie - sociale verandering - modernisering - economische ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - coöperatieve verenigingen - bolivia - andes - ontwikkeling - zuid-amerika - chenopodium quinoa - indigenous people - producer groups - anthropology - social change - modernization - economic development - social development - cooperative societies - bolivia - andes - development - south america

    This thesis studies collective action and social change in indigenous rural organisations (IRO) in the Bolivian Andes. I focus on the effects and importance that these organisations have in the historical process of regional development as social spaces that encapsulate different projects of social, political and economic modernity. I reconstruct the practices and situations that turn rural indigenous organisations into significant spaces in which individuals and groups of people put into practice their life projects and their aspirations of modernity. The main question of this thesis is: what are indigenous rural organisations in the Bolivian Andes and what are their contributions to regional development?

    To answer this question, I argue that we need to leave aside social constructivism and rational action present in current studies of indigenous rural organisations in the Andes that use the concept social capital. These organisations are not essences, totalities, nor are they are stable. Also, they are a more complex process than mere rational and technocratic action. IRO are contextual and situational spaces of social life that contain significant elements or objects, which are material and immaterial. These spaces are heterogeneities of humans and objects united by shared significant objects that are emergent, original and intensive. In this sense this organisations represent meshworks that interweave the changeable relationships between entities (humans and objects) and practices, and encompass the possibility of social change. These meshworks have different dimensions (economical, social, cultural, political). In each one of those, the flow of practices, interactions and experiences of individuals and groups of individuals simultaneously unify and break meaning, identity, affect, materiality and also regulation.

    I study three kindsof indigenous rural organisations fromthe Perisalar (the Bolivian Southern highlands): communities which are based on kinship relationships, ayllus which are ethnic groups and quinoa producer organisations. Communities are social spaces that contain significant elements of modernity, such as the desire for access to State education and to enjoy citizens’ rights, the wish for agricultural machinery and to produce for the global market, the diversity of livelihoods and the affirmation of racial and class identity. Ayllus are made by community assemblages and many comunarios belong to quinoa Producer Organisations. In this sense ayllus and producer organisations are important social spaces as they contain significant elements present in the communities. I present the social life of IRO starting from the intersection of local development practices and experiences with other social spaces: the market, migratory destinations, education, social movements and institutional intervention. In order to better understand the effects of social change and IRO, I chose a long-term historical vision, considering the emerging effects of the intersection of local and external practices and experiences, before and during the quinoa commoditisation process.

    The study concludes that IRO in the Bolivian Andes, are meshworks made by vibrant humans and objects with social vitality and intensity. They have the capacity to actualise significant elements of an economic, social, cultural and political character, in interaction with the Nation-State and the global market. These organisations increase through global market the vibrant character of significant elements such as quinoa, and by their recognition by the State they provide semi-autonomy to their members, and a space to make recognised their citizenship and their trade union, racial and class identities, and to locally redesign the State. Memory, identity and affect reveal the potential of IRO in repositioning past reminiscences and ancestral properties, and at the same time claim for a future that does not contain the same substance of that which is “the Andean”, “the Aymara” or “the Quechua”, rather incorporates new elements that lead to multiple “(neo)Andeans”, “(neo)Aymaras” and “(neo)Quechuas” forms, present in each and every one of the partial connections.

    These organisations contain a variety of symbols, discourses and practices that correspond to heterogeneous knowledge and forms of socialisation and thinking of modernity that sometimes result in tension, fissure and conflict without however being fragmented. That is why structuralism, institutionalism and rationalism partially explain the agency in ambiguous and eclectic social spacessuch areIRO, whose limitsare constantly redefined by the flow of experience of its members. Development through these organisations is a social process, experiential and unpredictable, reflexive and corporeal, cognitive and performative, that contains both cohesion and tear. For understanding IRO contribution to rural development we must describe the relational and the imaginative in the wishes and processes of social change and regional developmentand grasp the relevance of its individual members’ experiences and practices in the creation of social ties. Methodologically this leads us to dissolve analytical categories and to follow and observe individuals past and present practices and their intersections with other individuals, groups, structures and significant objects. Our study underlines the significance of human-object relation as a starting point for generating new analytical frameworks in indigenous Andean organizations.

    Reshaping institutions : bricolage processes in smallholder forestry in the Amazon
    Koning, J. de - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Bas Arts, co-promotor(en): Freerk Wiersum. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856979 - 268
    tropische bossen - bolivia - amazonia - governance - bosbezit - bosbouwkundige handelingen - besluitvorming - plattelandsgemeenschappen - niet-gouvernementele organisaties - instellingen - bosbeleid - tropical forests - bolivia - amazonia - governance - forest ownership - forestry practices - decision making - rural communities - non-governmental organizations - institutions - forest policy
    This thesis aims at identifying the different kinds of institutional influences on forest practices of small farmers in the Amazon region of Ecuador and Bolivia and how small farmers respond to them. It departs from the perspective that institutions affecting forest practices are subject to processes of institutional bricolage in which small farmers construct their own institutional frameworks by aggregating, altering, or articulating elements of existing disparate institutions. This research demonstrates that institutions, whether introduced by government, NGO, or already existing, are subject to processes of institutional bricolage that can be either conscious and strategic of nature or less conscious and unintentional.
    Riego campesino en los Andes. Seguridad hídrica y seguridad alimentaria en Ecuador, Perú y Bolivia
    Vos, J.M.C. ; Rap, E.R. - \ 2010
    Lima : Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) (Agua y sociedad. Seccion Concertación 14) - ISBN 9789972512810 - 336
    waterbeheer - landbouwproductie - bolivia - peru - ecuador - andes - water management - agricultural production - bolivia - peru - ecuador - andes
    Lo colectivo y el agua: entre los derechos y las prácticas
    Bustamante Zenteno, R.R. - \ 2010
    Lima : Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (Agua y sociedad. Seccion Concertación 13) - ISBN 9789972512797 - 272
    waterbeheer - watervoorraden - collectieve overeenkomsten - plattelandsontwikkeling - bolivia - ecuador - peru - waterrechten - andes - water management - water resources - collective agreements - rural development - bolivia - ecuador - peru - water rights - andes
    Reseña: La reivindicación de los derechos colectivos ha sido parte importante de las luchas de las organizaciones sociales que gestionan el agua en los Andes. Las formas de lo colectivo y las reglas en torno a su constitución están muy vinculadas a la existencia de estas organizaciones y a la diversidad de las relaciones que se establecen con y en torno al agua. Estas relaciones se mantienen a pesar de los fuertes embates de la "modernización" que a través de múltiples mecanismos promueve la existencia de derechos individualizados y transables en el mercado. ¿Cómo se manifiesta esta confrontación entre una gestión basada en derechos colectivos y procesos de reforma institucional que promueven la individualización en diferentes contextos socioeconómicos, históricos y políticos?, ¿ qué tipo de transformaciones están atravesando las organizaciones que gestionan el agua a raíz de estas dinámicas?
    Neotropical lowland forests along environmental gradients
    Toledo, M. - \ 2010
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Frans Bongers, co-promotor(en): Lourens Poorter; Marielos Pena Claros. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856573 - 157
    tropische bossen - laaglandgebieden - bossen - gradiënten - bosbedrijfsvoering - klimaatverandering - temperatuur - ecologie - regen - bosecologie - neotropisch gebied - bolivia - tropical forests - lowland areas - forests - gradients - forest management - climatic change - temperature - ecology - rain - forest ecology - neotropical region - bolivia
    Neotropical lowlands feature an extraordinary display of vegetation types. This is especially the case for Bolivia where three biogeographical regions, Amazonian, Brazilian-Paranaense and Gran Chaco meet in the lowland areas, providing thus an ideal setting to study vegetation-environment relationships. Understanding spatial patterns of tropical forests and the environmental factors determining these patterns is important for forest management and for predicting responses of forests to climate change. Thus, the main objective of this dissertation was to evaluate how environmental factors shape tropical lowland forests in Bolivia. Specifically it assessed how climatic and edaphic factors affect 1) forest structure, 2) floristic composition, 3) tree growth rates, and 4) species distribution. Additionally, it assessed how disturbance factors affect tree growth rates.

    For this research, I used a network of 220 1-ha permanent sample plots distributed along environmental gradients. For each plot, all stems  10 cm diameter were identified, evaluated and monitored; climatic data were interpolated from weather stations and soil samples were collected. In lowland Bolivia, seasonality increased from north to south. Rainfall decreases, and dry season length increases, along this gradient. Although in general the drier forest had more fertile soils than moister forests, some plots in moister forests were also fertile. A set of five climatic variables [annual temperature, annual precipitation, total precipitation of the three driest months, length of the dry period (# months < 100 mm), and length of the drought period (# months < 50 mm)] and 12 edaphic variables [cation exchange capacity, cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ and Na+), Olsen phosphorous, organic matter, nitrogen, acidity and percentage of different particles (sand, silt and clay)], were summarized into four environmental gradient axes using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). I used the two main climatic PCA axes (named after the most important factors they represent as “rainfall” and “temperature”) and the two soil PCA axes (named as “soil fertility” and “soil texture”) to reduce the number of highly correlated variables and to have composite variables that summarize the main environmental gradients. Rainfall axis, for example, represents a seasonality gradient. Finally, a stepwise selection approach was used to determine how the climatic and edaphic PCA axes affected the plant community.

    Structural attributes of the tropical forests differ along gradients. In Chapter 2, I described how forest structure varies among forests across lowland Bolivia. I considered 15 forest structural variables based on height, crown position, diameter, and liana infestation of each stem. I tested the hypothesis that stem density and basal area of trees and palms will increase with water availability and liana density will increase in drier forests. My results showed that tree maximum height, palm density and basal area increased with rainfall while lianas decreased with rainfall. While forest height and lianas were more affected by soil texture, palm density was negatively affected by soil fertility. Surprisingly, tree basal area was not affected by environmental factors. I found that rainfall, temperature and soil texture were more important drivers of forest structure than soil fertility. Thus climatic and edaphic factors have strong effects on variation in forest structure at the landscape-scale.

    Only recently researchers have started to examine the influence of environmental factors on species composition on a regional scale. In Chapter 3, I evaluated patterns in floristic composition using abundance and presence-absence data of 100 plant species. I predicted that climate is a more important factor than soil in shaping floristic composition. In line with my hypothesis the climatic gradient shaped the floristic variation more strongly than the edaphic gradient. Detrended Correspondence Analysis ordination divided lowland Bolivia primarily into two major groups (Southern Chiquitano versus Amazonian regions) and Multiple Response Permutation Procedure distinguished five floristic regions: Northern Amazon, Western Preandean, Eastern Amazon - Bajo Paraguá, Eastern Amazon - Guarayos, and Southern Chiquitano. In addition, all the environmental variables tested were significantly different among the floristic regions. Of the 100 species, 10 occurred in only one floristic region and 90 occurred in two or more floristic regions. I also distinguished 92 strong indicator species, which had significant environmental preferences for one floristic region, so these species can be indicators of environmental conditions. Given the predicted decreases in rainfall and increases in temperature for lowland forests, our gradient approach suggests that species composition may drastically shift with climate change.

    Most of the forest dynamic studies have evaluated the effects of temporal variation of rainfall on tree growth rates, but spatial variation on growth rates along gradients is less known. Thus, in Chapter 4, I described the variation in tree growth by examining growth rates at individual level (average diameter growth) and at stand level (basal area growth) across 165 plots, of which 85 were affected by logging. I expected that growth rates would be higher in humid than in dry sites, higher in nutrient-rich than nutrient-poor forests, and higher in logged than non-logged forests because of an increase in water, nutrients and light, respectively. I found positive basal area increases at the stand level which agrees with the generally reported biomass increases in tropical forests. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that environmental and disturbance factors significantly explained the high variation in growth rates. While rainfall and temperature had positive effects on tree growth, no clear effects with soil fertility were found. Probably our soil fertility was not large enough to detect effects on tree growth, or nutrients may also be available for plant growth from other sources than soil alone. Growth rates increased in logged plots, especially those which had a high logging impact. Future decreases in rainfall and increases in temperature due to climate change can also affect growth rates. The negative effects of increased seasonality, however, may be partly offset by the positive effects of temperature on tree growth. Forest managers should take into account the high variation in growth rates occurring in the lowland forests of Bolivia. Based on the results I advocate that management practices to be developed are specific to each forest and are in line with its characteristics and conditions.

    Ecologists have found different response curve shapes for species distribution, mostly for temperate species, but data in tropical species responses are surprisingly scarce. Therefore, in Chapter 5, I analyzed the distribution patterns of the 100 selected species and constructed response curves for each species against each of the four environmental gradient axes using logistic regression analysis on presence-absence data. I hypothesized that species frequency and abundance would be positively correlated, that the majority of the species would show unimodal response curves and that species would respond stronger to climate than to soil effects. I indeed found a positive trend between species abundance and occurrence but some abundant species were also narrowly distributed. While 25 species showed unimodal response curves to the rainfall gradient, and 10 species to temperature, only three species showed such response to soil fertility and none to soil texture. Probably, the sampled environmental gradient is not sufficiently large to find a higher number of unimodal responses. In line with my hypothesis, 91% of the species were affected by climatic factors and only 47% of the species were affected by soil factors. These results agree with the notion that species response types to environmental gradients will differ among species and among factors considered. Thus, multiple, rather than single, environmental factors must be used to explain the species distribution in tropical forests.

    In conclusion, this dissertation documented the high variation of tropical lowland forests in Bolivia and indicated that climate (i.e. rainfall and temperature) was the most important factor shaping forest structure, composition and dynamics. The high variation of forests and the ecological differences among regions have to be taken into account when developing forest-specific management plans. Finally, the results of the gradient approach suggest that with future decreases in rainfall and increases in temperature, due to climate change, drastic shifts can be expected in forest structure, composition and dynamics in these tropical lowland forests.

    Silvicultural treatments enhance growth rates of future crop trees in a tropical dry forest
    Villegas, Z. ; Peña-Claros, M. ; Mostacedo, B. ; Alarcón, A. ; Licona, J.C. ; Leaño, C. ; Pariona, W. ; Choque, U. - \ 2009
    Forest Ecology and Management 258 (2009)6. - ISSN 0378-1127 - p. 971 - 977.
    rain-forest - timber production - brazilian amazon - eastern amazon - management - sustainability - performance - bolivia - yield
    Silvicultural treatments are often needed in selectively logged tropical forest to enhance the growth rates of many commercial tree species and, consequently, for recovering a larger proportion of the initial volume harvested over the next cutting cycle. The available data in the literature suggest, however, that the effect of silvicultural treatments on tree growth is smaller in dry forests than in humid forest tree species. In this study, we analyze the effect of logging and application of additional silvicultural treatments (liana cutting and girdling of competing trees) on the growth rates of future crop trees (FCTs; i.e., trees of current and potentially commercial timber species with adequate form and apparent growth potential). The study was carried out in a tropical dry forest in Bolivia where a set of 21.25-ha plots were monitored for 4 years post-logging. Plots received one of four treatments that varied in intensity of both logging and silvicultural treatments as follows: normal (reduced-impact) logging; normal logging and low-intensity silviculture; increased logging intensity and high-intensity silviculture; and, unlogged controls. The silvicultural treatments applied to FCTs involved liberation from lianas and overtopping trees. Results showed that rates of FCT stem diameter growth increased with light availability, logging intensity, and intensity of silvicultural treatments, and decrease with liana infestation degree. Growth rate increment was larger in the light and intensive silvicultural treatment (22¿27%). Long-lived pioneer species showed the strongest response to intensive silviculture (50% increase) followed by total shade-tolerant species (24%) and partial shade-tolerant species (10%). While reduced-impact logging is often not sufficient to guarantee the sustainability of timber yields, application of silvicultural treatments that substantially enhanced the growth rates of FCTs will help move the management of these forests closer to the goal of sustained yield
    Aguas Rebeldes. Imágenes de la lucha por el agua y la justicia en los Andes
    Boelens, R.A. ; Parra, R. - \ 2009
    Quito : IEP & IMPREFEPP - ISBN 9789978302149 - 369
    waterbeheer - recht - richtlijnen (directives) - plattelandsgemeenschappen - politiek - wetgeving - cultuur - weerstand - collectieve overeenkomsten - ecuador - peru - bolivia - chili - watervoorraden - waterrechten - inheemse volkeren - identiteit - politieke bewegingen - justitie - andes - water management - law - directives - rural communities - politics - legislation - culture - resistance - collective agreements - ecuador - peru - bolivia - chile - water resources - water rights - indigenous people - identity - political movements - justice - andes
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