arrow arrow_up breadcrumb-chevron-right breadcrumb-home dropdown-arrow-down loader GALogoWUNEP menu read-more-plus rrss-email rrss-facebook rrss-flickr rrss-instagram rrss-linkedin rrss-twitter rrss-vimeo rrss-youtube rrss_google_plus rrss_skype rrss_web pdf search share play close filter-collapse filter edit media_photo_library media_video_library graphics pictures videos collections next

Deforestation in the Tropical Andes region

Grass- and wetlands cover the areas of the high Andes from the treeline and up to the edge of the snow. These unique ecosystems include the neotropical alpine grasslands, known as páramos, dry and wet puna grasslands and other wetlands. Páramos cover the upper part of the northern Tropical Andes and wet punas occupy a similar niche in the Central Andes. These grasslands, containing millions of streams, rivers, lakes, and various kinds of wetlands, are crucial to the hydrology of the mountains, providing water to tens of millions of people downstream. They are also important for biodiversity and provide carbon storage (Myers et al., 2000). Carbon stocks in Andean ecosystems are comparable with those in tropical lowland forests, especially when organic carbon stocks in the soil are considered (Spracklen and Righelato, 2014). Anthropogenic pressure, from agriculture and climate change in particular, threatens the capacity of these ecosystems and their services. Páramos are among the ecosystems most threatened by climate change, with one biome-based model predicting a loss of 31 per cent of páramos by 2050 (Tovar et al., 2013), without including the added threat of landuse change.

Year: 2016

From collection: Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Tropical Andes mountains

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal and Cartografare il Presente/Riccardo Pravettoni

Tags: vital graphics

Graphics included in same album

View all media

Publications it appears in

View all publications

Related activities

View all activities