Land-use management and recovery of ecosystem services in a tropical agroforest landscape

Tropical agro-forest frontier areas are highly dynamic landscapes that consist of mosaics of different land-uses, mainly forest remnants, grazing lands, agricultural lands and secondary forest. These landscapes provide essential benefits for local human populations, while at the same time representing important challenges for sustainability and biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity loss, as a consequence of big anthropogenic disturbances and inadequate management practices, alter ecosystem functioning, reduce the provision of ecosystem services and diminish the recovery capacity of the degraded lands. To reduce trade-offs and maximize benefits between biodiversity maintenance, ecosystem services supply, and local actor’s needs, it is essential to characterise land-use and to develop adequate management practices.

This research project aimed to investigate the effects of livestock management and soil quality on ecosystem services and plant communities of induced grasslands in a tropical agro-forest landscape, located in the Lacandon rainforest, south-eastern Mexico. The effects of ecological restoration on biodiversity and ecosystem services of abandoned lands formerly devoted to livestock production were also explored.