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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Deforestation of "degraded" rangelands: The Argentine Chaco enters the next stage of the Anthropocene

Author
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Twenty years ago I completed my Master’s work in the Chaco forests of northern Argentina. The native forests are, in fact, rangelands. In addition to livestock grazing, there is timber extraction, wildlife harvest (think tegu lizard cowboy boots), and charcoal production. I took part in a project comparing biodiversity among production systems. A new system promised to reverse biodiversity loss and soil degradation. But it’s a moot point now since much of that forest has been cleared for cropland—the highest rate of tropical forest loss in the world.

Technical Abstract: Twenty years ago I completed my Master’s work in the Chaco forests of northern Argentina. The native forests are, in fact, rangelands. In addition to livestock grazing, there is timber extraction, wildlife harvest (think tegu lizard cowboy boots), and charcoal production. I took part in a project comparing biodiversity among production systems. A new system promised to reverse biodiversity loss and soil degradation. But it’s a moot point now since much of that forest has been cleared for cropland—the highest rate of tropical forest loss in the world.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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