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2020-02-29 | Peer Reviewed

Soil natural capital vulnerability to environmental change. A regional scale approach for tropical soils in the Colombian Andes.

Machado, Jenny, Clara Inés Villegas Palacio, Juan Carlos Loaiza and Dario A Castañeda. 2019. “Soil natural capital vulnerability to environmental change. A regional scale approach for tropical soils in the Colombian Andes..” Ecological Indicators 96: 116-126.
Download reference Doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.08.060

In recent decades, the literature on ecosystem services has pointed to the need to quantify and characterise Soil Natural Capital (SNC) under different types of land use and cover. This points to the need of understanding the SNC processes which define the provision of ecosystem services, as well as their changes through anthropogenic time. Tropical regions are subjected to a high rate of land use transformation which may change the properties of the soil, and consequently the potential provision of ecosystem services. This paper presents a proposal for the quantification and characterization of SNC through an index of vulnerability to changes in land cover vegetation and their influence on the provision of ecosystem services for the prevention of soil erosion in tropical soils. The proposed vulnerability index considers aspects of the SNC such as the changes produced in the dynamic properties of different soil types under different types of land-use. The proposed analysis was implemented in a basin measuring 1.280 km2 situated in the department of Antioquia (Colombia) in humid tropical conditions, where 93% of the soil presents andic properties. Understanding the consequences of the land cover changes for the provision of ecosystem services, as well as how to obtain the spatial representation of the vulnerability current from SNC, allow the identification of areas in which the provision of ecosystem services is at risk inasmuch as the definition of land use policies.