NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Kelly Garbach, Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Loyola University.
Title: Linking Social and Ecological Systems to Sustain Ecosystem Services
Agricultural lands are increasingly important targets of conservation initiatives, being called upon not only to minimize their negative environmental impacts, but also to support habitat for biodiversity and sustain multiple ecosystem services. This research focuses on a Payment for Ecosystem Services pilot program in Costa Rica and investigates the policy's influence on farmer adoption of on-farm conservation practices, such as re-planting woody species along cattle pastures in as live fences (hedgerows). This is a common strategy to enhance habitat and services such as carbon storage and habitat for biodiversity. However, concerns about decreases in agricultural productivity, due to shading or resource competition, have often prevented widespread adoption of live fences.
This study evaluates tradeoffs between two focal services, bird diversity and pasture productivity, associated with live fences in a cattle ranching system in Turrialba, Costa Rica. It explores: 1) pathways through which farmers adopt live fences and conservation practices; 2) the extent to which live fences support bird species assemblages and influence pasture productivity; and 3) how live fence management (e.g., pruning) influenced the spatial distribution of these services. Currently our team is expanding this work to explore the influence of conservation practices on functional habitat connectivity for birds of conservation concern. We are also exploring the outcomes of conservation practice adoption for other ecosystem service providers in agricultural landscapes, including native bees and pollinators.
Speaker's website: http://f1000.com/thefaculty/member/1487962303245551.
Dr. Garbach s is hosted by Dr. Bethany Cutts. If you wish to meet with the speaker, please contact Bethany at email@example.com.