Abstract Detail


Arenas-Wong, Rafael A. [1], Bojórquez, Jesús A. [2], Martínez-Yrízar, Angelina [3], Robles-Morua, Agustín [4], Álvarez-Yépiz, Juan C. [4].

Linking local and formal knowledge to uncover the socioecological effects of an extreme event.

Extreme events are changing the structure and functioning of forests worldwide, and often times reducing abruptly their capacity to provide ecosystem services, especially to rural communities intimately linked to their environs. A historic cold wave in early February 2011 led to a severe frost across northwestern Mexico, with negative effects particularly at lowland areas where most economic activities take place. This frost caused widespread tree mortality in the tropical dry forest ecosystem especially in the municipality of Alamos in southern Sonora, Mexico. In this region, we conducted 20 semi-structured interviews at the Sabinito Sur community and performed field surveys on the surrounding frost-damaged forests to analyze the socioecological effects of the extreme frost. A 100% of interviewed people recall this frost because it damaged their orchards, native fruit trees and sources of firewood which are typically derived from nearby native vegetation, particularly secondary forests developing on abandoned agricultural or pasture lands that were once native forests. Both mature and secondary forests were damaged, but frost effects were more severe on the latter as suggested by density of frost-killed trees. The loss of woody plants forced local people to travel longer distances to obtain their goods. This information can be useful for developing strategies to speed forest recovery targeting beneficial species and for increasing the adaptive capacity of rural communities to novel future climates. Our study suggests that combining local and more formal scientific knowledge can help us better understand the short- and long-lasting socioecological effects of extreme events.

1 - Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, Ciencias del Agua y Medio Ambiente, 5 de Febrero #818, Col. Centro, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, 85000, México
2 - Instituto De Ecologia, Apartado Postal 1354, Hermosillo, SON, 83000, Mexico
3 - Centro De Ecologia, Apartado Postal 1354, Hermosillo, SON, 83000, Mexico
4 - Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, 5 de Febrero #818, Col. Centro, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, 85000, México

Extreme climatic events
Formal ecological knowledge
Local ecological knowledge
Tropical dry forest.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC011
Abstract ID:439
Candidate for Awards:None

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