Conservation in a Fragmented Semi-Deciduous Forest in Ecuador

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Conservation in a Fragmented Semi-Deciduous Forest in Ecuador
Haro-Carrion, Gonzalo Xavier
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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1 online resource (69 p.)

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Master's ( M.S.)
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University of Florida
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Committee Chair:
Putz, Francis E
Committee Members:
Kitajima, Kaoru
Bohlman, Stephanie Ann
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Subjects / Keywords:
Aboveground biomass ( jstor )
Environmental conservation ( jstor )
Forests ( jstor )
Land cover ( jstor )
Land use ( jstor )
Pastures ( jstor )
Plantations ( jstor )
Secondary forests ( jstor )
Species ( jstor )
Trees ( jstor )
Biology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
biodiversity -- conservation -- fragmentation -- tropics
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Botany thesis, M.S.


The best ways to promote biodiversity conservation inhighly fragmented landscapes remain unclear because land-cover dynamics andforest conservation trade-offs are not fully understood. In recognition of thisdeficit, I studied land-cover change and its consequences for tree diversityand aboveground biomass in a fragmented landscape of 75,050 ha ofsemi-deciduous forests in Ecuador. Using field inventories I recorded 123 treespecies, including 14 endemic to Ecuador and 16 with IUCN conservation status,and estimated tree diversity and biomass for the major land-cover types.Diversity was highest in old growth forests followed by secondary forests,pastures, and plantations. Old growth forest also exhibited the highestaboveground biomass; secondary forests and plantations had similar values whilepastures had the least. Based on satellite image analysis I observed that 34%of the study area experienced land-cover transitions between 1990-2009, withdeforestation accounting for 11%, and forest re-growth or forestry plantationdevelopment another 20%.  Abovegroundbiomass losses from deforestation were nearly offset by gains from forestre-growth, but the biodiversity losses from land-cover change remainedsubstantial. To better understand one approach to forest conservationin Ecuador, I also analyzed the Socio Bosque Program (PSB), a national conservation initiative. I concentrated on the activities of six non-governmentalorganizations (NGOs) working for this program. Discrepancies in records of landparcels enrolled in and proposed for the program between NGOs and thegovernment, and opinions of NGO-technicians highlighted the need of a bettertracking system of properties. Surveys of beneficiaries indicate largedifferences in the PSB-related experiences of individual landowners in Manabícompared to community-representatives from Esmeraldas Province. Participantsfrom Manabí perceived increased conservation awareness as the only co-benefitfrom PSB, stressed the need of better program information, and cited lowcredibility of program as a factor preventing more landowners from applying. Incontrast, community representatives from Esmeraldas identified five perceivedco-benefits of the program (increased in security, conservation awareness,interest in learning about the environment, community collaboration, and betterimage of the government), recommended that the financial incentives beincreased, and identified internal community differences as an impediment toincreased participation in the program. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Adviser: Putz, Francis E.
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by Gonzalo Xavier Haro-Carrion.

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2 2013 Xavier HaroCarrin


3 T o my parents, Elizabeth and Gonzalo, for all their support A mis padres, Elizabeth y Gonzalo, por todo su apoyo


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First I thank F.E. Jack Putz for his investments in my professional development and for his support during the many turns in my career. I also thank my committee members Stephanie Bohlman and Kaoru Kitajima for their suggestions and constructive criticis m. Thanks also to Michael Binford for his assistance, Damian Adams for his help in initial stages of proposal development, and Rebecca Kimball for her support and advice. The staffs of the Department of Biology and the International Center helped me navigate the University of Florida (UF) system. Karen Patterson, Susan Spaulding, and Tangelyn Mitchell in Biology and Debra Anderson in the International Center provided especially important logistical support. My parents Gonzalo and Elizabeth, my sister Gabri ela, and my friend Erika Carrera all provided continuous support from overseas. In Gainesville, Craig Noles helped with the editing of this thesis and with much other support. I have been privileged to share offices with many interesting and fun graduate s tudents including: Drew Joseph, Yuan Zhou, and Jeremy Ash during my first year; Paulo Brando, Alexander Shenkin, Ana Alice Eleuterio, Joseph Veldman, Mathew McConnachie, Vincent Medjibe, and Martijn Slot later on my career; and, Rebeca Lima, Ruslandi, Thal es West, and Anand Roopsind during the final stages. Claudia Romero always helped make me feel at home. Finally, my roommates and friends in Gainesville made my life pleasant and enjoyable. This research was made possible by many people in my home country of Ecuador. Katya Romoleroux, Hugo Navarrete, and Carmen Torres from Pontificia Universidad Catlica del Ecuador provided institutional support and some field equipment. Alvaro P rez and the staff of QCNE assisted with species identification. The


5 first ch apter of this thesis was conducted near Lalo Loor Reserve. Catherine Woodward, Jason Hendsch, and Gabriela Castillo helped logistically. Fieldwork would have been impossible without the help of field assistants Cesar Vera, Segundo Cusme Vera, various stude nts and volunteers from Lalo Loor, and many other people. Landowners in the study region allowed me to sample on their land and shared their experiences with me. The Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment granted permission for this work. In Gainesville, Trent Blare and Cade Turnbach collaborated with me during various stages of this study. The second chapter of this thesis is based on the results from an internship with Conservation International Ecuador. Montserrat Alban directly supervised this work, while Free de Koning, Christian Martinez, Cristina Felix, and Luis Surez provided suggestions and constructive criticism. I would also like to thank representatives of Ceiba Foundation, ALTROPICO, UNOCYPP, FECCHE, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinaz Nazca, and Fundacin Coordillera Tropical for participating in my surveys. Representatives of the Ceiba Foundation generously helped coordinate fieldwork in Manab and representatives of ALTROPICO included me in workshops with their beneficiaries in Carchi and Esmer aldas, which facilitated my fieldwork. Financial support for this research came from a Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) grant from the Center for Latin American Studies at UF and an Innovation through Institutional Integration (I Cubed) grant t o UF from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The Fulbright Program of the Department of State of the United States of America and the Secretaria Nacional de Educacin Superior, Ciencia, Tecnologa e Investigacin (SENESCYT) of Ecuador funded my init ial graduate studies,


6 after which I was supported by teaching assistantships from the Department of Biology. I thank Ann Wagner and Kent Vliet for their assistance when I started teaching as well as all the professors for whom I worked as a TA. The experience of teaching contributed substantially to my professional development.


7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ 10 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................... 11 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 12 CHAPTER 1 LANDCOVER CHANGE IN A SEMI DECIDUOUS TROPICAL F OREST: CONSEQUENCES FOR TREE DIVERSITY AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS ... 14 Summary ................................................................................................................ 14 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 15 Material and Methods ............................................................................................. 19 Study Area ........................................................................................................ 19 Field Data Collection ........................................................................................ 20 Tree Species Diversity and Aboveground Carbon Estimates ........................... 21 LandC over Change Analysis ........................................................................... 22 Implications of Lan d C over Change for Aboveground Biomass and Tree Diversity ........................................................................................................ 25 Results .................................................................................................................... 25 Tree Diversity and Aboveground Biomass of Different LandC over Types ....... 25 LandC over Change Trajectories ..................................................................... 26 Implications of LandC over Change for Tree Diversity and Aboveground Biomass ........................................................................................................ 27 Discussion .............................................................................................................. 28 Conclusions and Implications for Conservation ...................................................... 31 2 IMPL EMENTATION OF THE SOCIO BOSQUE PROGRAM BY CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL ECUADOR WITH EMPHASIS ON THE NORTHWESTERN REGION .................................................................................. 38 Summary ................................................................................................................ 38 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 39 Materials and Methods ............................................................................................ 43 Evaluation of CI P artners ................................................................................. 43 Evaluation of the CI PSB Framework and the PSB .......................................... 44 Survey Instrument Design ................................................................................ 44 Participant Selection ......................................................................................... 45 Results .................................................................................................................... 46


8 Evaluation of CI partner Institutions ................................................................. 46 Evaluation of the CI PSB Framework ............................................................... 46 Evaluation of the PSB ...................................................................................... 47 Discussion .............................................................................................................. 48 Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 50 APPENDIX: TREE SPECIES AMONG MAJOR LAND LAND COVER TYPES ........... 56 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 62 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 69


9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 1 Total tree species richness, number of endemics, number of species with IUCN status, and av erage density in forest, secondary forest, pasture and forestry p lantations for trees >10 cm DBH .......................................................... 33 1 2 Accuracy assessment of the 2009 trajectory analysis ........................................ 33 1 3 Consequences of land cover change for aboveground biomass for the 19902009 study period for the 75,016 ha of land surface of the study area in coastal Ecuador .................................................................................................. 33 2 1 Evaluation of the performance of CI partner institut ions ..................................... 51 2 2 Evaluation of the PSB and institutions in the CI PSB framework by CI partners .............................................................................................................. 52 2 3 Evaluation of the PSB ......................................................................................... 53 2 4 Percent of respondents that no ted a particular PSB cobenefit .......................... 54 2 5 Report ed values of the PSB ............................................................................... 55


10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Study location in coastal Ecuador. Colored area corresponds to the cropped Landsat images used to monitor landcover transitions ...................................... 34 1 2 Individual based species rarefaction curves for trees >10 cm DBH .................... 35 1 3 Average aboveground biomass for forest (N=80), secondary forest (N=13), pasture (N=10), and plantations of Tectona grandis (N=4), Schizolobium parahyba (N=3), and Ochroma pyramidale (N=3) .............................................. 36 1 4 Landcover tr ajectory map for the study area ..................................................... 37


11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ALTROPICO Fundacin para el Desarrollo de Alternativas Comunitarias de Conservacin del Trpico CI Conservation International DBH Diameter at breast height FECCHE Federacin de Centros Chachis de Esmeraldas IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature MA Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MAE Ministry of Environment of Ecuador NGO Non governmental organization PES Payment for environmental services PSB Socio B osque Program QCA Quito Catlica Herbarium QCNE National Herbarium of Ecuador REDD+ Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation and increased carbn sequestration from improved forest management TM Thematic mapper TM + Enhanced thematic mapper UNOCYPP Unin Noroccidental de Organizaciones Campesionas y Poblaciones de Pichincha


12 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Scien ce CONSERVATION IN A FRAGMENTED SEMI DECIDUOUS FOREST IN ECUADOR By Xavier HaroCarrin August 2013 Chair: Francis E. Putz Major: Botany The best ways to promote biodiversity conservation in highly fragmented landscapes remain unclear because landcover dynamics and forest conservation tradeoffs are not fully understood. In recognition of this deficit, I studied landcover change and its consequences for tree diversity and aboveground biomass in a fragmented landscape of 75,050 ha of semi deciduous forest s in Ecuador. Using field inventories I recorded 123 tree species, including 14 endemic to Ecuador and 16 with IUCN conservation status, and estimated tree diversity and biomass for the major landcover types. Diversity was highest in old growth forest s followed by secondary forest s, pastures, and plantations. Old growth f orest also exhibited the highest aboveground biomass; secondary forests and plantations had similar values while pastures had the least. Based on satellite image analysis I observed that 34% of the study area experienced landcover transitions between 19902009, with deforestation accounting for 11%, and forest regrowth or forestry plantation development another 20%. Aboveground biomass losses from deforestation were nearly offset by gains from forest re growth, but the biodiversity losses from landcover change remained substantial.


13 To better understand one approach to forest conservation in Ecuador I also analy zed the Socio Bosque Program (PSB) a national conservation initiative. I concentrated on the activities of six nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working for this program. Discrepancies in records of land parcels enrolled in and proposed for the program between NGO s and the government, and opinions of NGO technicians highlighted the need of a better tracking system of properties. Surveys of beneficiaries indicate large differences in the PSB related experiences of individual landowners in Manab compared to community representatives from Esmeraldas Province. Participants fro m Manab perceived increased conservation awareness as the only cobenefit from PSB, stressed the need of better program information, and cited low credibility of program as a factor preventing more landowners from applying. In contrast, community representatives from Esmeraldas identified five perceived cobenefits of the program (increased in security, conservation awareness, interest in learning about the environment, community collaboration, and better image of the government), recommended that the financial incentives be increased, and identified internal community differences as an impediment to increased participation in the program.


14 CHAPTER 1 LANDCOVER CHANGE IN A SEMI DECIDUOUS TROPICAL FOREST: CONSEQUENCES FOR TREE DIVERSITY AND ABOVEGROUND BIOM ASS Summary Highly fragmented landscapes are expected to experience only limited changes in landcover because most remaining patches of forest are in unsuitable locations while arable areas are already dedicated to productive activities that continue. The economic tradeoffs related to forest retention in highly fragmented landscapes are therefore different than those on deforestation frontiers. To understand landcover change and its consequences for carbon storage and biodiversity in fragmented landscap es, I studied landcover changes in 75,050 ha of highly fragmented semi deciduous forest in a biodiversity hotspot in coastal Ecuador. Relationships between tree diversity and biomass in different land cover types were also evaluated. With field inventories I estimated tree diversity and aboveground biomass for each of four major landcover types (forest, secondary forest, pasture, and forestry plantations). A total of 123 tree species were recorded in the study area, including 14 endemic to Ecuador. Tree diversity was highest in forests followed by secondary forests, pastures, and plantations. Forest also exhibited the highest aboveground biomass, while plantations and secondary forests were similar, and pastures were the lowest. An analysis of satellite images from 1990, 2000, and 2009 revealed that despite having been highly fragmented since the 1970s, landcover was still very dynamic. While forest conversion into pastures continued (12% of the area), large areas of what was pasture in 1990 transitioned into secondary forests or plantations (24% of the area), with 4% of the latter re cleared for pasture before the end of the twodecade period of monitoring. The associated aboveground biomass and diversity values for each land cover indicate


15 contrasting consequences of landcover transitions for biomass and diversity. Aboveground biomass losses from deforestation were nearly offset by secondary forest re growth or plantation development. In contrast, forest loses had substantial negative consequences for diversity. This study reveals high dynamism in landcover transitions despite earlier fragmentation, reveals the importance of initiatives to conserve the remaining forest patches to protect biodiversity and to promote secondary forest conservation to prot ect biodiversity and increase carbon stocks and indicates some synergies between tree diversity and aboveground biomass for semi deciduous tropical vegetation. Introduction Human affected environments are starting to dominate the worlds landscapes, often accompanied by losses of biodiversity (Tallis and Polasky 2009; Foley et al. 2005). Current rates of species extinction are estimated to be as much as 1,000 times faster than in any previous time (MA 2005a); forests worldwide are being lost at net rate of 7.3 million hectares per year (FAO 2005), and ecosystems changed more rapidly in the 20th Century than at any other time in human history (MA 2005b). While these statistics call for increasing conservation efforts, they also indicate complex tradeoffs between profitable landuses and biodiversity conservation. Understanding the tradeoffs between landuse, biodiversity, and carbon stocks requires knowledge of the drivers and consequences of landuse choices. Ecologists have traditionally reported biodi versity losses associated with landcover change (e.g., Nelson et al. 2008; 2009; Brooks et al. 2009; Lele et al. 2010; RaudeseppHearne et al. 2010). Only recently, efforts have been made to quantify the financial values of the ecosystem services that are also lost (e.g., Costanza et al. 1997). Despite these efforts,


16 tradeoffs between ecosystem conservation and economic use persist and species continue to be lost as land management expands and increases in intensity (Nelson et al. 2008; Brooks et al. 2009; Lele et al. 2010; RaudeseppHearne et al. 2010). Rapid deforestation and associated landuse transformations in the tropics reveal clear tradeoffs between ecosystem conservation and exploitation (Asner et al. 2009). In response to the losses, efforts to pay for conservation using payments for environmental services (PES) have recently flourished (e.g., Asner et al. 2009; Lele et al. 2010; Koellner et al. 2010). PES programs in the tropics started with efforts to maintain watersheds, scenic beauty, crop pollinators, and biodiversity (Wunder 2007; Koellner et al. 2008; 2010). More recently, carbon sequestration has received a great deal of attention in response to increasing concerns about global climate change. Financial incentives for carbon sequestration by planted forests were provided under the Kyoto Protocol, but no compensation was provided for the maintenance of standing forests (UNFCCC 1998; Davidson et al. 2001). The carbon benefits of standing forests are now recognized in a new approach referred to as reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation, and increased carbon sequestration from improved forest management (REDD+; Santilli et al. 2005; Angelsen et al. 2009). While advances in PES are encouraging, concerns remain about their financ ial viability, potential negative impacts for naturally nonforested ecosystems, and the effects of intensification of forest management to sequester more carbon (Stickler et al. 2009; Putz and Redford 2009a; Fisher et al. 2011; Ruslandi et al. 2011). Non etheless, it is generally agreed that carbon payments can potentially alleviate forest conservation costs if properly used (Harvey et al. 2010).


17 To assess the value of carbon payments for forest conservation, estimates of the quantities of carbon stored i n forests and the biodiversity consequences of landuse transitions are needed. A fair amount of research has reported carbon and biodiversity consequences of landuse transitions for moist tropical ecosystem, mostly on deforestation frontiers (Gibbs and H erold 2007; Baker et al. 2010; Macedo et al. 2012). In contrast, this sort of information is scarce for other tropical ecosystems and for already highly fragmented forests. In fragmente d landscapes PES can have low impact on reducing deforestation rates ( Snchez Azofeila et al. 2007) and have limited effect on changing landuse, which are usually correlated to other variables such as topography and economics ( Ferraro 2000; Sierra and Russman 2006; Freitas et al. 2010) indicating that better understanding of landuse transitions in fragmented landscapes are necessary. The semi deciduous forests of coastal Ecuador provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the carbon and biodiversity consequences of land use transitions in a severely fragmented landscape. Deforestation rates in Ecuador are among the highest in Latin America (Asner et al. 2009) and landuse transitions are the major source of the countrys carbon emissions (Clirsen 2000, MAE 2010a). Within Ecuador, coastal areas have long suffered the highest deforestation rates (Clirsen 2000; Sierra et al. 2002). Current deforestation along the coast is concentrated in the moist tropical forests of northwestern Ecuador in the Province of Esmeraldas on the frontier with Colombia (Rudel 2000; Sierra et al. 2 002). Along the central and southern coast, favorable environmental conditions, reasonably high soil fertility, and rainfall seasonality, together with a governmental focus on agroexports during the last half of the past century,


18 resulted in a matrix of privatively owned agricultural land with <5% of native vegetation cover remaining (Dodson and Gentry, 1991; Sierra, 1999; Clirsen 2000). The vegetation in this region, which ranges from semi deciduous vegetation in central coastal Ecuador to dry forests in the south, are considered a biodiversity hot spot because of their high species richness, abundance of endemic species, and limited remaining coverage (Myers et al. 2000; Cuesta Camacho et al. 2006). While conservation in these areas is a priority, the consequences of landuse change for biodiversity and carbon stored in trees are less well understood. Recently developed approaches to forest conservation in Ecuador are based on payments for ecosystem services (PES), of which Ecuador has a diverse portfolio (Wunder 2006). Ecuadors PES programs prior to 2008 were decentralized initiatives that targeted watershed protection and carbon sequestration (Cordero 2008; Wunder and Alban 2008). In 2008, Ecuadors Ministry of Environment launched the nationwide Socio Bosque Program (PSB, Programa Socio Bosque) Socio Bosque offers financial compensation to landowners who preserve forest. This program is also the base for the countrys REDD+ proposal (Chiu 2009; MAE 2010a, b; de Koning et al. 2011). Biodiversity conser vation and carbon stored in forests are key elements of Socio Bosque (see Chapter 2 for details about this program). In recognition of the importance of trees for forest biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration, I evaluated the consequences of la nduse transitions for trees in a fragmented landscape of semi deciduous forest in the JamaPedernales region of coastal Ecuador. The objectives of this chapter are to: i) describe the tree species diversity and carbon stored in aboveground biomass the maj or landcover types; ii) assess the extent of identified


19 landcover types at the landscape level; and, iii) explore the consequences of landuse transitions for tree diversity and aboveground biomass. Material and M ethods Study A rea The study area encompasses about 75,050 ha of what historically was semi deciduous lowland tropical vegetation between the towns of Pedernales (UTM 17N 605712.73m E 7111.74m N) and Jama (UTM 17M 581278.15m E 9977385.34m S). Forest is estimated to cover about 20% of this area and constitutes the largest remnant of this vegetation type in Ecuador (Fig 1; Neill 1999). Semi deciduous tropical forest is currently found along the coast to approximately 10 km inland at elevations of 100300 m; at higher elevations it transitions into cloud forest (Sierra 1999; Neil 1999). This region is characterized by temperatures that fluctuate around 25C, annual precipitation of about 951 mm, a dry season of around 4 months during which monthly precipitation can be as low as 3 mm, and rainy months with precipitation up to 190 mm (Neil l 1999). The terrain is composed of steep slopes with more level valleys used for agriculture and cattle ranching. The remaining forests have relatively open canopies with dense understories or closed canopies with more sparse understories; some species are thorny and many trees lose their leaves during the dry season (e.g., Cochlospermum vitifolium and Tabebuia chrysantha). Species characteristic of this vegetation type include Gallesia integrifolia (Phytolacaceae), T riplaris cumingiana and Cocoloba mollis (Polygonaceae), Pseudolmea rigida (Moraceae), and Eugenia spp. (Myrtaceae; Sierra 1999).


20 Currently, the major landcover types in the study area are pastures, secondary forests, forestry plantations, and s ome patches of relatively old growth natural forest. The latter vegetation type (hereafter forest) likely experienced some selective logging and other human impacts. Secondary forests are the result of pasture abandonment including pasturefallow cycles which occ urred mostly in the last 20 years as indicated by households and reported by deforestation rates in the area ( Dodson and Gentry, 1991; Sierra, 1999; Clirsen 2000) Cattle pastures are the dominant landcover type and are planted with exotic grasses includi ng Panicium maximum (saboya) and Cynodon spp. (star grass). Most pastures support a scattered variety of species that provide shade for cattle and other benefits. The forestry plantations are mostly monocultures of Tectona grandis (teak), Schizolobium parahyba (pachaco), and Ochroma pyramidale (balsa). Field Data C ollection Field inventories conducted during 2010 and 2012 were used to estimate aboveground biomass and tree diversity by landcover type. In forest and secondary forest I established 60 x 60 m2 plots with a nested 20 x 20 m2 plot (modified after Phillips et al. 2003; Magnusson et al. 2005). I recorded tree diameter at breast height (DBH; 1.40 m above the ground) and species of all trees >20 cm DBH in the large plot and 1020 cm DBH in the subp lot. Because forestry plantations were typically monocultures and many were young, I used 20 x 20 m2 plots to census all trees >10 cm DBH. A single plantation of balsa with very young trees was included because this type of plantation is new to the area. Large pastures (N = 7) were sampled using randomly located 60 x 60 m2 plots for trees >10 cm DBH but trees in three small pastures were inventoried in their entirety and then their areas were determined from GPS points taken


21 on their margins. Efforts were m ade to establish plots in the interior of each landuse and away from roads, but one forest and one secondary forest were too small and plots were modified to rectangles of the same area to avoid edge effects. All plots were georeferenced with a GPS. Inventories occurred in the vicinity of the town of Tabuga and between Jama and Pedernales. Voucher s pecimens were processed in the QCA Herbarium in Quito and species were identified in the QCA and QCNE Herbaria. Species listed in Appendix A1 were categorized as endemic, native, or introduced to Ecuador and include conservation status based on IUCN criteria when available. Taxonomy is based on (2012). Tree Species Diversity and Aboveground Carbon E stimates To correct for the number of individuals sampled, rarefaction curves computed with EstimateS software (V.8.2) were used to compare tree species richness between landcover types (Gotelli and Colwell 2001). I set individuals as samples and then calculated diversity using the Mao Tao estimator (Col well 2004). The significance of observed differences in species richness between landcover types (at P<0.05) were based on the locations of the rarefaction curves and their associated 95% confidence interval (CIs). The aboveground biomass (AGB) of each tree was estimated using an allometric equation from Chave et al. (2005) and published values for wood density. The model employed uses diameter at breast height (DBH) and wood density ( p) : AGBest = p x exp( 1.499=2.148ln(D)+0.207(ln(D))20.0281(ln(D))3) Wood density values were obtained from Zanne et al. (2009). I used the average of values found for South America for each species (Appendix A1). For species not in the database I used the average wood density value for the genus (54 species); for


22 genera that were not listed I used an average value for the family (10 cases). In three cases species values from other regions of the world were used because no data were found for South America; for two unidentified species, the average of all wood density valu es was used. LandC over Change A nalysis To quantify landcover change over time I used digitally processed satellite images to create a change trajectory map. Due to the abundance of dry season deciduous trees, I used mid wet season images (February March, a couple of months after leaf emergence but with relatively cloudfree conditions). I used Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhance Thematic Mapper (TM+) scenes for path 11 and row 60 from February 1990, April 2000, and February 2009 available from the United States Geological Service (USGS) at Image to image geographic registration was performed on the 2000 and 1990 images using the 2009 image as the reference. About 50 reference points wer e used as ground control points to ensure a Root Mean Squared (RMS) error of less than 15 m (half a pixel) for each registered image. After completing the registration, each image was radiometrically calibrated to correct for sensor related, illumination, and atmospheric sources of variance using the CIPEC method (Green et al. 2005). Due to technical failures of Landsat 7, I performed a gapfilling in the 2009 image (USGS 2013). This procedure did not substantially change the original image because only a small portion of the image was affected by gaps. To create a landcover map for 2009 that reflected landcover transitions relevant to estimation of changes in tree diversity and aboveground biomass, I performed a landcover trajectory analysis of the 19902009 period. First, I performed a supervised


23 classification of the 1990, 2000, and 2009 Landsat images using a Gaussian maximum likelihood classifier. The location of some sampled areas, maps of Socio Bosque conservation lands, forest fragments mapped by the Ceiba Foundation, and reference points acquired in the towns of Pedernales and Jama were used as training areas. Each map was then classified using the following landcover types: forested areas, which included forest, secondary forest and forestry plantations; pastures; and, bare soil, which was mostly in over grazed pastures. Additional landcover types added to assist the classification process included: open water in the ocean, rivers, and shrimp farms; urban areas with similar reflectance signature to the areas of Jama and Pedernales; and, cloud for areas where cloud cover prevented differentiation of landcover classes. This approach produced landcover types with excellent separability for each time period. To differentiate forest from secondary f orest and plantations, a landcover trajectory analysis was used to register successive changes in land cover types (Petit et al. 2001, Southworth et al. 2010) for 19902009. This technique determines changes between two or more time periods for particular land cover types, and provides quantitative information about their spatial and temporal distributions and landscape fragmentation (Mertens and Lambin 2000; Petit et al. 2001; Southworth et al. 2004; 2010). Most secondary forests and forestry plantations were <20 years old and it is unlikely that large areas in 1990 were either secondary vegetation or plantations because forest clearing for pasture was the dominant landuse activity in years preceding 1990 ( Dodson and Gentry, 1991) Therefore all forested vegetation on the 1990 image was considered forest, while areas classified as pasture in 1990 and then


24 as forest in 2000 and 2009 correspond to either secondary forest or forestry plantations. With three dates and six landcover types, there were 216 pos sible changetrajectory classes, but I condensed all trajectories to eight that were common, physically possible, and important to understand changes in tree diversity and aboveground biomass. The analyzed trajectories classes included: forest on all three dates; forest loss, for areas classified as forest in 1990 that transitioned to nonforested landcover types in 2000 and 2009; secondary forest, for areas that were not forested in 1990 that tra nsitioned to forest in 2009; secondary forest losses for some areas that were not forested in 1990, were forested in 2000, and lost their forest in 2009; pasture, for areas identified as pasture and bare soil on all three dates; urban, for areas identified as urban on all three dates; and water, for areas identif ied as water on all three dates. Transitions involving the landcover type cloud were assigned to the most likely trajectory class (i.e., cloud forest forest or forest cloudforest to the forest class, or cloudpasturepasture to the pasture class). A sm all number of areas classified as cloud on all three dates were marked as unknown on the final landcover map. The total area of each landcover class for each date was estimated by conversion of pixel data to hectares. This approach allowed identifying areas that likely correspond to forest, but areas identified in the final map as secondary forest could correspond to either secondary forest or forestry plantations. To conduct accuracy assessment of the 2009 produced map, I used an error matrix using the location of sampled sites, excluding those used in the classification analysis. Remote sensing analyses were performed using Erdas Imagine 10.0 (Leica Geosystems, Norcross, Georgia USA).


25 Implications of LandC over C hange for Aboveground Biomass and Tree D iversity The implications of landcover change for aboveground biomass and tree diversity were assessed by relating final landcover classes to averages of aboveground biomass and tree diversity values. For aboveground biomass, this calculation was simply based on average values for each landcover type. For tree diversity the calculation of change over time is more complicated because a reduction in the extent of a landcover type does not translate directly into a known reduction in the number of species Moreover, the landcover analysis did not allow differentiation between secondary forest and forestry plantations. To circumvent this problem, I used the estimated rarefied differences in species diversity values for each landcover type to assess the im pact of landuse transitions. I concentrated this analysis on forest loses but discuss the implications of newly forested areas being secondary forest or forestry plantations. Results Tree Diversity and Aboveground Biomass of Different LandC over T ypes A total of 123 tree species were recorded in the study area in 8 forest; 13 secondary forest; 10 pasture; and 10 plantation plots including 14 endemic to Ecuador and 16 with IUCN conservation status (Table A1). The species of conservation concern occurr ed mostly in forest, but secondary forests also contained a few and two were only found in this vegetation type. Tree species in pasture and all forestry plantations were native with the exception of Tectona grandis ( Table A1). Tree diversity was highest i n forests followed by secondary forests, pastures, and plantations as indicated by total species richness for all studied land uses (Table 11) and rarefaction curves for forest, secondary forest, and forestry plantations (Fig 12).


26 Densities of trees >10 cm DBH were highest in plantations, followed by forest, secondary forest, and pastures. However, as plantations mature the number of individuals is expected to decline (Table 11 ). Forest supported the highest aboveground biomass followed by secondary for est and Tectona grandis plantations, which were similar. Schizolobium parahyba plantations were the fourth highest in biomass, and Ochroma pyramidale the least among forestry plantations because of their youth and the low wood density of this species. Past ures supported significantly lower aboveground biomass than any other studied landcover type (Fig. 13). LandC over Change Trajectories Between 1990 and 2009 the studied landscape experienced landcover transitions of importance to tree diversity and aboveground biomass. Excluding the oc ean and inland water bodies, 75,016 ha of land surface on the 2009 image were classified into dif ferent landcover types Pasture was the dominant landcover type and accounted for 43% of the study area, but only 29% of the landscape was classified as pasture on all threestudy dates. The remaining 14% of the pasture area was from recently cleared areas, with 11% corresponding to forest losses from 1990 and 3% from areas that transitioned from pasture in 1990 to forest in 2000 and back to pasture in 2009. Forest occupied 35% of the land surface of the study area, 20% was secondary forest or forestry plantation, 2% was urban, and 1% could not be classified (Fig. 14). These results indicate that over the 29year study period about 34% of the area transition to a different landcover type, which highlights the dynamism in this highly fragmented landscape. The final 2009 Landsat TM map of landcover had overall accuracy of 81% (Table 12).


27 Implications of LandC over Change for Tree Diversity and Aboveground B iomass The land cover trajectory analysis reveals negative consequences for tree diversity. The 12% forest loss corresponds to 8,635 ha of forests that were converted mostly to pasture, with a small proportion converted to urban areas. This estimate indicates widespread transitions from the most tree species rich land cover type to the second poorest and a loss of habitat for endemics and IUCN listed species that are not found in pastures. Another 20% of the landscape occupi ed either secondary forest or forest plantations in 2009. Secondary forests contribute to tree diversity conservation but do not compensate for forest losses while forestry plantations are the poorest in species of all landcover types (Figure 12). In con trast to tree species, aboveground biomass was less affected by landcover transitions in the region. Deforestation and secondary forest reclearing caused the loss of 2,329,978 Mg of aboveground biomass between 1990 and 2009, assuming a transition to pas ture with average aboveground biomass of 7.4 Mg/ha. This loss is nearly compensated for by forest regrowth and plantation development. The average aboveground biomass for Tectona grandis, which is the dominant plantation, and secondary forest was in both cases 137 Mg/ha (Fig. 13), which indicates in average that transitions from pastures to both of these landcover types accounted for about 2,078,305 Mg of biomass gains for a net loss of aboveground biomass of just 251,673 Mg (Table 13). Detailed estimat es of secondary forests aboveground biomass of different ages and plantation growth rates are necessary to fully understand aboveground biomass fluxes, but it is even possible that they will fully offset aboveground biomass looses from deforestation as the y mature, at least until the plantations are harvested and the secondary forests are recleared.


28 Discussion The land cover trajectory analysis for 19902009 indicates high dynamism in landcover transitions despite previous fragmentation. This dynamism has contrasting consequences for tree diversity and aboveground biomass. As expected, tree species richness declines from forest to secondary forests, pastures, and then plantations. That one in eight species recorded is listed by the IUCN or endemic to Ecuador indicates the importance of conservation in the study region. Contrary to estimates of about 5% forest cover for central and southern coastal Ecuador (Dodson and Gentry, 1991; Sierra, 1999), 35% was identified as forest in the 2009 landscape (Fig. 14) This number highlights the importance of preserving remaining forest patches especially considering that the study area accounts for the largest remnants of semi deciduous vegetation in Ecuador and is considered a hotspot for conservation (Neil 1999; Myers et al. 2000). Approximately 36% of the landscape (27,000 ha) experienced a change in landcover during the19902009study period with deforestation accounting for 12% of this change. This estimate suggests that while most deforestation in the region oc curred before 1990, it continues despite forest fragmentation. Most of the deforested areas resulted from forest to pasture transitions which suggests a trade off between species retention by forest conservation and species loss due to changes to more pro fitable landuses, such as pastures or plantations (Nelson et al. 2008; Brooks et al. 2009; Lele et al. 2010; RaudeseppHearne et al. 2010). This tradeoff is likely to continue in the future because forests remain on areas suitable for pasture or plantati ons, which are more profitable. Although most of the forests inventoried in this study occurred on steep slopes, as expected in this highly fragmented landscape, pastures were also found in steep areas, which indicates the possibility of further transitions in the future.


29 Furthermore, many forest patches south of Jama are on relatively flat topography, in close proximity to the ocean, and on privately owned land where there are more profitable landuses than forest retention (Fig. 14). These f ragmentation patterns likewise indicate the importance of individual household decisions in shaping the landscape and highlight their role in conservation. Given the many challenges for forest conservation on private property, innovative incentive programs are much needed. In 2009, 20% of the landscape was covered by secondary forests and forestry plantations that transitioned from pastures in 1990 to forest in 2009. A majority of this area is likely secondary forests, as indicated by household preference estimates based on 24 surveys that reported secondary forest accounting for 7% of landuse in the area and 1% for forestry plantations (Blare and HaroCarri n 2013). The Blare and HaroCarri n (2013) survey analysis included landowners of some inventoried sites and show that secondary forest likely occurs over a broader range of ownership while forestry plantations are more restricted to households that own >200 ha. This suggests that secondary forests can contribute substantially to tree species conservation at the landscape level. Despite being less diverse than forest, secondary forests still support substantial numbers of species, including endemics and species with IUCN conservation status (Table 11; Table A 1). The conservation of secondary forest and encourag ement of their development are promising interventions especially where they are close to patches of mature forest (Chazdon et al. 2009), but will require the active participation of local people and appropriate incentives. Aboveground biomass estimates al so displayed dynamism over the 19902009 period even though the area was greatly deforested prior to the commencement of the


30 observations. In contrast to the substantial losses of biomass experienced on deforestation frontiers in the humid tropics (Gibbs and Herold 2007; Gibbs et al. 2010; Macedo et al. 2012), I found that forest regrowth and forestry plantation development nearly offset the biomass losses from deforestation over the 29year study period. The net loss of aboveground biomass from the lands cape was quite low, which is a positive result for regional and global carbon emissions from tropical deforestation. In contrast to the relatively small net losses in biomass from my study area over the 29year observation period, the observed landcover transitions translated into substantial losses in tree diversity. This finding highlights the importance of including biodiversity in carbonbase conservation programs such as REDD+ and supports concerns about some negative impacts of programs focused sol ely on carbon (Stickler et al. 2009; Putz and Redford 2009a). In my study area, the remaining fragments of mature forest were the richest landcover type in both tree species and aboveground biomass. Given the continued losses of these forests during the observation period, forest conservation remains critical to safeguard both carbon stocks and associated species diversity, including many endemic and endangered species. The results of this study are of relevance to Ecuadors Socio Bosque Program. It reco gnizes the importance of Socio Bosque in promoting conservation of native ecosystems while safeguarding other environmental services including carbon storage and biodiversity (Baker et al. 2010; de Koning et al. 2011). The average aboveground biomass of forest in the study region (237 Mg/ha) is at the low end of the range reported for the humid tropics (227390 Mg/ha; Brown and Lugo 1992; Houghton et al. 2009). This difference would translate into lower revenues from carbon storage incentives


31 based on avoided deforestation of this semi deciduous forest. In contrast, the number of endemics and species with IUCN conservation status highlight the other values for the region that Socio Bosque recognizes. The continued pressure on the small area that remains of s emi deciduous forest in the study region highlights the importance of Socio Bosque and other conservation efforts. Moreover, given the higher carbon stocks and biological diversity in secondary forests compared to pastures efforts are also warranted to pr omote their conservation or accelerate succession to more mature forests In the absence of conservation incentives that recognize their value, it is unlikely that much of the secondary forest in the region will be preserved over the long term (Chazdon et al. 2009). Secondary forest conservation would promote tree diversity maintenance at the landscape level. Furthermore, because secondary forests provide many goods and services valued by poor households, their conservation might also help alleviate poverty (Blare and HaroCarri n 2013). Conclusions and Implications for C onservation This study provides information required for carbonbased conservation interventions in the form of understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns of forest carbon stocks (B aker et al. 2010). It also highlights the importance of landcover transitions for carbon balance, and clarifies the relationships between tree species diversity and carbon storage in aboveground biomass. Despite massive earlier deforestation and fragmentation, the landscape of semi deciduous forest in the study region was highly dynamic during 19902009. In particular, continued deforestation is of concern. Forest conversion to other landcover types has substantial negative consequences for tree diversity but only minor consequences for aboveground biomass


32 at the landscape level. These results indicate the importance of including biodiversity conservation as a required cobenefit of carbon based conservation programs. The estimates of tree diversity and aboveground biomass provided in this st udy are probably conservative because t he impacts of forest degradation (i.e., losses of carbon from forests that remain forest) are unclear Forest degradation is expected to contribute substantially to both tree species loss and carbon emissions (Putz and Redford 2009b). The remote sensing based landcover trajectory analysis utilized in this study can inform conservation efforts. The unavailability of clear and cloudfree images prevented more detailed analyses and the differentiation of secondary forests and plantations. But even with better imagery, there will still be a need to combine field sampling with satellite image analysis to inform conservation efforts.


33 Table 11 Total tree s pecies richness, number of endemics, number of species with IUCN status, and average density in forest, secondary forest, pasture and forestry plantations for trees >10 cm DBH. Land use Species richness No. Endemic species No. Species with IUCN status Are a sampled (ha) Average Density (ind/ha) Forest 99 14 16 3.2 183 9 Secondary forests 68 8 9 5.2 130 7 Pasture 10 0 0 7.47 4 Tectona grandis 2 0 0 0.16 969 120 Schizolobiu m parahyba 1 0 0 0.12 333 4 Ochroma pyramidale 1 0 0 0.12 725 189 Table 1 2 Accuracy assessment of the 2009 trajectory analysis Class Producers accuracy (%) Users accuracy (%) Forest 100 74 Pasture 80 72 Secondary forest 58 81 Urban 100 100 Overall accuracy 81 Table 13 Consequences of landcover change for aboveground biomass for the 19902009 study period for the 75,016 ha of land surface of the study area in coastal Ecuador. Land cover type Condensed trajectories (199020002009) Total area (ha) Total abovegr ound biomass (Mg) Forest Forest forest forest 26,585 6,303,534 Pasture Pasture pasture pasture 22,049 162,414 Secondary forest Pasture forest forest 15,091 +2,078,305 Forest loss Forest pasture pasture Forest forest pasture 8,635 1,983,825 Secondary forest loss Pasture forest pasture 2,656 346,153 Net aboveground biomass change 251,673


34 Figure 1 1. Study location in coastal Ecuador. Colored area corresponds to the cropped Landsat images used to monitor landcover transitions.


35 Figure 12 Individual based species rarefaction curves for trees >10 cm DBH. Landuses analyzed include forest (N=8); secondary forest (N=13); and, forestry plantations grouped together because of similar tree diversity patterns ( Tectona grandis N=4; Schizolobium parahyba N=3, Ochroma pyramidale N=3). Pastures were excluded because low number of individuals did not allow rarefaction analysis. Dashed lines indicate 95% CI.


36 Figure 13 Average aboveground biomass for forest (N=80), secondary forest (N=13), pasture (N=10), and plantations of Tectona grandis (N=4), Schizolobium parahyba (N=3), and Ochroma pyramidale (N=3).


37 Figure 14 Landcover trajectory map for the study area.


38 CHAPTER 2 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIO BOSQUE PROGRAM BY CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL ECUADOR WITH EMPHASIS ON THE NORTHWESTERN REGION Summary Conservation International (CI), a nongovernmental environmental organization, collaborates with Ecuadors Ministry of Environment (MAE) to provide technical and financial support to other organizations that implement the SocioBosque Program (PSB), which financially compensates landowners for the preservation of native ecosystems. This study evaluates the work of the institutions that work with CI (CI partners), the performance of the MAE and CI in implementation of PSB, and two PSB current beneficiaries case studies in northwestern Ecuador: communities in Esmeraldas and individual households in Manab and Carchi. To evaluate the work of CI partners, I compared the land parcels proposed for inclusion in the PSB by CI partners vs. those already in the PSB. I found that of the parcels proposed by CI partners, 462% were accepted by the PSB, a small number were either rejected or still under MAE revision, and the remaining were absent from the records of the MAE. This result indicates the need of a better tracking system to follow the status of proposed areas for incl usion in the PSB. To assess the importance of the PSB for CI partners, and to evaluate the performances of the MAE in Quito, MAE provincial representatives, and CI in the implementation of the PSB, I surveyed representatives of CI partners. Respondents indicated that the PSB is important to achievement of their institutions conservation goals, but reported that some of the criteria utilized by the PSB are unclear. They also complained that the MAE in Quito is slow to process PSB applications and provides i nsufficient updates about the status of


39 areas proposed for inclusion in the program. In contrast, their impressions of the MAE in the provinces and of CI were generally positive. In the two study cases, participating beneficiaries identified conservation i nterests as the main incentive to join the program and did not find any PSB requirements difficult to fulfill. In contrast, CI partners cited land tittles as a difficult hurdle for interested property owners showing the value of their assistance Represent ati ves of communities participating in the PSB suggested that economic incentives should increase, identified internal community differences as keeping other communities from applying to the PSB, and emphasized five cobenefits of participation in the PSB. These cobenefits were increased security of land tenure, increased conservation awareness, increased interest in learning about conservation, increased community collaboration, and an improved reputation of the MAE. In contrast, individual landowners par ticipants in the PSB suggested that information dissemination by the PSB should improve, cited low credibility of PSB as a factor preventing more landowners from applying, and emphasized one cobenefit of the PSB: increased conservation awareness. This contrast highlights the fundamental differences between the two sorts of PSB cases evaluated. Finally, both communities and individuals that participated in the PSB indicated they would likely maintain their forests, at least over the short term, even withou t the economical compensations of the program, but suggested they would most likely allow some selective logging. They also suggested illegal logging is the biggest threat to forests in their areas. Introduction The Socio Bosque Program (PSB; Forest Partner Program) is an initiative of the Ministry of the Environment (MAE) of the national government of Ecuador to


40 preserve native ecosystems. The government provides monetary compensation to individuals or communities who conserve legally owned native fores ts, pramos (i.e., high elevation nonforested natural vegetation ), and other vegetation types (MAE 2010a). PSBs objectives extend beyond the preservation of ecosystems to include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions produced by deforestation and forest degradation as well as the alleviation of poverty in rural areas, especially those that are ecologically sensitive (MAE 2008a). The program aims to preserve 4 million ha and, since its inception in 2008 until May 2010, it already covered 1,058,929 ha with 1,780signed agreements (MAE 2012). PSB was created to accomplish a mandate of the new 2008 Ecuadorian constitution called Mandato del Buen Vivir (Mandate for the Good Living). This mandate includes biodiversity conservation, maintenance of environmental services, and reduced deforestation (MAE 2010b). The MAE manages the program and the financial incentives offered to its beneficiaries come entirely from the central government, although the international community has shown interest in contributing (MAE 2010b; Podvin pers. comm. 2010). Under PSB the government invites for individuals or communities that are landowners to apply to the program by submission of applications that are evaluated by the MAE. The applications include copies of land titles, maps of the areas proposed for inclusion in the program, investment plans describing how funds will be used, and bank account information. To estimate the importance of the areas proposed for inclusion in the PSB, the MAE uses a national map of priority areas t hat reflects: level of threat, as indicated by accessibility; generation of environmental services especially biodiversity,


41 hydrologic regulation, and carbon storage; and, poverty, as estimated with the social indicators of the Sistema Integrado de Indica dores Sociales del Ecuador (Ecuadorian Integrated System of Social Indicators). These three criteria are combined to generate a map that indicates areas of high, medium, and low priority for the program (MAE 2008b). Applicants must agree to conserve the proposed parcels for 20 years if they are accepted into the program. Logging is prohibited on PSB parcels and hunting can only be for subsistence purposes; in the case of pramos, only limited cattle grazing is allowed. PSB allows ecotourism and other activ ities with limited environmental impacts. Once accepted into the program, payments are made directly to participants and compliance with PSB rules is monitored with random field surveys and remote sensing (MAE 2010b). The MAE is aware that ambiguities and limited access to information about the PSB, especially about the application procedures, keep many potential landowners from participating. Some people do not know about the program or do not have time, knowledge, capacity, or tools to complete the requi red paper work. These limitations are particularly pronounced in rural areas that are of high priority to the program. To mitigate these deficiencies, the MAE collaborates with other institutions to promote awareness of the PSB and to aid in the application process (MAE 2010). These institutions are mostly NGOs and social organizations dedicated to conservation or social welfare. No financial help from the MAE is provided to these institutions, despite their shared goals. Conservation International Ecuador (CI) is the largest of these organizations and its collaboration with the MAE dates back to the beginning of the PSB. In fact, CIs previous experience with Chachi communities in northwestern


42 Ecuador was used in the design of the program. CI offers its t echnical and financial support to promote the program, zone parcels, and write investment plans (CI 2010). To perform these activities, CI collaborates with other NGOs and social organizations (hereafter referred to as CI partners) that work closely with l ocal people and concentrate their activities in areas of interest to CI. The collaboration of CI with CI partners includes financial support for PSB promotion processes and aid in preparing PSB applications. Among the organizations that work with CI under this framework, in May 2010 six provided enough data to be evaluated in this study. These institutions are: Ceiba Foundation. Fundacin para el Desarrollo de Alternativas Comunitarias de Conservacin del Trpico (ALTROPICO). Unin Noroccidental de Organizaciones Campesinas y Poblaciones de Pichincha (UNOCYPP). Federacin de Centros Chachis de Esmeraldas (FECCHE). Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas Nazca. Fundacin Cordillera Tropical. A variety of ecosystems and social groups are involved in the PSB wher e these organizations work. For instance, the Province of Esmeraldas on the northern coast of Ecuador is dominated by lowland tropical rain forest. South of Esmeraldas in Manab Province, semi deciduous forests dominate the landscape. The Andean slopes, include montane forests and high elevation pramos (Neill 1999). Among the social groups involved, Afroecuadorian and Chachi communities dominate in Esmeraldas, individual mestizo (mixes of Amerindians with Spanish) landowners dominate in Manab, and communi ties of different indigenous nationalities and mestizo individual landowners characterize the Andes (AbyaYala 2010; ALTROPICO 2010; Fundacin Ceiba 2010).


43 While the abovementioned characteristics produce high variation among beneficiaries, the work of all CI partners shares some important common characteristics. CI has worked with the MAE for the longest; its experience in financial compensation for conservation with Chachi communities in Esmeraldas predates the PSB. Moreover, CI concentrates its efforts in areas critical for the program. A preliminary analysis, with data updated to May 2010, revealed that CIs efforts to help property owners to join PSB included 74% of the total in areas of high priority for the program, 22% in areas of intermediate priority, and 4% in areas of low priority. In contrast, nationally 36% of the total area preserved by PSB is classified as high priority, 45% as intermediate priority, 14% as low priority, and an additional 5% is inside national parks. In other words, CI successfully rose to the challenge of working in areas of high priority where conservation is often more difficult. This research aims to evaluate the framework of CI and CI partners in the implementation of the PSB, to understand the function of the PSB specif ically in regards to CI, but also more generally, and to assess the experiences of communitarian and individual beneficiaries. Materials and M ethods Evaluation of CI P artners I evaluated the performance of CI partners by comparing the number of parcels and total area proposed for inclusion in the PSB for each CI partner with those present in the MAE. CI partners reported to CI the parcels and areas proposed for inclusion in the PSB. After evaluation by the MAE, each parcel should be classified in the PSB d atabase as accepted, rejected, or still under evaluation. Using the names of the beneficiaries, I compared number of parcels and land areas reported by CI partners with those in the PSB database. Partially complete names were considered the same


44 person as long as one name and one family name1 matched in both the CI partners reports and the PSB database. In addition to the categories indicated above, I established a not found category for those parcels absent in the MAE but reported by CI partners. Evalu ation of the CI PSB F ramework and the PSB I con ducted a survey to evaluate the organizations in the CI PSB framework, understand CI partners perceptions of the program, and assess the experience of PSB beneficiaries Two surveys were prepared, one for repr esentatives of CI partners to evaluate the performance of the institutions of the CI PSB framework and the PSB, and another for PSB participating land owners to evaluate their experience with the program. The evaluated institutions in the CI PSB framework included: the MAE in Quito (MAE National), where PSB applications are analyzed and decisions about acceptance made; MAE provincial representatives (MAE Provinces) that assist the MAE National by receiving applications, helping beneficiaries, and reporting problems like illegal logging; and CI, which finances the work of CI partners. The two selected case studies were communities in Esmeraldas and individual landowners in Manab, with som e additional surveys conducted to individual households i n Carchi. Surv ey Instrument D esign Surveys were constructed on the basis of regular conversations with CI staff that worked with CI partners and with the PSB. Once the questionnaires were developed, they were revised on the basis of comments from CI staff and then agai n after a pretest. The surveys included 17 questions with an additional section of basic information 1 In Ecuador family names are typically composed of the paternal last name followed by the maternal last name.


45 about the respondents. Most of the questions were multiplechoice with 6 choices including one that allowed respondents to describe another alternative. R espondents were asked to select the best option, but had the opportunity to select up to three answers if desired and rank them. Some openended questions to collect general information about the PSB were also part of both surveys. The questions can be sep arated into three categories: 1) Evaluation of the institutional part of the CI PSB framework with Likert scale questions to assess the performance of each institution in the CI PSB framework. These questions were exclusive to CI partner surveys. 2) Evaluation o f the PSB with questions designed to assess incentives for people to join, issues that require improvement, and co benefits of the PSB. These questions were addressed to both CI partners and PSB beneficiaries. 3) Assessment of potential landuse changes in the absence of the PSB and the financial importance of the PSB. These questions were exclusive to the PSB beneficiaries surveys. Participant S election Surveys were administered to as many people as possible working in CI partner institutions on PSB implementation. Respondents included mostly field technicians and NGO administrators. Some surveys where administered when respondents visited CI in Quito, others at institutions in Quito, and, in three cases, online surveys were used for people that were in other cities or outside the country. Community representatives and individual beneficiaries were surveyed in the field during workshops organized by ALTROPICO in San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas; in two cases I interviewed community delegates in Quito. In communities w ith joint ownership of land, discussions among community members were needed before they decided to join the PSB, and then community representatives were selected. I surveyed as many representatives as possible from different communities in Esmeraldas, inc luding both


46 Chachis and Afroecuadorians. To survey individual beneficiaries in Manab, I contacted and visited as many landowners as possible on their properties mostly in proximity to the towns of Jama and Tabuga, Manab. A small number of individual landowners were also interviewed in during an ALTROPICO workshop in Carchi. Results Evaluation of CI P artner I nstitutions The performance of CI partners, as indicated by the number of parcels and total area each institution proposed for inclusion in the PSB compared to those already in the PSB database, varied substantially. Two CI partners had most of their proposed parcels in the PSB database, while in the remaining institutions this nu mber was lower (Table 21a). However, all institutions had proposed areas that were not found in the PSB database and whose status was unknown. In terms of the total areas proposed by different CIPartners, two had >80% of their total number of ha already accepted in the PSB, while in the remaining institutions this number was about 15% (Table 21b). The organizations with most number of parcels and areas already accepted in the program were those working with communities, and typically had a lower number of parcels in total, but of extensive areas (i.e. Organization 1) In con trast, organizations working with mainly individual households had a high number of parcels but of small er areas ( i.e. Organization 6; Table 21a and b). Evaluation of the CI PSB F ramework I surveyed a total of 14 representatives of CI partners, with at l east two people per institution. These respondents evaluated the performance of MAE National, MAE Provinces, and CI in PSB implementation. Given that some CI Partners employ three or fewer people working on the PSB, this sample size seems reasonable. All r espondents


47 identified the PSB as a contributor to their institutions goals. However, many respondents reported that some of the criteria of PSB are unclear (Table 22). The institutions involved in the CI PSB framework differed in their performance, as in dicated by CI partner representatives. MAE National was evaluated harshly while MAE Provinces and CI generally received positive evaluations. The most frequently criticized aspect of MAE National was long bureaucratic processing times, although slow commun ication among stakeholders received some criticism for both MAE National and MAE Provinces. CI received very high evaluations, but this finding could result partially from respondents being aware this study was conducted for CI and in some cases at CI faci lities (Table 22). Evaluation of the PSB A total of 42 respondents evaluated the PSB, 14 CI partner representatives and 28 PSB beneficiaries (12 community representatives and 16 individual beneficiaries). In general, concern about conservation was the most important motive for people to join the PSB. Other sources of motivation mentioned included financial benefits and help with securing land tenure. M any respondents reported that the financial incentive represented important recognition from the governm ent of their conservation initiatives. Community representatives suggested that the incentive should be increased to improve the PSB. In contrast, individual beneficiaries considered information dissemination to be the main aspect of the program in need of improvement (Table 23). All respondents indicated they knew people who were not interested in the PSB for a variety of reasons. CI partners and individual beneficiaries reported low credibility of the PSB as the principal reason for their lack of interest, while community delegates were not specific about the reasons. When asked to explain their answers,


48 disagreements about involvement within communities was reportedly the most important obstacle to applying to the PSB (Table 23). Both beneficiaries and CI partners representatives identified numerous cobenefits of the PSB. From the eight cobenefits identified, individual beneficiaries most often noted that awareness about environmental conservation increased as a result of the PSB. CI representatives also noted environmental awareness as a cobenefit together with increased interest in conservation among local people. Community representatives identified six cobenefits including environmental awareness, interest in conservation, improved image of the M AE, and security improvements resulting from the programs help resolving land boundary disputes (Table 24). Both community representatives and individual beneficiaries indicated they would likely have preserved their land even in the absence of the PSB. However, several respondents noted that in the absence of the PSB, they would allow selective logging. Finally, most respondents reported that illegal logging was the main threat to their PSB areas and that they needed assistance to safeguard their forests (Table 25). Discussion Ecuadors PSB contributes to biodiversity conservation and is an attractive program for individuals and communities interested in maintaining their forests. By working with PSB, CI helps clarify ambiguities, improve access to information about the PSB particularly in areas of high conservation priority. The fact that many land areas proposed by CI Partners were not found in MAE databases indicates that a better way to track submissions is needed. Furthermore, many of the surveyed C I partner representatives indicated that some of PSB criteria are not clear, indicating that better diffusion of information to people in charge of the PSB implementation could benefit the


49 program. In fact, some CI representatives indicated that some of PS B criteria, particularly land ownership requirements, kept many submitted areas from being processed, which helps explain the high number of proposed land parcels not found in the PSB databases. CI PSB stakeholders suggested that improved communication would improve PSB implementation. Many of the surveyed CI partner representatives indicated that it would be easier to explain long delays in the processing of application submitted to the MAE if they were kept apprised of their status. Nonetheless, even wit h improved communication, the time taken to evaluate applications should be addressed in the MAE. PSB experience differs between individual beneficiaries and communities. While respondents from both agreed that conservation was the main reason to join the program, they emphasized different deficiencies in the PSB. Individual beneficiaries indicated that dissemination of information about the program is the main aspect that PSB should improve, probably because reaching individual landowners is especially di fficult. This suggestion was frequent among respondents from Manab, many of who do not reside in the area and therefore are not in close communication with neighboring landowners. In addition, individual beneficiaries stated that low credibility in the pr ogram may dissuade others from applying, which reinforces the importance of better dissemination of information so as to increase understanding of PSBs objectives and requirements. In contrast, although communities are more isolated than are individual la ndowners and have limited access to information disseminated by the media, they probably interact more, which facilitates communication about PSB once the program is


50 introduce to them Community representatives emphasized that PSBs economic incentives sho uld be increased even if current incentives are reportedly only of medium importance to their economic well being. Moreover, PSB areas in Esmeraldas tend to be large and other landuses, particularly oil palm plantations and logging, are comparatively prof itable (Holopainen and Wit 2008). In Manab, logging and cattle ranching are also profitable, but the region is already highly fragmented, many landowners have other sources of revenue, and the small remaining forest patches can be dedicated to conservation without large impacts on their incomes. Still, it was surprising to find that both communities and individual beneficiaries would likely preserve their land in absence of the PSB, although in many cases with selective logging and consequent forest degradation. Finally, community representatives identified more cobenefits than individual landowners, which reinforces the importance of the program for communities and suggests that additional mechanism to engage individual landowners are necessary. Conclusi ons PSB implementation under the CI PSB framework would benefit from improved communication among stakeholders and from development of tools to track the status of proposals submitted to the MAE. Based on the two case studies, communities perceive more benefits from PSB than individual landowners, so additional incentives may be necessary to engage more of the latter. Finally, it was widely agreed that long term success of the PSB often requires assistance to landowners in the protection of their forests.


51 Table 21 Evaluation of the performance of CI partner institutions. Numbers indicate status of parcels proposed for inclusion in the PSB by CI partners in the PSB database (a) number of parcel areas (b) area of parcels. Unknown refers to applications not found in the PSB database, and % indicates the percent parcels accepted by PSB for each CI Partner institution. For privacy reasons the name of each CI partner is omitted. (a) CI PARTNER Number of parcels % Unknown Reje cted In revision Accepted TOTAL Organization1 3 5 8 63 Organization2 32 2 4 16 54 30 Organization3 25 10 35 29 Organization4 7 9 16 56 Organization5 4 11 2 10 27 37 Organization6 26 1 27 4 TOTAL 93 13 6 51 163 (b) CI PARTNER Number of ha % Unknown Rejected In revision Accepted TOTAL Organization1 391 13785 16192 85 Organization2 8928 48 327 1598 11237 14 Organization3 2868 519 3611 14 Organization4 5842 21800 27159 80 Organization5 295 30 190 1567 12 Or ganization6 2999 100 3139 3 TOTAL 21028 343 357 37992 62905


52 Table 22 Evaluation of the PSB and institutions in the CI PSB framework by CI partners. Numbers indicate total number of respondents; responses of NA (Not Ap plicable) are excluded so totals vary among statements. Totally Agree Agree Partially agree Disagree Totally disagree PSB The criteria to join the PSB are clear. III IIII IIIII II The criteria to join the PSB are fair and coherent with the program objectives. III IIII IIIIII I The PSB is a significant conservation aid in the geographic area I work. IIIIIIIII IIII I MAE National There is efficient communication with other stakeholders. IIIIIII II IIII Bureaucratic processes are perf ormed in a timely manner. II IIIIIII II II It is fast in responding to inquiries and addressing problems. I IIIIII I IIII II MAE Provinces There is an efficient communication with the other stakeholders. IIII IIIII IIII It is fast in respond ing to inquiries and addressing problems. IIIIII IIIIII I It is efficient addressing local problems like land appropriation or selective logging denounces. I IIII IIII I I CI There is an efficient communication with other stakeholders. IIIIIIII I IIII It is efficient in complying with terms and dates established in cooperative agreements. IIIIIIIIIII III It is fast in responding to inquiries and problems. IIIIIIIIIIII I I


53 Table 23 Evaluation of the PSB. Per centage of affirmative responses. Options CI Partners Communities Individuals Main reason to join the PSB. 1) Economical incentive. 2) Conservation. 3) Secure land tenure. 37 37 26 17 58 25 15 86 Most difficult requirement to apply to the PSB. 1) Title. 2) Zoning. 3) Investment plan. 4) Having a bank account. 5) Other. 64 21 7 7 42 8 42 17 24 40 37 Aspects the PSB should improve. 1) Implementation time. 2) Clarity on how the program works. 3) Technical assistance. 4) Economic incenti ve. 5) Advertising the program. 43 29 43 43 29 25 42 17 67 44 20 13 28 61 Reasons why there is people not interested in the PSB. 1) Contract time. 2) Mistrust in the PSB. 3) There is negative information about the PSB. 4) Other. 8 50 25 17 33 67 74 17 10


54 Table 24 Percent of respondents that noted a particular PSB cobenefit. Co benefits of the PSB CI Partners Communities Individuals Other organizations have been interested in conservation in the area. 36 50 0 Security has improved in the area. 29 58 44 Projects like investment funds, protection of forest areas or public spaces have been developed partially or totally with fund of the PSB. 43 42 7 Awareness about conservation and environment al issues has increased. 79 67 58 Ecotourism has been initiated or has increased. 21 8 13 Local people are more interested in learning about conservation, study careers in the area or develop environmental projects. 50 75 20 There is more collaboration among people, particularly those in the PSB. 43 83 21 The MAE has gained a positive concept among people. 36 91 55


55 Table 25 Reported values of the PSB (percent of affirmative responses) Options Communi ties Individuals How important is the incentive of the PSB in your economy? 1) High importance 2) Medium importance. 3) Low importance. 25 58 17 37 22 39 Without PSB, I would be able to preserve my land for: 1) Less than a year. 2) About five years. 3) More than five years. 8 25 67 1 15 79 Without PSB, the likely landuse of my land would be: 1) Selective logging. 2) Low intensity agriculture. 3) Intensive monocultures. 4) Pasture for cattle. 5) Conservation with another funding source. 6) Conserv ation without any aid. 25 8 8 8 0 50 18 0 0 0 7 75 The main problem I need assistance with is: 1) Report PSB investments to the MAE. 2) Control of illegal logging. 3) Control cattle entering my property. 4) Control land appropriations. 5) None. 25 58 0 8 17 0 55 6 0 40




57 Table A 1 Species density, status in Ecuador accompanied by IUCN conservation status if available, and wood densities for tree species in f orest (F; N=8), secondary forest (SF; N=13), pastures (Pa; N=10), and forestry plantations (Pl; N=10). Taxonomy based on


58 Table A 1. Continued


59 Table A 1. Continued


60 Table A 1. Continued


61 Table A 1. Continued


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69 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Xavier HaroCarri n was born in Quito, Pichincha Province, Ecuador where he then grew up. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Pontificia Universidad Cat lica del Ecuador (PUCE) in Quito in 2006. He carried out his bachelors thesis under the BioS ys Project, a research component of the BioTEAM program of the University of Gttingen sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany. Afterwards, he assisted with and carried out research through various projects in many different forest types in Ecuador. His research experiences range from evaluating vascular epiphyte conservation in cacao agroforests to taxonomic studies in the family Asteraceae. In 2008, he enrolled in the graduate program at University of Florida in the Dep artment of Biology and Tropical Conservation and Development Program after being granted a Fulbright Fellowship. In 2010 he conducted a survey based evaluation of implementation of the Socio Bosque Program for Conservation International Ecuador. Upon his r eturn to the University of Florida in 2011, he developed a deep interest in landscapel evel biodiversity studies. His m aster s thesis resulted from his previous work with Conservation International and field research on issues related to landscape conservation. His future plan is to deepen his understanding of forest conservation tradeoffs at the landscape level.