Ricardo Grau

Ricardo Grau
National University of Tucuman | UNT · Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER)

PhD

About

177
Publications
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Introduction
I am interested in the patterns, drivers and ecological consequences of land use change, with particular focus on Latin America and different ecosystems of subtropical Argentina
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - present
National Scientific and Technical Research Council
Position
  • Principal Investigator

Publications

Publications (177)
Article
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R������. Las parcelas forestales permanentes son áreas de muestreo donde se registran periódicamente la identidad, abundancia y tamaño de los árboles, para estudiar cómo cambian los bosques en relación con el clima, los disturbios naturales y los usos y manejos. Hasta hoy, los patrones de cambio observados con parcelas permanentes en la Argentina t...
Article
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Land use is central to addressing sustainability issues, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable energy. In this paper, we synthesize knowledge accumulated in land system science, the integrated study of terrestrial social-ecological systems, into 10 hard truths that have strong, gene...
Book
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PRESENTACIÓN Buena parte de los tucumanos viven en lo que se conoce como el Gran San Miguel de Tucumán: Yerba Buena, Tafí Viejo, Lules, La Banda, El Manantial, Las Talitas y San Miguel de Tucumán, con alrededor de un millón de tucumanos, son vecinos de la Sierra de San Javier. Esa sierra fue durante siglos fuente de madera y de pastos verdes para...
Article
Human settlement into rural areas (counterurbanization) is generating new patterns of reforestation, with distinctive features compared to the previously considered pathways of forest transition through “economic development” and “forest scarcity”. Here, we discuss the specific features of this neglected pathway of forest recovery and describe the...
Article
Las vegas, son humedales de altura de gran biodiversidad que se mantienen y desarrollan en conjunto con las sociedades puneñas. Estos ambientes ocupan menos del 1% del territorio puneño, pero son esenciales tanto para la vida silvestre como para los pobladores de la región. Rodeadas de una matriz desértica, las vegas son humedales en los que la din...
Article
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The landscape configuration of socio-ecological land systems results from the interaction between the environmental conditions (relatively homogeneous within ecoregions) and country-level management and land-use decisions. However, social, land-use and sustainability research disciplines often study each independently. We used Euclidean distance an...
Article
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Aim Biological invasions represent one of the main anthropogenic drivers of global change with a substantial impact on biodiversity. This impact can be particularly acute in biodiversity hotspots. Ligustrum lucidum W.T. Aiton is a tree species native of China that, from as early as the eighteenth century, has been introduced broadly around the glob...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
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Mountainous regions are globally important, in part because they support large populations and are biodiverse. They are also characterized by enhanced vulnerability to anthropogenic pressures and sensitivity to climate change. This importance necessitates the development of a global reference network of long-term environmental and socioeconomic mon...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Full-text available
Basándonos en datos de cámaras-trampa, cuantificamos la riqueza y frecuencia de registros de mamíferos medianos-grandes a dos distancias de un sendero con uso recreativo en comparación a uno con menos uso en el Parque Sierra San Javier, un área protegida periurbana de las Yungas de Tucumán. Registramos ocho especies de mamíferos medianos-grandes en...
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It is largely unknown how South America's Andean forests affect the global carbon cycle, and thus regulate climate change. Here, we measure aboveground carbon dynamics over the past two decades in 119 monitoring plots spanning a range of >3000 m elevation across the subtropical and tropical Andes. Our results show that Andean forests act as strong...
Article
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ContextThe patterns and causes of forest transition have been extensively studied, identifying socio-economic drivers of land use deintensification and the associated forest expansion. However, most studies do not take into account the origin of the dominant species of new forests (i.e. native or exotic), which affects biodiversity and the provisio...
Article
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During the past decades, the Argentine Puna (a subtropical high elevation desert of c. 14 million hectares) has been going through a process of “rewilding” of large herbivore communities. In response to rural population outmigration and resulting livestock reduction accompanied by protection measures, large wild herbivores such as vicuñas increased...
Article
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The Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) promotes basic and applied research to understand how drivers and processes of global change present challenges and opportunities in mountain social-ecological systems. It convenes a global network that collectively generates and synthesizes knowledge on global change in mountains that also supports decisions...
Article
The relationship between environment and organisms has been a central focus of community ecology. Different approaches have been made for analyzing different aspects of this interaction, but more integral studies are missing to understand the implications of the environment for the whole biodiversity at regional scales. In this work, we assess the...
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Ligustrum lucidum is a highly invasive East Asian tree that successfully colonizes several subtropical and temperate areas around the world. Its invasion capacity results from a widespread human use mostly in urban and periurban settings, very abundant fruit and seed production, small bird-dispersed fruits, high germination rates, resprouting capac...
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Por su continuidad espacial y su relativa homogeneidad ecológica y biofísica, las ecorregiones son un nivel de organización apropiado para discutir y planificar iniciativas de conservación del ambiente a escala regional y nacional. Las interacciones complejas entre las características ecológicas de las ecorregiones, los cambios socioeconómicos loca...
Data
Tabla A2. Puntaje de cada presión (de 0 a 100, con valores más altos reflejando una mayor incidencia de la misma) en las ecorregiones terrestres de Argentina en base a su jerarquización sobre cuatro dimensiones.
Article
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Carbon sequestration through tropical reforestation and natural regeneration could make an important contribution to climate change mitigation, given that forest cover in many tropical regions increased during the early part of the 21st century. The size of this carbon sink will depend on the degree to which second-growth forests are permanent and...
Article
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In most of the planet, large herbivore communities have been replaced by livestock, but this process is reversing in many places. Here, we outline and review the pathways of “megaherbivore rewilding transitions” in three social-ecological-systems of subtropical Argentina. In the extensive arid high-elevation Puna plateau we observed a “rapid rewild...
Article
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Our knowledge about the structure and function of Andean forests at regional scales remains limited. Current initiatives to study forests over continental or global scales still have important geographical gaps, particularly in regions such as the tropical and subtropical Andes. In this study, we assessed patterns of structure and tree species dive...
Article
Impacts of cattle production vary among different production systems, but data on their distribution is scarce for most world regions. In this work, we combine datasets on cattle vaccination locations and land cover in a regression framework to define and map major cattle production systems in the Argentinean Dry Chaco. We also explore how cattle o...
Chapter
The Dry Chaco is mostly known as a forested ecosystem. However it includes natural grasslands, savannas, scrublands, and wetlands. With one of the highest global deforestation rates in the last two decades and only 12% of the area protected, the concern about land-use change in this ecoregion has raised exponentially; but conservation initiatives d...
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High elevation ecosystems are likely more sensitive to climate change. But, due to paucity of instrumental records, such effects are poorly studied, particularly in mountains outside Europe and North America. Here, we quantified water body area fluctuations for the last 32 years in 15 lakes spread over an area of 14.3 million ha in the Argentine Pu...
Article
Sustainable intensification of agricultural production is expected to be an important pathway for achieving future food security while protecting the environment. Recognizing that there is no single answer to how different dimensions of intensification can be achieved sustainably, we identify opportunities for research across spatial scales. We foc...
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The interactions between climate and land-use change are dictating the distribution of flora and fauna and reshuffling biotic community composition around the world. Tropical mountains are particularly sensitive because they often have a high human population density, a long history of agriculture, range-restricted species, and high-beta diversity...
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World‐wide, tropical savannas and dry forests are under increasing pressure from land use. The environmental impacts of agricultural expansion into these ecosystems have received much attention, yet subtler changes in natural vegetation remain severely understudied. We explored how bird communities vary along gradients of woody vegetation in the So...
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Forest transitions occur when net reforestation replaces net deforestation in places. Because forest transitions can increase biodiversity and augment carbon sequestration, they appeal to policymakers contending with the degrading effects of forest loss and climate change. What then can policymakers do to trigger forest transitions? The historical...
Article
Tropical reforestation is a significant component of global environmental change that is far less understood than tropical deforestation, despite having apparently increased widely in scale during recent decades. The regional contexts defining such reforestation have not been well described. They are likely to differ significantly from the geograph...
Book
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Prologo Altura donde el tiempo parece detenerse entre llanuras y valles, donde parece acelerarse. Sol intenso, viento helado; plantas, animales y bacterias que para sobrevivir han desarrollado formas de vida y asociaciones únicas. Comunidades criollas e indígenas, empresas mineras, turistas, montañistas. Mirar al llano, mirarse desde el llano. Uno...
Chapter
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Los socioecosistemas de la Puna en contexto nacional y global ä Resumen-El funcionamiento socioecológico de la Puna argentina está fuertemente condicionado por sus interacciones con otras regiones. El principal motor de esas interac-ciones son los humanos, que llegaron a la Puna hace aproximadamente 11.000 años. Hace 4.000 años los ecosistemas pune...
Article
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Most of the planet's diversity is concentrated in the tropics, which includes many regions undergoing rapid climate change. Yet, while climate‐induced biodiversity changes are widely documented elsewhere, few studies have addressed this issue for lowland tropical ecosystems. Here we investigate whether the floristic and functional composition of in...
Article
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Land use change is a key component of regional environmental change. In mountain regions, where conditions for agriculture and human life are often difficult, land use trends are dominated by changes in the population's distribution across rural and urban areas and shifts in the main human activities. In the Argentinian puna—a high-elevation subtro...
Article
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Phenology is a key ecosystem process that reflects climate–vegetation functioning, and is an indicator of global environmental changes. Recently, it has been suggested that land-use change and timber extraction promote differences in forest phenology. We use remote-sensing data to describe regional leaf phenological patterns in combination with fie...
Article
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New forests are expanding around the world. In many regions, regrowth rates are surpassing deforestation rates, resulting in “forest transitions,” or net gains in forest cover. Typically measured only in terms of aggregate“’forest cover” change, these new forests are ecologically distinct from each other and from those originally cleared. We ask, w...
Article
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ContextKnowing which factors determine the spread of plant invaders is a relevant issue in global ecology. Cultural landscapes both influence and are affected by exotic species. Although bioclimatic boundaries, seed sources and landscape configuration all control the invasion process, they have been mostly studied separately and independently from...
Article
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The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is the main driver of climate variability at mid to high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, affecting wildfire activity, which in turn pollutes the air and contributes to human health problems and mortality, and potentially provides strong feedback to the climate system through emissions and land cover changes. He...
Article
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Areas of land abandonment and agriculture expansion usually differ in location and associated environmental characteristics; thus, land-use redistribution affects the provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. In a subtropical region undergoing land redistribution patterns characteristic of Latin America, we estimated 20-year ch...
Article
High Andean peatbogs are key functional wetlands in the dry Puna region and essential in conserving local biodiversity, including bird communities. We surveyed the bird communities of 18 peatbogs in the Argentinean Puna (Salta and Catamarca Provinces) to describe their species composition, their patterns of species richness and diversity; and their...
Article
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p>Central Andean Highlands represent a singular environment characterized by various extreme conditions. Among them, peatbogs are exceptional marshy habitats scattered throughout this arid and harsh area. In an effort to understand the patterns of beta diversity, we sampled the benthic macroinvertebrates of thirteen peatbogs and related the biologi...
Article
This article reviews the current status, trends and challenges of land system science in Latin America. We highlight the advances in the conceptualization, analysis and monitoring of land systems. These advances shift from a focus on the relationships between forests and other land uses to include a greater diversity of land cover and land-use type...
Article
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Rising global demand for agricultural products results in agricultural expansion and intensification, with substantial environmental trade-offs. The South American Dry Chaco contains some of the fastest expanding agricultural frontiers worldwide, and includes diverse forms of land management, mainly associated with different land tenure regimes; wh...
Article
The Dry Chaco is one of the most active agriculture frontiers, which imposes trade-offs and synergies among ecosystem services (ES). Most studies analyze real or potential supply of ES associated to land use change; but they usually neglect ES social demands. Interviews to inhabitants of small urban centers in the Argentinean Dry Chaco revealed tha...
Article
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Background Protected areas, regarded today as a cornerstone of nature conservation, result from an array of multiple motivations and opportunities. We explored at global and regional levels the current distribution of protected areas along biophysical, human, and biological gradients, and assessed to what extent protection has pursued (i) a balance...
Data
Background Protected areas, regarded today as a cornerstone of nature conservation, result from an array of multiple motivations and opportunities. We explored at global and regional levels the current distribution of protected areas along biophysical, human, and biological gradients, and assessed to what extent protection has pursued (i) a balance...
Article
Full-text available
The subtropical dry forests are experiencing rapid clearing in the southamerican Great Chaco region, mainly for soybean production in Argentina. This is causing biodiversity loss and soil salinization. This forests are unique for the floristic richness and the dense forest cover in a region characterized by semiarid climatic conditions. The authors...
Article
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Resumen — Los humedales son zonas en donde el agua es el principal factor que con-trola el funcionamiento ecológico del área. Especialmente en zonas áridas como la Puna, estos sistemas son de enorme importancia para la biodiversidad y las poblaciones locales que de-penden de los servicios ecosistémicos que éstos proveen. En este trabajo presentamos...
Article
This paper uses new, high resolution satellite-derived data to explore recent cross-national differences in expanding tree cover. Increases in tree cover have concentrated in nations with recent histories of extensive deforestation, humid climates, high crop yields, and small numbers of farm workers. The associations of expanded tree cover with hig...
Article
Full-text available
Background. The establishment of protected areas, regarded today as a cornerstone of nature conservation, resulted from a multiple array of motivations and opportunities. We explore at global and regional levels, the current distribution of protected areas along biophysical, human, and biological gradients, and assess to what extent protection purs...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. The establishment of protected areas, regarded today as a cornerstone of nature conservation, resulted from a multiple array of motivations and opportunities. We explore at global and regional levels, the current distribution of protected areas along biophysical, human, and biological gradients, and assess to what extent protection purs...
Article
Full-text available
The macroinvertebrates are a vital component of freshwater ecosystems as they contribute to the process of organic matter while serving as food for other organisms such as fish and amphibians. Unfortunately, the knowledge of the aquatic diversity is poor in the high Andean systems (between 3 200 and 5 200 m.a.s.l. and rainfall below 300 mm per year...