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Community perceptions of ecosystem services and human well-being from tree plantations in Argentina

Silva, Chelsea (2016) Community perceptions of ecosystem services and human well-being from tree plantations in Argentina. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Abstract

Sustainable biofuels have the potential to help lower greenhouse gas emissions while providing socioeconomic benefits to local communities that supply and produce biofuel feedstocks. Global and regional demand for sustainably produced biofuels and renewable energy targets have recently created a market for woody biofuels derived from unused forestry residues in the Argentine forestry sector. Currently, less than one percent of tree plantation residues is converted into biofuel products (e.g., wood pellets) in Argentina, but growing global interest in biofuels may prompt increased tree plantation developments in the region. Little is known about people’s perceptions of tree plantation effects on their communities. The purpose of this research was to: 1) investigate how people define and construct ecosystem services, and how they perceive effects of tree plantations on ecosystem services and well-being; and 2) explore how tree plantations are shaped by land tenure and land use history and how this shape people’s perceptions of tree plantations. In Chapter 2, I examine responses gathered from in-depth, qualitative interviews to identify community member definitions of ecosystem services and perceived effects of local tree plantation developments on ecosystem services and well-being. I compared these data with the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) ecosystem services conceptual framework. While respondents defined ecosystem services similarly to the MEA, not all MEA ecosystem services were defined, and some definitions were integrated or altogether novel. Respondents viewed tree plantations as both positively and negatively impacting ecosystem services and well-being, indicating the need to evaluate tradeoffs if tree plantation expansion continues. In Chapter 3, I explore how land tenure and land use history shape tree plantation developments. I also examine people’s perceptions of the effects of tree plantation development on land tenure, ecosystem services, and well-being. Results indicate links between land tenure and land use history in determining where and how tree plantations are established. Respondent perceptions align clearly with local land tenure and land use histories. This work contributes to a growing body of literature that explores biofuel sustainability across the Americas.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: Copyright is held by author
Keywords: ecosystem servies; Argentina; tree plantations; land use; Law N 25080; timber industry; well-being;
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 17:07
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/2656

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