Special Issues

Ecology of Rangelands in Argentina

Submission Deadline: 01 October 2024 View: 19 Submit to Special Issue

Guest Editors

Prof. Carlos Alberto Busso, Departamento de Agronomía, Universidad Nacional del Sur, y Consejo de Investigaciónes Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina (i.e., CONICET), Argentina

Summary

About two thirds of the total continental surface area of Argentina (3,000,000 km2) are arid and semiarid territories. Such areas, not available for cropping because of climate and/or topography constraints, are what we called rangelands.  Its major economic use should be for livestock production, utilizing the natural vegetation for animal feeding. The phytogeographic regions contained in these extensive surfaces present an outstanding variety in plant community structure. This is because of the development from north to south through various thousands of kilometers and elevations which vary from sea level to the east to the tallest mountains in the Americas to the west. Climate variations, which go from subtropical to subantarctic depending on latitude, together with the soil substrate and the biota translate into well-differentiated biomes, each with its own ecological characteristics.


Briefly, and making reference to the arid and semiarid territories from north to south, we can distinguish the following:  (1) Puna, with its high plains to elevations above 3,000 m a.s.l.; (2) Mesophytic and xerophytic  forests of the Chaco Occidental; (3) Arid and semiarid territories to the west surrounding the Andes, characterized by and homogeneous shrubby vegetation as the dominant community on about 50 million hectares recognized as Monte; (4) Prairie rich on high forage value grasses with rather isolated shrubs and trees of the ''Caldenal'' at the borders of the cropped territories to the east, and (5) Subantarctic regions to the south of the country known as Patagonia, which covers an estimated surface area of 60 million hectares, and constitutes one of the few cool deserts in the world. This special issue will include a synthesis of research currently conducted on some areas of this huge surface area. and will include biotic (e.g., defoliation) as well as abiotic (e.g., drought stress) investigations. It will also include problems of land degradation of the arid, semiarid and subhumid-dry zones because of climatic variations and human activities. Some research will be conducted on desertified areas. The term desertification identifies a series of processes directed by nature and anthropogenic forces. The topics to be included in this special issue will be related to land degradation and desertification on the land agroecosystem. Land degradation or desertification also refers to the decrease or loss of biological or economical productivity of the arid and semiarid territories. Such phenomena are currently among the major environmental challenges in Argentina.


Keywords

ecology, rangelands, arid and semiarid territories, water stress

Published Papers


  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Endophytic Occupation in Nodules of Rhynchosia Plants from Semiarid Regions of Argentina

    Cinthia T. Lucero, María de los Á. Ruíz, Fabiola Pagliero, Carolina Castaño, Mariela L. Ambrosino, Graciela S. Lorda
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.050762
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Ecology of Rangelands in Argentina)
    Abstract Beneficial microbes can improve soil health by promoting soil structure, nutrient cycling, and disease suppression. In addition, a wide array of rhizospheric microbes are responsible for producing metabolically active compounds including various types of plant growth regulators. So, microbial biodiversity studies could contribute to the improvement of agricultural practices in deprived areas, such as the Pampean semiarid region. The vast majority of studies conducted on endophytic microorganisms have focused on intensive crop legume species. In contrast, little attention has been paid to microorganisms of native legumes, whose ecology is not directly affected by human action.… More >

  • Open Access

    ARTICLE

    Grazing Pressure and Plant Functional Types in Puna Highlands, Northwestern Argentina

    Quiroga Mendiola Mariana, Tálamo Andrés
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.5, pp. 1067-1080, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.050556
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Ecology of Rangelands in Argentina)
    Abstract The Puna grasslands support grazing systems that produce meat and wool in multi-species herds, especially from llama (Lama glama) and sheep. However, it is yet unknown whether grazing pressure can modify grassland structure and Plant Functional Types diversity and cover in Puna grasslands. We analyzed the relationship between grazing pressure and Plant Functional Types by comparing transects located near stockyards (high grazing pressure) and far from them (low pressure) and by evaluating the relationship between the Plant Functional Types cover to a Grazing Pressure Index (GPI). This index incorporates the heterogeneity of traditional pastoral management. At… More >

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