A Conceptual Model of Biocomplexity in the Upper Botanamo River Basin

L. Delgado, J. Rosales, H. Castellanos, J. Figueroa, S. Leal, A. Mansutti, A. Rodríguez, B. Sanchez, R. Blanca, and C. Valeri (Venezuela)


biocomplexity, Imataca, Guiana Shield,ecological economics, water quality, forest diversity.The study was carried out in the upper basin of theBotanamo River, which is a tributary of the Cuyuní River,within the watershed of the Esequibo River, an importantriver basin of the Guiana Shield (Figure 1). It occupies asurface of 2556 Km2, and about half of this surface iswithin a protected area, the Imataca Forest Reserve (12).Mean annual temperature is 26 °C, ranging from 24.4 to2


The main goal of the study is to understand the social and natural system interactions based on empirical data about human relationships with changes in vegetation cover; the effect of this change on (a) forest ecological attributes such as diversity (b) water quality attributes, and the effect of the feedback of these changes on subsequent human decisions about the land. We finally develop a conceptual model that explains the interactions between both systems. The present work was carried out in the upper basin of the Botanamo River, tributary of the Esequibo River in the Guiana Shield of Venezuela, in lands that include the Imataca Forest Reserve. Watershed processes are studied using a biocomplexity approach integrating observed patterns of forest components and water resources of the natural system and social stakeholders. We propose a conceptual model for explaining the human-natural coupled system that will serve as basis for the spatial and temporal modelling of this system. METHODOLOGY Study Area

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