Dynamics of litter regeneration and decomposition in a successional gradient of High Andean forest.

Project: Research/Creation Project

Project Details


The Colombian Andes are characterized by their high levels of diversity and endemism associated with the storage of large amounts of carbon, being fundamental in the mitigation of climate change. However, the High Andean forests have been heavily intervened in recent decades by different anthropogenic processes related to livestock, mining and timber extraction. Among the most transformed areas is the Sabana de Bogotá and its surroundings, which has lost almost all its original native forests, although the presence of secondary forests is increasing. These High Andean secondary forests are ecosystems of great interest since they have not only been affected by human activities, but through their ecological dynamics they also provide ecosystem services that directly and indirectly benefit the local population. One of these benefits is the capture of carbon, which depends on the regeneration of the forest and its main flows, being the decomposition of litter the most important. However, despite the fact that the regeneration mechanisms and determinants of litter decomposition are key to maintaining productivity and carbon sequestration, both processes are among the least understood in the high mountain areas of the Colombian Andes. For this reason, the present proposal aims to characterize the ecosystem dynamics of these forests through: (1) the characterization of the main mechanisms involved in regeneration and (2) the determining factors in the decomposition of litter along a gradient successional. For this, 20 permanent plots will be used in four locations with different levels of intervention near Bogotá. The project will generate valuable and innovative information on the recovery patterns of High Andean secondary forests and their influence on carbon sequestration under climate change scenarios.


Carbon cycle, regeneration, seed ecology, decomposition, functional traits, High Andean forests, ecological succession.
Effective start/end date1/12/216/30/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Main Funding Source

  • Competitive Funds


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