Environmental Changes Affecting the Andes of Ecuador

  • Thorsten PetersEmail author
  • Thomas Drobnik
  • Hanna Meyer
  • Melanie Rankl
  • Michael Richter
  • Rütger Rollenbeck
  • Boris Thies
  • Jörg Bendix
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 221)


Global terrestrial biodiversity is strongly affected by expanding land use, climate change and nitrogen deposition. This holds especially true for tropical forests which already show large changes due mainly to land use activities. The extent of land use in Ecuador has increased considerably during the last century. An extensive network of primary and secondary roads now opens up most of the western and central areas of the country, while parts of the Oriente have been converted into protected areas. Concerning climate change warming is predicted to be moderate for western Ecuador, while the eastern part of the country will suffer from rising temperatures that will affect a floristic region harbouring one of the global diversity hotspots for vascular plant species. Changes in precipitation are expected to be spatially much less cohesive, with increasing and decreasing amounts of precipitation being unevenly distributed throughout the Andes. The spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of precipitation and wind also regulate the deposition of rainwater-dissolved matter in the mountain ecosystem which results from biomass burning in Amazonia. In this chapter, our current knowledge as to the past development of these major threats of the ecosystem will be discussed focusing on the study area South Ecuador.


Biomass Burning Deforestation Rate Annual Lapse Rate Lowland Tropical Rainforest Annual Deforestation Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Paul Ziegler and Erwin Beck for linguistic proofreading this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thorsten Peters
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Drobnik
    • 1
  • Hanna Meyer
    • 2
  • Melanie Rankl
    • 1
  • Michael Richter
    • 1
  • Rütger Rollenbeck
    • 2
  • Boris Thies
    • 2
  • Jörg Bendix
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, Faculty of GeographyUniversity of MarburgMarburgGermany

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