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Environmental impact of livestock systems in the Ecuadorian Amazon
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1  Universidad Estatal Amazonica


Converting natural ecosystems into livestock agroecosystems often reduces soil organic carbon content by decreasing its supply source, as well as by increasing erosion losses and organic matter decomposition rate. In this sense, this study aimed at evaluating carbon sequestration and soil structure in livestock systems of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This study was carried out in livestock areas of the Pastaza province, under rainforest and livestock systems with and without trees. We collected disturbed an undisturbed soil samples within the depth 0-10 and 10-30 cm. From these samples, we determined total organic carbon and some structural indexes such as bulk density and soil porosity. The results suggest that the soil use with rainforest sequester more total carbon in comparison with the other management, with average values of 515 Mg C ha-1. The silvopastoral systems store average amounts of 55 to 103 Mg C ha-1, which is affected by the number of trees. The structural indexes presented adequate values in all land uses, reflecting the role of the organic matter as an improvement of the soil structural conditions, which favors aeration, root penetration and a greater uptake of rainwater. Land use change, with the adoption of agroforestry systems (ASs) analogous to the potential use of the Amazon region, become adequate management practices to promote sequestration C in both soil and biomass, as well as maintenance of good structural conditions, which reinforces its role as regulator of the ecosystem and its contribution to the mitigation of global climate change.

Keywords: carbon sequestration, agroforestry systems, ecosystem services, structural indexes
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