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Perceived impacts on ecosystem services and coping strategies by dairy farmers in the Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro during the drought of 2014-2017

  • Soils are complex, evolving systems that simultaneously shape and are shaped by numerous biotic and abiotic factors in a vast web of interactions that creates the conditions for the propagation of life and the maintenance of human societies. Yet, land use and land use change (LULUC) and anthropogenic climate change (CC) are forcing substantial and rapid alterations into soil’s properties and processes, thus affecting the functions and services derived from it. The resulting land degradation (LD) is now spread, according to recent estimates, over nearly 30 % of the world’s total land, mostly on the population dense and impoverished tropics, a zone predicted to withstand the worst impacts of CC. The Atlantic Forest in Brazil is a particularly vulnerable environment, and the unusual drought of 2014-2017 that hit its Southeastern region is likely the harbinger of a progressively drier future. The way the prelude of what might be an increasingly frequent hazard affected farmers’ livelihoods and natural resources, and the manner in which they reacted to those impacts can thus reveal points of strength and fragility that could be respectively harnessed or addressed to develop a more sustainable agriculture and climate resilience. This master thesis focused on characterizing those impacts and reactions on distinct dairy production systems in two municipalities in Northwestern Rio de Janeiro: Santo Antônio de Pádua and Cambuci. Through interviews and in loci observations, the researcher collected data concerning environmental services (erosion prevention, soil cover and water provision), production variables (inputs and outputs), socio-economic information, farm system management and farmers’ future perspectives. The results show that dairy production systems in the region are heterogeneous and, although they may share common characteristics, drought outcomes were closely tied to the specificities of each farm. Ultimately, outcomes originated from differences in water supply, water demand, and feed availability, their subsequent change by the drought and farmers’ reaction to those changes at each property.

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Author:Gabriel Fazito Rezende Fernandes
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Publishing Institution:Hochschulbibliothek der Technischen Hochschule Köln
Granting Institution:Technische Hochschule Köln
Date of first Publication:2019/12/08
Date of Publication (online):2019/12/09
GND-Keyword:Bewältigung; Degradation; Dürre; Milcherzeuger; Rio de Janeiro
Tag:Coping strategies; Dairy systems; Drought impacts; Ecosystem services; Land degradation
Institutes:Fakultät für Raumentwicklung und Infrastruktursysteme (F12) / Fakultät 12 / Institut für Technologie und Ressourcenmanagement in den Tropen und Subtropen
Open Access:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell 4.0 International