National Projects
Project duration: 
Jan 2008 to Dec 2010

Past, present and future of the natural and human communities of the dry forests of South America. The case of the Argentine Dry Chaco.


The Chaco Seco region is one of the main forest lands of South America, and its dynamics has important impacts on both climate and the human population. The advance of the agricultural border in the Argentinean Chaco Seco, characterized by a very poor population, has elliminated the traditional activities of local human communities. This has effects on its structure and composition, and also on the biodiversity of the region. The historical increment in precipitation should have brought an increment in the forested area, but the intensification of the farming activities apparently prevented it. Furthermore, if the change in the precipitation tendency is confirmed, aridity is likely to increase and, so, the forested area will decrease.
The main objective of this project is to establish the vulnerability of the dry forests to climate change and to the increment of human activities, and to assess the effects of deforestation on humman communities. The project will let us perform long- and short-term predictions on the evolution of the dry forests under different climatic and demographic pressure scenarios.
  • El Chaco