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Catchments

FOREST

Location and management objective:

The Forest Catchment is located on a tributary of the Agua Salud River in Soberania National Park and is adjacent to the Mosaic catchment. It has been shown to match up extremely well with this catchment in terms of drainage area, geology, original soils, topographic properties and precipitation. The management objective is to maintain the mature forest of the National Park intact.


Area: 132 hectares


Vegetation type: The vegetation is considered very old secondary or mature forest.


 

Monitoring:

  • Water chemistry: three broad types of water samples are collected: grab samples (stream water, throughfall, overland flow, groundwater), stream-water event samples, and wet-dry collector rainwater samples. Analysis of many dissolved and solid phases including bioactive, major, and trace constituents (PDF).
     

MOSAIC


Location and management objective:

The Mosaic catchment is located on a tributary of the Agua Salud River and is directly adjacent to the Forest Catchment. It abuts the boundary of Soberania National Park and matches up extremely well with the Forest Catchment in terms of drainage area, geology, original soils, topographic properties, and precipitation (PDF). The management objective is to maintain the vegetation as it is now.

Area: 153 hectares

Vegetation type: The vegetation is a mosaic of predominantly young secondary forest, pasture and land that continues to be managed for subsistence agriculture.

Mosaic

Monitoring:

  • Hydrology: Regular monitoring includes precipitation rain gage and stream flow
    Weir # 3 Weir # 3

     
    level troll model 300; ISCO model 6712.
     
  • Water chemistry: three broad types of water samples are collected: grab samples (stream water, throughfall, overland flow, groundwater), stream-water event samples, and wet-dry collector rainwater samples. Analysis of many dissolved and solid phases including bioactive, major, and trace constituents (PDF).
     

PASTURE


Location and management objective:

The Cattle Pasture Catchment of the Agua Slaud focal research area is located at the headwaters of a tributary of the Agua Salud River and is contained within the Mosaic Catchment. Most of the pasture is contained within the Agua Salud property boundaries and is managed by agreement with the previous land owner and at the same pre-acquisition intensity. A heard of cattle is rotated between this and another pasture outside the watershed at monthly intervals (approximately 1.3 head of cattle per hectare).

Area: 40 hectare

History: This catchment has been continually managed for cattle for several decades.

Vegetation type: Land cover is predominantly pasture with a low density of fruit and other trees. A small portion of this catchment is currently in young secondary forest.


Monitoring:

  • Hydrology: precipitation rain gage, stream flow



    level troll model 300; ISCO model 6712.
     
  • Soil: monitoring includes physical characteristics of soil in relation to soil hydrology, and soil carbon
     
  • Met station: there is a met station installed and monitored by ACP in the catchment.
     
  • Water chemistry: three broad types of water samples are collected: grab samples (stream water, throughfall, overland flow, groundwater), stream-water event samples, and wet-dry collector rainwater samples. Analysis of many dissolved and solid phases including bioactive, major, and trace constituents (PDF).
     

NATIVE SPECIES


Location and management objective:

The Native Species Plantations within the Agua Salud Focal Research Area are divided into two blocks and designed to test hypotheses related to the growth and development of native timber species in monocultures and mixtures as well as ecosystem function and services. More details (PDF)

Area: 75 hectares total. Approximately 37 hectares in block 2 are above the weir and thus define the area monitored for catchment related studies of hydrology.

Mosaic

History: Block 1 of the Native Species Plantations abuts Soberania National Park and is spread across what were, prior to acquisition, four adjacent properties with similar land use history and vegetation cover. Though at one time high, when acquired, cattle density on the land was low (between 0.1 and 0.2 per hectare). Vegetation was dominated by very young secondary forest (< 5 years old) and patches of active pasture, including a low density of shrubs and fruit trees (Craven et al., 2008a). All land was cleared of vegetation in areas where plantations were established. The establishment and management of the native species plantations is through a contract issued by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

Block 2 of the Native Species Plantations is located at the headwaters of the Mendoza River. A herd of 36 cattle were maintained on this property until May 2008 such that the density across area grazed was approximately 0.75 head of cattle per hectare. Historically densities were approximately 1.3 head of cattle per hectare. Four distinct vegetation types were recognizable at the time of acquisition of this property: pasture, grazed very young secondary forest, wooded pasture with Terminalia amazonia, and area where cattle had been removed 1.5 years prior to acquisition (secondary succession catchment) (Craven et al. 2008b). As with block 1 of these plantations, all land was cleared outside of riparian zones and forest for the establishment of plantations.

Vegetation type: Native species plantations include 21 different treatments where five timber (Anacardium excelsum, Dalbergia retusa, Pachira quinata, Tabebuia rosea, and Terminalia amazonia ) and five companion species (Erytrina fusca, Gliricidia sepium, Inga punctata, Luehea seemannii, Ochroma pyramidale ) are planted in different treatments (see van Breugel and Hall, 2008). Trees were planted in September-October 2008; approximately 25 hectares of these plantations are buffers outside of experimental plots.

Monitoring:

  • Hydrology: No hydrological infrastructure is present in block 1. Monitoring in block 2 includes precipitation rain gage stream flow (level troll model 300; ISCO model 6712), well level (level troll model 300) and evapotranspiration [ET gages model A y E]. In addition studies will be initiated to monitoring through fall, interception, and overland flow.


     
  • Vegetation: Regular monitoring includes growth performance of trees in block 1 and 2.
     
  • Soil: chemical properties of soil in block 1 and 2. In block 2 the physical characteristics of soil in relation to soil hydrology , soil nutrients and carbon are being monitored.
     
  • Water chemistry: three broad types of water samples are collected: grab samples (stream water, throughfall, overland flow, groundwater), stream-water event samples, and wet-dry collector rainwater samples. Analysis of many dissolved and solid phases including bioactive, major, and trace constituents (PDF).
     
  • Meteorology: a meteorological station measures precipitation [rain gage , rain gage model 260-2501M]; solar radiation [pyranometer LI200X]; wind speed [wind speed sensor 014A] and direction [three dimensional anemometer CSAT3]; temperature [107 temperatura probe; thermocouple FW05; temperatura probe CS107]; CO2 y H2O flux [open path infrared analizar LI-7500]; surface radiation [net radiometer CNR1], and soil temperature [soil heat flux plates HFPO1SC].
     

TEAK


Location and management objective:

The Teak Plantation within the Agua Salud focal research area is located on a tributary of the Mendoza River and includes land from what were two different farms at the time of acquisition. A 4.2 hectare secondary forest patch believed to be approximately 25 years old is located on the upper right bank of the stream. The management objective in this plantation is to produce the highest quality timber possible at this site.

Area: 30 hectares

History: Though vegetation on the land cleared for the establishment of the 30 hectare plantation was all very young secondary forest (<5 years) (Craven et al. 2008c), the areas of the properties acquired that were cleared experienced different land uses. Land surrounding the upper most section of the stream (above and across from the secondary forest), was cultivated for crops 1 year prior to land acquisition (i.e. growing season of 2006). Vegetation downstream consisted of cattle pasture. As with the land under cattle pasture in Block 1 of the Native Species Plantation, cattle density was between 0.1 and 0.2 head per hectare at the time of acquisition. The plantation was established in September 2008.

Vegetation type: Teak plantation

Monitoring:

  • Hydrology: precipitation[rain gage with data logger], stream flow [level troll model 300; ISCO model 6712], well level [level troll model 300] and evapotransporation [ET gages model A] . In addition studies will be initiated to monitoring through fall, interception, and overland flow


     
  • Vegetation: growth performance of trees.

     
  • Soil: physical characteristics of soil in relation to soil hydrology.
     
  • Water chemistry: three broad types of water samples are collected: grab samples (stream water, throughfall, overland flow, groundwater), stream-water event samples, and wet-dry collector rainwater samples. Analysis of many dissolved and solid phases including bioactive, major, and trace constituents (PDF).

MANAGED FOREST


Location and management objective:

The Managed Forest Catchment is located at the head waters of a second order steam of the Agua Salud River. The vegetation will be managed to assess tradeoffs in ecosystem services.

Area: 90 ha

History: Approximately 50% of the land had been managed as cattle pasture in the past while the rest was left forested. At the time of land acquisition cattle had been removed for many years.

Monitoring:

  • Vegetation: Floristic inventories have been completed.


CANAL GRASS


Location and management objective:

This catchment is located within a research concession managed by the PRORENA (Native Species Reforestation Project) Project within the boundaries of Soberania National Park in the Provence of Panama. The management objective is to maintain a cover of Saccharum spontaneum, a non-native and invasive grass that establishes on pastures and in agricultural fields and is maintained by fire.

Area: 19.5 hectares

History: The catchment has burned for each of the last 3 years. Prior to the agreement establishing the 20 year research concession, the land was covered by Canal Grass and gallery forest. In collaboration with ANAM, ACP, and other partners, PRORENA has been reforesting the 120 hectare concession for research purposes since 2003 (see Wishnie et al., 2007).

Vegetation type: The catchment is covered by Saccharum spontaneum.

Monitoring:

 

SECONDARY SUCCESSION


Location and management objective:

The Secondary Succession Catchment is nested within a property that also contains the native species plantation catchment.

Area: 6.5 hectares

History: Cattle had been removed from this catchment for approximately 1.5 years prior to acquisition of this property in December 2007. When cattle were present, grazing intensity was approximately 1.3 head per hectare.

Vegetation type: The vegetation of this catchment is dominated by species in the genera Bismia, Miconia and Conostegia.

Monitoring:

  • Hydrology: Regular monitoring includes precipitation rain gage, and stream flow [level troll model 300]. In addition studies are overland flow.

     
  • Vegetation: Annual monitoring of vegetation in two 0.5 ha plots.
     
  • Soil: physical characteristics of soil in relation to soil hydrology and nutrients in transects.
     
  • Water chemistry: grab samples (stream water, throughfall, overland flow, groundwater) are collected.

 

SECONDARY FOREST MONITORING NETWORK


This map indicates the location of the secondary forest dynamics plots in the secondary forest monitoring network.  This network allows for the monitoring of vegetation dynamics and above ground carbon storage in young (< 30 years) secondary forest across the Agua Salud focal research landscape. While regular monitoring affords the opportunity to track changes over time, the use of different age and/or basal area classes allows for a first assessment of how carbon storage may change with age and species composition.

The monitoring network consist of 54 sites where two permanent plots 50m x 20m have been established, one at an up slope position and the other down slope adjacent to gallery forest where it exists. Seedlings and trees greater than 1 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) are being monitored.