Working group on evaluation and synthesis of information on tree cover to balance productivity and biodiversity in agricultural landscapes along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor
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CORRIDOR is a Framework 6 project funded by the European Commission whick seeks to co-ordinate activity and build capacity amongst Central American countries to develop a research strategy for defining thresholds for tree cover that balance biodiversity conservation and productivity in agricultural landscapes along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC).

We will build upon and combine data collected and methods developed in Central America in two complementary EU INCO projects, FRAGMENT (concerned with landscape level tree cover and biodiversity on pastures), and CASCA (exploring impacts of tree cover on coffee productivity). Implications of the findings from three Central American countries (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua) will be explored in the context of the whole Mesoamerican region stretching from Mexico to Colombia.

This is to be achieved by establishing working groups comprising delegates from key research institutes from countries within the Mesoamerican region coordinated by CATIE and two European research centres with expertise in systems analysis and ecology and tree and crop physiology. The groups will collate information on tree cover, biodiversity and productivity in coffee plantations and pastures, respectively along the MBC and during workshops for each land cover type develop protocols for data collection and interpretation that facilitate their inclusion in comparative analysis across the region.

Our findings will be combined and discussed at a synthesis workshop that will draw conclusions from the existing data, identify knowledge gaps and develop an integrated research strategy to define threshold levels of tree cover in agricultural landscapes along the MBC, with a view to future participation in EU programmes.


Shaded cattle pasture Heredia, Costa Rica