Patagonia is a vast, immensely rich, sparsely populated area of South America, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
Shared by Argentina and Chile, recently more than 12,000 hectares of forest were affected first by volcanic ash and second, by wildfires.
The Patagonia Argentina can be divided into two regions: Northern Patagonia and Southern Patagonia, both separated by the parallel 42 ° S. Another division of the Patagonia Argentina is mainly based on ecological considerations: the Andean Patagonia (wet, covered with forests and dotted with large lakes of glacial origin) and Extra-Andean Patagonia, or steppe (arid and largely covered by shrubs, and even desertic).
The Chilean Patagonia is a land shaped mainly by glaciers. In it lies a narrow coastal plain, large glaciers, mountains, fjords, islands and islets, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls and plenty of fresh water flowing into the sea, and finally, the Magellanic tundra lands up to Cape Horn.
One part declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO, is home to Patagonian native tree species such as beech and ñirre and animal species as the huemul, an endemic deer and many other species not found anywhere else in the planet.
Most of the area impacted by the fire is made up of forests. There are three ecosystems that are affected: the primary forests of beech (Nothofagus pumilio or white oak) with some presence of ñirre (Nothofagus antarctica or Antarctic Haya) are about 4% of the 12,000 acres burned.
The ash emissions from the Chilean volcano Puyehue Cordón Caulle, which became operational in June 2011, has altered this complex ecosystem. Therefore, to establish a restoration plan is required to perform soil studies to delineate which the impact caused by the ashes, how much did hurt the nutrients, spices and seeds therein contained.
Therefore, the need to assess whether the fungi that live in soil and insects and their larvae, maintain its population and living conditions.
Failure to perform these studies in the required time, simply will have lost the opportunity to obtain information that is essential to plan the repopulation of species and to take mitigation measures.
By Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA 24