Landscape restoration in a mixed agricultural-forest catchment: Planning a buffer strip and hedgerow network in a Chilean biodiversity hotspot

January 2019

by José M. Rey Benayas, Adison Altamirano, Alejandro Miranda, Germán Catalán, Marco Prado, Fulgencio Lisón & James M. Bullock

Focusing on a Chilean biodiversity hotspot, we assessed the landscape in terms of existing woody vegetation elements and proposed a buffer strip and hedgerow network. We used spatial analysis based on Google Earth imagery and QGIS, field surveys, seven guidelines linked to prioritization criteria and seedling availability in the region’s nurseries, and estimated the budget for implementing the proposed network. The target landscapes require restoring 0.89 ha km-2 of woody buffer strips to meet Chilean law; 1.4 ha km-2 of new hedgerows is also proposed. The cost of restoration in this landscape is estimated in ca. USD 6900 per planted ha of buffer strips and hedgerows. Financial incentives, education, and professional training of farmers are identified as key issues to implement the suggested restoration actions.