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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Farmers' Perspectives on Vital Soil-related Ecosystem Services in Intensive Swidden Farming Systems in the Peruvian Amazon

Marquardt, Kristina; Milestad, Rebecka; Porro, Roberto


A growing dilemma is how to conserveAmazonian forest while allowing local people to secure their livelihoods. Small-scale swidden farming in Amazonia is entirely dependent on the continued provision of ecosystem services (ES) that generate the conditions for agriculture. This study identified soil-related ES needed for, and enhanced by, productive swidden systems from the farmer’s perspective.Workshops in six farming communities in northeastern Peru discussed various land uses, swidden systems that continue to be productive, and swidden systems on degraded land. The participating farmers noted changes in their production systems and described the ES (or lack thereof) in terms of soil quality, crop production quantity and quality, burning practices, forest regeneration, and farming skill. The central elements described in farmers’ own strategies for managing soil-related ES were fallow management for biomass production and crop diversity, factors identified as central to future ES management work in established agricultural areas in Amazonia.

Published in

Human Ecology
2013, Volume: 41, number: 1, pages: 139-151

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG15 Life on land

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Social Anthropology
      Forest Science
      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)