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Ecología austral

versión On-line ISSN 1667-782X


MASTRANGELO, Matías E. Contributions of human behavior study to the research and management of rural ecosystems and landscapes. Ecol. austral [online]. 2018, vol.28, n.2, pp.418-434. ISSN 1667-782X.

In our country, ecologists are increasingly called to play a more active role in natural resource management and in rural ecosystem and landscape planning. The effectiveness of management and planning depends to a large extent on the ability to transform the human behaviors that most influence the state of ecosystems and landscapes. Therefore, the capacity of research processes and results in ecology to transform the reality of territories can be enhanced by its integration with conceptual and methodological elements of the human behavioral sciences. In the territory, changes in land use and land cover are the result of a multiplicity of decisions made by those individuals that affect and benefit from ecosystems, mostly farmers. This paper reviews theories, concepts, methods and applications of social psychology to make visible and discuss their real and potential contributions to the research and management of rural ecosystems and landscapes subject to transformation by agriculture, which are illustrated by studies in the Argentine Dry Chaco. The Theory of Planned Behavior proved to be a conceptual and analytical model of great synoptic value to understand the endogenous motivational factors that influence the formation of intentions to conserve remnant forests by agricultural producers. The social valuation of ecosystem services made it possible to observe the diversity of identities and valuation profiles that coexist in the territory. Finally, overlapping trade-off and indifference curves proved to be a simple and powerful tool for linking ecological and preference trade-offs, and for identifying barriers and opportunities for farmers to transition to land use systems that are both biophysically efficient and socially acceptable.

Palabras clave : Social psychology; Theory of planned behavior; Ecosystem services; Social valuation; Trade-offs; Conflicts; Farmers; Chaco; Multifunctionality; Native forests.

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