Between September 29th and October 1st, IALE Chile carried out the "Fieldwork training in landscapes of Southern Chile: understanding patterns and dynamics of transformation in contrasting landscapes". This activity had the financial support of IALE international and the sponsorship of different national postgraduate programs. A total of 17 students and 7 researchers (the instructors), all IALE-Chile members, participated in the 3 days of training. The main objective of the activity was to carry out a reflexive reinforcement of theoretical, methodological, and practical aspects of landscape ecology, which were applied in the contrasting environments visited in the fieldwork training. Each student shared their research topic with the group, which provided feedback and opened additional reflections. The first day, we visited the coastal area of La Araucanía region. Here we had the opportunity to visit landscapes with a significant indigenous cultural heritage, where agriculture is the main activity, located among small patches of native forest and important aquatic systems such as Lake Budi and the estuary of the Imperial River. Both are currently subject to recent changes due to tectonic activity. On the second day, we visited the Andes zone of La Araucanía. The focus of this day was a network of 700 hectares of native forest restoration. The area still had winter snow, and it was possible to appreciate the evolution of landscapes set on fire more than 30 years ago, subjected to invasion processes, and today under reforestation. In addition, landscapes of high biogeographical interest were observed, such as Araucaria and Nothofagus forests. On the last day, we worked in the city of Temuco, the capital of La Araucanía region. Here we focus on green infrastructure, visiting a new urban park that integrates the conservation of Boldo forests, and also recovering part of the historical memory. Afterward, we climbed a tower to make "bird's eye" views of the city, where the relationship between natural and anthropic elements was analyzed. In addition, we also analyzed the heat island phenomenon in the city using different instruments. Finally, a residential neighborhood with diverse green spaces was visited.
The activity was organized by the IALE-Chile board and coordinated by Daniel Rozas from the Catholic University of Temuco and Francisco de la Barrera from the University of Concepción. The course was guided in landscapes of his specialty by Cristian Echeverría (Andean landscapes) and Fernando Peña (coastal landscapes). In addition, the academics Roxana Lebuy, Maria Elgueta, and professor Massimo Palme, current president of IALE-Chile, accompanied throughout the course enriching the discussions in areas of their expertise and motivating students to continue their research in landscape ecology.
More information at www.iale-chile.cl