EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

High Andean Wetlands, climate change and ecosystem services – What do we know?

Marco Otto1, Mónica Maldonado Fonken2, Jan Baiker3, and Richard Gibbons4
Marco Otto et al.
  • 1Technische Universität Berlin, Climatology, Berlin, Germany (
  • 2CORBIDI, Divisón de Ecología Vegetal, ​Lima, Perú
  • 3University of Zurich, Department of Geography, Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics Group, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4Houston Audubon, Houston, USA

Research in high mountain regions has been intensified over the last decade due to e.g. increased concerns about how climate change might affect those regions containing fragile and often remote ecosystems. Wetlands in high mountain regions belong to a kind of vulnerable ecosystems, which have been studied also in the Andes. We systematically gathered information derived from literature on wetland types within the tropical part of high Andean grasslands and shrublands (above tree line) also known as Páramo (northern part) and Puna (southern part). We applied a keyword search on two major global citation database resulting in 230 records from 1979 until present. Here, we found over a hundred peer-reviewed publications focused on High Andean Wetlands providing information on wetland types and geographic references of their respective study sites. Most studies were conducted within the Puna and were related to peatlands. High Andean Wetlands are often seen as providers for certain ecosystem services (ES). Results indicate that current knowledge is mostly based on short-term studies at single-site scale. Thus, not all ES that are assumed to be related to High Andean Wetlands are sufficiently documented by scientific work. Therefore, we present preliminary results of currently conducted studies addressing ES provided by High Andean Wetlands fostering our knowledge and closing still existing knowledge gaps.

How to cite: Otto, M., Maldonado Fonken, M., Baiker, J., and Gibbons, R.: High Andean Wetlands, climate change and ecosystem services – What do we know?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19824,, 2020

Comments on the presentation

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 05 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-19824, Boris Ochoa-Tocachi, 05 May 2020

    Hi Marco. Very interesting presentation during the live chat.
    - Are you planning to do a meta-analysis (or do you have enough data for it) on some of the analysed variables?

    - We are conducting a series of systematic reviews and meta-analysis on several topics that relate to natural infrastructure for water security. It would be interesting to sum up to your work and foster its development and publication, also shape it into policy briefs.

    See, for example:
    Policy brief:

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Marco Otto, 07 May 2020

      Hi Boris,

      Thanks again for the comment and short discussion during the session. We are still gathering literature (about 50% of 170 articles still need a reference check). After that, we will look at each ecosystem service and check if there is enough for compiling meta-data analysis. With regard to the publication you mentioned, I found it interesting that water yield of wetlands (páramo and puna) is up to 40% higher than tree plantations.

      I have a talk soon with the coauthors to see how we proceed and will come back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for the offer!

      Stay safe!