South America

South America is the least populated of the civilized continents and has an area of approximately 18,000,000 km2. The urban populations are distributed along the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines while the interior is sparsely populated and very rural. Diverse agriculture production and a wealth of mineral resources are key components of the South American economy. Rangelands of South America support a variety of cropped agricultural products, including sugarcane, lumber, soybeans, wheat and corn, as well as large scale cattle, sheep and pork production. South America is the world leader in beef exports with Brazil leading herd production at over 200 million head and Argentina following at 50 million head. Although transitions of vegetation communities and management response of ecosystems are attributed to climate change, the main issues facing rangelands of South America are anthropogenically driven. Primary anthropogenic issues include clearing of land for agricultural practices, alterations of historic fire regimes and management of livestock production systems.

Videos and Gigapans about South America

South America - Global Rangelands