Topographic humidity index and vegetation as management tool for policies decision
This study aims to assess the vegetation cover and topographic humidity index of the Trueno microbasin and the Brisas site of the Bolivar canton (Manabi, Ecuador) so it can be used as a tool for policies decision. Starting from a quantitative approach and applying the hypothetical-deductive method; the following phases were established: i) determination of the Hydrological Protection Index (HPI), in this case plots made up of "three radiated transects 50 m long, located at 120° from each other; and, ii) establishment of the topographic humidity index, as a result of the treatment of the information in QGIS 3.30.1 through a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The primary findings demonstrate that the light forests achieved an HPI per unit of vegetation (HPI-UV) of 0.95, while the dense forests attained a maximum of 1. On the other hand, the whole annual grasslands scored 0.64, while the degraded annual grasslands scored 0.32, the lowest possible score. When paired with other criteria, the ITH's values, which carry out a classification of the soil into five categories, range from 0 to 19, indicating a close association with the microbasin's water network. These assessments serve as a management tool for the creation and implementation of successful policies that ensure the stability of these ecosystems.
Keywords: hydrological protection, microbasin, topographic humidity.