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Published on Jul 10, 2012
Climate change in the highlands is manifested mainly through extreme events such as prolonged drought periods, short periods of heavy rain, and extreme cold during winter. To cope with these phenomena, some Andean populations make use of ichu grass. This native grass is part of the natural land cover, whose tender shoots are eaten by animals. Because of its cylindrical hard and smooth stem, which is also waterproof, it is used to build the roofs of houses. During the day it is heated by the sun and increases room temperature, while in the afternoons and evenings, it maintains a comfortable temperature inside the protected spaces. It also plays important roles for the territory, mitigating the kinetic of rain on the soil, as well as contributing to soil fertility and carbon sequestration.