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Ecología en Bolivia

Print version ISSN 1605-2528On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


LOPEZ, Ramiro Pablo. Floristic diversity and endemism of the Bolivian dry valleys. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2003, vol.38, n.1, pp.27-60. ISSN 1605-2528.

A quantification and characterization is made of the floristic richness and endemism levels of the dry valleys of Bolivia found between 1.500-3.200 m. To achieve this, the Herbario Nacional de Bolivia database was examined together with the literature dealing with the flora of this region and personal observations. From almost 1.300 species of vascular plants recorded, 209 (16%) are endemic to Bolivia. If introduced species are excluded, the percentage of specific endemism increases to 18%. The most important families by number of species are Compositae, Cactaceae, Gramineae, Leguminosae, Solanaceae, and Bromeliaceae. Among the most speciose genera we find Tillandsia, Baccharis, Solanum and Parodia. Other genera, such as Rebutia, Cleistocactus, Trichocereus, Salvia, Acacia, and Prosopis confer a distinct identity to these dry valleys. Apart from endemic taxa, the dry valleys possess other genera and species with restricted distribution in South America. The information presented in this paper strongly suggest the need that these ecosystems be considered for conservation plans.

Keywords : Bolivia; dry valleys; plant diversity; endemism.

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