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  • Fecha de creación febrero 2, 2021

Long-term monitoring in high mountain ecosystems is key to understand the impact of global environmental change on biodiversity. The study focused on analyzing the existing floristic diversity and determining the content of plant biomass within the páramo ecosystem in the Cajanuma sector of the Podocarpus National Park, Loja, Ecuador, in order to generate a baseline for long-term monitoring of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The implemented monitoring area comprised an area of 1260 m2, within which 30 permanent plots of 1 m2 were established in which the composition, floristic structure and aerial biomass content were determined. A total of 1367 individuals belonging to 66 species, 49 genera and 32 taxonomic families were registered. The most diverse families were Asteraceae and Ericaceae, while the most frequent species and number of individuals per hectare were: Tillandsia aequatorialis with 47,000, Thelypteris euthythrix with 31,000, and Blechnum cordatum with 19,667. It was estimated an average aerial biomass of 14.76 t ha-1, where 9.35 t ha-1 corresponded to the living biomass, and 5.42 t ha-1 to the necromass. The results of this work will be useful to evaluate possible changes in biodiversity and structure of vascular plant communities in the high Andean ecosystem related to global environmental change.