Podocarpus National Park is located in the southern zone of Ecuador in the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. It is one of the main protected areas in the southern region, where one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity is concentrated. In this area of 146,208 ha, the mountainous evergreen forest ecosystems of the Eastern Andes of southern Ecuador stand out (34.4%) and the mountainous evergreen forest of the Condor-Kutuku mountain range (13.5%). Although the shrub paramo occupy a relative small area, they are ecosystems of great importance both for their biological richness and for the ecosystem services they provide. Because of its position in the Huancabamba Depression, the topography is very intricate promoting have high speciation rates and high levels of endemism of both flora and fauna.  

The CIA, CIB and CIC summits are located in the paramo zone (shrubs and herbs), in areas with steep slopes (~35 %).

The site was established in November 2008. 


The PNP site is located within the Podocarpus National Park, in the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe, -79.16 LW, -4.103 LS on average. The total surface area of the park is 146,280 hectares, of which 11% corresponds to shrubby and herbaceous paramo ecosystems.


CIA (A, 3270 masl), CIB (B, 3320 masl), CIC (C, 3400 masl)

Responsible Institution: 

Herbario Loja, Universidad Nacional de Loja

Site coordinator: Nikolay Aguirre (

Database manager: Natalia S. Samaniego Rojas

Botanist/Taxonomist: Zhofre Aguirre

Other researchers: Paúl Eguiguren, Juan Maita, Marina Mazón

Related resources:

Djukic I., Kepfer-Rojas S., Kappel Schmidt I., Steenberg Larsen K., Beier C., Berg B., Verheyen K. …(2018) Early stage litter decomposition across biomes. Science of Total Environment 628-629: 1369-1394.

Urgilés, N., Cofre, D., Loján , P., Maita, J., Álvarez, P., Baez, S., Tamargo, E., Eguiguren, P., Ojeda-Luna,T., y  Aguirre, N. (2018). Diversidad de plantas, estructura de la comunidad y biomasa aérea en un páramo del sur del Ecuador. Bosques Latitud Cero. 9(1):44-56.

Aguirre, N., Ojeda, T., Eguiguren, P y Aguirre, Z. (2015). Cambio climático y biodiversidad: Estudio del caso  de los páramos del Parque Nacional Podocarpus. Ecuador.  Programa  de  biodiversidad  y  servicios Ecosistémicos.  Universidad  Nacional  de Loja. Ecuador.

Sitio Parque Nacional Podocarpus

Site richness: 110 species, 68 genera, 39 families

* Total number of vascular plant species (including all summit area sections)
** Mean total cover of vascular plants in the 16 1m2 plots

Soil temperature monthly values (-10 cm) mean, maximum and minimum of Parque Nacional Podocarpus, analyzed from temperature data loggers located in each summit as part of GLORIA methods.

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