Because of its isolation, the area is considered a unique biogeographical unit, which allowed the evolution of fauna and flora with connections to the Andes but with a high degree of endemism. In the high plateau at more than 4000m asl, there is a system of more than 20 lakes of glacial origin, called Lagunas de Huaca Huasi.

The installation of the site began in March 2006 and ended in February 2008. The 2nd resampling census was conducted in March and December 2012 and the 3rd census in February 2017.


It is located in the Cumbres Calchaquíes mountain range, belonging to the geological formation of the Sierras Pampeanas, geologically distinct from the Andes. The complex forms a great high plateau over 4000 m asl (c. -26.656 LS and -65.638 LW). To the west it is possible to observe the Tucumán Plain crossing the whole altitudinal gradient of the subtropical mountain forests or Argentinean yungas and to the east, the Calchaquí Valleys, characterized by a drier climate.


Alazán (ALZ, 4040 masl), Piedra Blanca (HUA, 4280 masl), Alto de la Sinuosa (SIN, 4450 masl), Cerro Isabel (ISA, 4742 masl).

Responsible Institution:

Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER)Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (UNT)– Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de Argentina (CONICET)

Site coordinator: Alfredo Grau y Julieta Carilla (

Database manager: Julieta Carilla

Botanist/Taxonomist: Soledad Cuello

Other researchers on the site: Stephan Halloy

Related resources:

Halloy S, S Cuello, J Carilla, S Lizárraga, J Carrizo & A Grau. 2020. Flora altoandina de Huaca Huasi. Guía visual. Ediciones del Subtrópico, Tucumán, Argentina. Pp. 252.

Carilla J, S Halloy, S Cuello, A Grau, A Malizia & F Cuesta. 2018. Vegetation trends over eleven years on mountain summits in NW Argentina. Ecology and Evolution 8: 11554-11567


Sitio Cumbres Calchaquies Tucuman Argentina Cumbre HUA (4250m)

Site richness: 125 species, 79 genera, 32 families

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

Pycnophyllum convexum Cumbres Calchquies, Tucuman
Festuca orthophylla Cumbres Calchaquies, Tucuman
Azorella ulicina Cumbres Calchaquies, Tucuman

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

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