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Plant Diversity of an Andean Cloud Forest

Plant Diversity of an Andean Cloud Forest: Inventory of the Vascular Flora of Maquipucuna, Ecuador

Grady L. Webster
Robert M. Rhode
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 228
  • Book Info
    Plant Diversity of an Andean Cloud Forest
    Book Description:

    Based on work spanning a decade, this study of the Maquipucuna area on the western slopes of the Andes discusses the climate, vegetation, ecological relationships, and flora, and emphasizes the importance of the Maquipucuna area as a biological reserve. In addition to the checklist of the flora, which enumerates 1,650 species (including 228 species of pteridophytes and over 200 species of orchids), appendices give information on floristic composition of communities, distribution of epiphytes, and elevational ranges of families and genera. The illustrations include a map, landscapes, and characteristic species.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-91593-0
    Subjects: Botany & Plant Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Abstract & Resumen
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    (pp. 1-2)

    The compelling necessity for inventories of neotropical plant diversity has recently been emphasized by Neill and Øllgaard (1993), and by Phillips and Raven (1996), who propose a strategy for sampling this diversity. This will evidently be possible only through creating the necessary organizational infrastructures and professional networks. At Maquipucuna, one of the sample sites listed by Phillips and Raven, two of the three inventory techniques—permanent plots (l ha) and rapid assessment floristic samples (0.1 ha)—have been put in place, and the rapid assessment plot data of Gentry for Maquipucuna have been assembled (Phillips & Miller, 1996, ined.?). The checklist...

    (pp. 3-3)

    The climate of the Maquipucuna region is equatorial and wet, but unfortunately there are no long-term temperature or precipitation data from within the reserve. The closest weather station cited by Terán (1984), in Nanegalito, is indicated as having an annual rainfall of 3230 mm at an elevation of 1630 m. Sarmiento (1994) cites annual precipitation from Nanegal as 3198 mm; presumably the ridges and slopes above 2000 m have considerably greater precipitation. In the classification of Blandín Landívar (1977), the climate of the reserve should be “subtropical lluvioso” (more than 2000 mm of rainfall per year), with a mean annual...

    (pp. 4-5)

    The vegetation of Maquipucuna is prevailingly evergreen rain forest of considerable complexity; on ridges it remains relatively undisturbed, but below 1500 m it has mostly been drastically altered, converted to pastures or fields of crops such as banana, manioc, sugar cane, and “naranjilla” (Appendix A). The mosaic of areas with different times of cessation of disturbance results in secondary vegetation of considerable variability.

    The northernmost and lowest points in the area covered by this inventory (north of the Maquipucuna reserve proper), at c. 1100 m, lie near the elevational boundary between lowland tropical forest and lower montane forest as delimited...

    (pp. 6-9)

    The publication of this checklist of a cloud forest area in Ecuador is significant because of the scarcity of annotated floristic lists for cloud forest areas in the Andes as a whole and in Ecuador in particular. The only complete flora (with keys and illustrations) foranyneotropical cloud forest area is that of Steyermark and Huber (1978; emended by Meier, 1998) for the Serra del Ávila in Venezuela, which does not have a very typical Andean flora. In Ecuador, published local floras or checklists of rain forest areas cover lowland (Dodson & Gentry, 1993) or mid-elevations below 1000 m (ENDESA...

    (pp. 10-16)

    The recorded flora of the Maquipucuna area, as geographically delineated in this checklist, currently includes 621 genera and 1,640 species of vascular plants, of which only 44 are exotic. The 586 native genera represent 27.4% of the native Ecuadorian genera and the 1,596 native Ecuadorian species represent 10.4% of the native species of Ecuador reported by Jørgensen and León-Yánez (1999). Tables 1–6 summarize some of the statistics of the flora, which falls entirely within the mid-elevation range of the Ecuadorian Andes as defined by Balslev (1988); the lowermost points in the flora area, at c. 1100 m, and in...

    (pp. 17-25)

    The data presented by Balslev (1988) suggest that in Ecuador the western slopes of the Andes may have both the largest number of species and the highest percentage of endemism in the vascular flora. Floristically, Maquipucuna falls within the Northwestern Region of the high Andean floras as delineated by Jørgensen and Ulloa (1994). However, the great diversity and distinctive composition of the Maquipucuna flora indicates that it may be regarded as a mid-elevation Andean extension of the Colombia Chocó forest flora (Gentry, 1986). In fact, the checklist of the flora of Cerro del Torrá in the Chocó (Silverstone-Sopkin & Ramos-Pérez, 1995)...

    (pp. 26-27)

    The plant diversity documented by this checklist indicates that Maquipucuna is one of the botanical “crown jewels” of the Andes. Along the trails up Cerro Sosa and other ridges, the cloud forests surprise and delight with their cornucopian anarchy of tree ferns, gesneriads, orchids, and aroids, many perched inaccessibly in the crowns of a great variety of tall straight trees. Hikes in Maquipucuna become botanical detective investigations; many taxa (such as the local magnolia,Talauma) were first detected by flowers scattered along the trail. A large number of trees remain unidentified because flowers have never been found, and because of...

    (pp. 28-28)

    The floristic area of Maquipucuna, as defined for this inventory, lies within Cantón Quito, Provincia Pichincha; it includes not only the Bosque Protector Maquipucuna but also adjacent areas, including the Alambi Valley down to the 1100 m contour, Cerro Campana, Cerro Cachillacta, Cerro Negro, and the slopes above the highway immediately south of the reserve, extending to the equator (00°00ʹ) just south of Tandayapa; for convenience, all of the land east of the road between Tandayapa, Nanegalito, and Nanegal has been included (Fig. 1). The latitudinal limits are 00°00ʹ to 00°10ʹN, and the longitudinal limits are approximately between 78°ʹ35ʹ and...

    (pp. 29-196)

    This checklist is primarily based on the botanical collections made by Grady L. Webster and collaborators on the UREP expeditions, which have been deposited at the University of California, Davis (DAV), the Herbario Nacional (QCNE), and the Pontificia Universidad Católica (QCA); additional duplicates have been distributed to other herbaria (including AAU, MO, NY, TEX, UC, US). Additional collections made by other botanists who contributed sizeable sets of specimens are cited with the collection number preceded by the appropriate letter: C (Carlos Cerón), D (Piero Delprete), F (Efrain Freire et al.), G (Alwyn Gentry et al.), H (Fred Hrusa), K (Dean...

  16. Appendix A. Dominant or conspicuous taxa of secondary and roadside vegetation in the Maquipucuna region, between 1150 and 1500 m
    (pp. 197-198)
  17. Appendix B. Dominant or abundant taxa of primary cloud forest (lower montane forest), 1700–2000 m
    (pp. 199-200)
  18. Appendix C. Dominant or abundant taxa of upper montane forest, 2100–2750 m
    (pp. 201-202)
  19. Appendix D. Dominant and conspicuous taxa in riparian vegetation, 1125–2000 m
    (pp. 203-204)
  20. Appendix E. Distribution of epiphytes in the Maquipucuna vascular flora
    (pp. 205-206)
  21. Literature Cited
    (pp. 207-212)
  22. Plates
    (pp. 213-231)
  23. Back Matter
    (pp. 232-232)