The Endemic Plants of Chile

Choose language / Elija su lenguaje

Español English

Habitat

Andean desert

Rising towards the Andean mountains, are a range of altitudinal levels which vary in elevation depending on the geographical area. The foothills comprise low thickets of succulent shrubs and woody-based perennials, which give way to the Puna, generally above 3,300 m of altitude. The latter has a cold and dry climate, with summer rains, with characteristic shrubs that include species of Baccharis, Chuquiraga, Ephedra, Fabiana and Junellia; hummock forming cacti, such as Maihueniopsis species are also prevalent. The high Andean level has a lower limit of about 4,000 meters above sea level, although to the south this limit lies at lower elevations. The lower level vegetation formations include tolares, dominated by species of Parastrephia and Baccharis, followed by grasslands dominated by species of Festuca and Stipa. Finally, the queñoales (characterized by Polylepis tarapacana) and llaretales (with Azorella compacta) are characteristic of the high Andean formations. Bofedales, with low hard hummock grasses, are found at different altitudes where water is abundant due to the water table being close to the surface. The climate here extreme with temperatures below zero almost every night of the year and with daily extreme temperature between 25-30 °C.