The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Islas Desventuradas

The small volcanic islands of San Ambrosio (2.5km2) and San Félix (2.4km2), lies 850 km off the coast of Chile and some 780 km north of Juan Fernández Archipelago. They are 20 km apart and to the south-east of San Félix is the small island of González which is only 166 m high. San Ambrosio, which rises to 254 m, is a massif, while San Félix is triangular in outline and much flatter with a peak of 193 m high. The climate is Mediterranean with maximum temperatures of 22.5°C and a minimum of 14.3°C. The Rainfall of 95 mm occurs mainly in the winter - there is no permanent source of water. The vegetation is a sclerophyllous low scrubland with both deciduous and evergreen species. On San Félix the summer-deciduous Thamnoseris lacerata forms a small tree, other species such as Suaeda nesophila have succulent leaves. The small flora of 22 species comprises 19 endemics of which 16 are only to be found on the islands alone. Increasing threats to the flora are from non-native plant species and human activity on San Félix where there is a small permanent settlement.

Endemic taxa only occurring in Islas Desventuradas