The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Of all the regions in Chile, the Metropolitan Region is the only one that is land-locked, as well as being one of the smallest in surface area. However, it has 40% of Chile's population due to the capital, Santiago being located here. There are three characteristic relief systems in this region: the Andean mountain range, the Coastal mountain range and the Intermediate Depression. To the east, less than 50 km from Santiago, the Andes rise above 3,000 metres and at the Argentinean border, the San José and Maipo volcanoes exceed 5,000 metres. The Intermediate Depression is flanked by the Andes and the coastal mountains are transversed by smaller ranges. The Intermediate Depression is highly modified and it is Chile's agricultural heartland with some areas covered in Vachellia caven and Prosopis chilensis. The area has a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall of about 300 mm per year, but in recent years, this amount has been substantially less. Urban expansion, pollution and agriculture have caused severe fragmentation of the ​​native vegetation, especially of scrub and sclerophyllous forest. Today this vegetation is only found along streamsides and in the Andean foothills, but more extensive areas are protected in National Reserves, such as Río Clarillo and Aguas de Ramón, where tree species such as Lithraea caustica and Cryptocarya alba are allowed to mature. Even with the entire disturbance, the Region has over 600 endemic species; this is largely as a result of the Andes providing unique habitats and because of their isolation also affording a degree of protection.

Endemic Taxa in Metropolitana

Endemic taxa only occurring in Metropolitana